Today marks the end of my first two months in Dublin. I am slowly adjusting to the unstructured life of a graduate student in mathematics. Although I am the only student in my program (a one year research degree in mathematics), I find it stimulating nonetheless, thanks, in part, to a fantastic academic advisor – a lively thirty-something russian-born wunderkind. During our first meeting he told me, over a plate of pirogies, that he was the true inventor of Napster and that his algorithms were stolen while he was napping (has anyone seen the Italian Job?). It’s been an interesting two months.
When I’m not doing math, I’m exploring the city with the other four Mitchells in Dublin. With over a million people, Dublin is not a small city. But its compact city center gives it the feel of a small provincial town rather than a big European metropolis. About a month ago, a good friend from college moved to Dublin to do some reporting (he’s looking for work, so get in touch if you have any leads. Seriously). All together, we have a nice little crew. Some of us took the bus to Galway a few weeks ago to visit Tom for the weekend. It’s a beautiful little town with a very warm culture, and I’d like to visit again before the year’s over.
I write this on the bus back from Glendalough, a scenic glacial valley in Wicklow national park. It is the site of a medieval monastery, surrounded by a forest of ferns and mossy oak trees. It was a peaceful afternoon, and I’m glad to be in Ireland.