October 23 Day 594: 11 Hours

The body is an amazing device that runs on nervous energy and caffeine. Until it doesn’t.

On Friday morning (9 am Pacific time) , I gave a talk at the Virtual Gathering4Gardner Celebration of Mind. I was so excited to be invited. I had new material I wanted to share. And I was overcommitted.

The honor was too great to turn down, so I made time for it. I wanted it to be memorable. Special. Uplifting. So much so, that I worked late (very late) every night last week, writing and refining. Yes, it begins with a karaoke revision of “Always look on the bright side of life” and included Dune Peninsula Park, named after Frank Herbert and his novel Dune, as the movie was finally released in theaters and on HBOMax.

Slide from my presentation on Friday.

I think it succeeded. There were plenty of congratulations in the chat from people I respect and admire.

But once that adrenaline rush was done, I was done. Somehow I managed to hold things together throughout the rest of the work day. That evening, as my husband Mark and I sat down to watch the Dune movie, I could not keep my eyes open no matter how badly I wanted to.

The movie is beautiful but not exactly action packed. I was not in the right frame of mind to appreciate it. After jerking awake for the third time, I had to call it a night. I crawled into bed at 9:30 pm and promptly fell sound asleep.

I did not budge until 11 hours later at which time I watched the first G4G presentation on my phone while still under the covers. It was a wonderful talk. (I really liked @Ayliean’s notion that to understand a thing, you need to be able to draw it. )

11 hours of sleep! I must have been exhausted.

Mark and I return to the movie this morning. I could appreciate it much more with a clear head. It is truly a love story to the original novel. Beautifully filmed. I look forward to the next—and there better be a next because they are no more than 1/2 of the way through the novel.

All the talks were recorded and they will get posted online eventually, maybe in a month or two. Knowing this upfront made me more nervous about the presentation—leading to all those late nights. Now that it is over, I can say unequivocally that it was worth it. My body might disagree.

I think another luxurious night of sleep in order.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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