While waiting on a phone call and various other things in my errand-run over to the West side in Santa Monica, I find myself sitting in one of my favourite places for coffee or lunch, eating my favourite thing on their menu. It is a branch of Le Pain Quotidien, and it is their ricotta, fig and honey open faced sandwich. Food of the Gods.
I have a few hours of interlude on this away mission, and so I’ve brought a bit of work with me since I don’t know exactly how long things will take. I’ve made some decent progress on The Project in the last few days, and although I need to do a lot more, I’ve been planning another stage of it, sketching out ideas and expanding on them. Some of this process was begun some time back on the iPad, and I’m now adding to the ideas on actual real paper, and pushing one of them to a slightly more refined level. It is a fun process, and certainly nice to be able to call up old scribblings wherever I am, since I now try to have everything on the pad. (see my earlier posts here and here for more on how I use this excellent tool for work, and I’ll be saying a bit more soon in relation to The Project.)
The teaching part of the semester is over. At least, the classroom part of it. I’ve still to write the final exam and have them sit and write it. That happens next week. So, more planning, of a different sort, for beating that into shape. Actually, that end of classes aspect left me with very mixed feelings. On the other hand, it was good to see that part of a long semester over with, but on the other hand, I really liked this group of students (89 of them, I think. Hey, If it turns out that one has dropped the class since last count, I’ll get to call them my “Crazy 88″! ) and so will be sad to not be seeing them again. We ended with a final class with lots of heat engines on display – some working, including a Steam engine and a hot water-driven Stirling engine – as we were completing a discussion of entropy, efficiency, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. When I finished the lecture, and thanked them for their participation, they gave what felt like a genuinely enthusiastic and appreciative round of applause! It is a cliche to say this, but I was very touched by that.
Well, back to the planning. I think I’ve been here a bit long, so I will finish my coffee, go for a walk to think, and then work some more in the excellent nearby public library. Then it’ll be time for another break and I’m pretty sure I’ll be going to seek out some tarts*.
*No, no, no. Please see my earlier post (i will try to find the link later) about the tasty English-style tarts with treacle, raspberry jam, lemon and other fillings that I seek out at this little shop on 2nd street.
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):