This excerpt from an old Calvin and Hobbes comic is my current source of inspiration. After six months of time away from studying and astronomy, I had hoped I wouldn’t need a direct source of inspiration, and that I’d simply be passionate and ready to get started with all the eagerness of the next Nobel Prize winner. It turns out taking an extended break doesn’t naturally create enthusiasm. Apparently though, you can buy over 1500 different forms of enthusiasm from Amazon alone, so maybe I shouldn’t worry.
Sometimes I wonder whether Nobel Prize winners and famous scientists were just in the right place at the right time, or if they really had their sights on the top prize from an early age. I suspect the reality requires a bit of both. Regardless, I’m quite sure I’m not Nobel Prize material. I’m not sure I want it enough. Right now I don’t know what I want, but until I work that out, I’m gonna stick with astronomy and see how it pans out. I’m quite sure that wasn’t the attitude that Newton or Einstein had towards science, but it’s all I can give for the moment. Does that worry you? It worries me, but let’s not panic. I’m not a doctor, yet.
So tomorrow is my official first day as a PhD student. I say ‘official’, but it isn’t really. Nobody told me it would be, in fact I told my supervisor (who coincidentally happens to be on holiday this week) that I’ll be starting tomorrow. Somehow it feels like it should all be a little more formal than that. Anyway, whether or not the department is ready for me, and whether or not I’m ready for it myself, tomorrow I’ll be kicking ass when I introduce myself, and wiping the floor with all the paperwork. Or something like that.