Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dagstuhl Thursday fatigue

With tutorials to ponder, open problems to think about, and a paper to work on while my coauthor and myself are in the same place, my interest in talks has waned, and most of it is going above my head while I am taking stock of what I learned during the first three days of the workshop. I have therefore changed my seat, farther from the board and closer to the window where I can bask in the sun and enjoy the view.

Something during this morning's tutorial caught my attention, though.
- Baruch Schieber: "This notion that you use in your proof, I call it the red point's shedow."
- Magnus Haldorsson (the speaker), puzzled: "Shedow? Is that yiddish?"
- Person in audience: "No: when you hear him say "shedow", he really means "shadow"."
I am so glad that someone else has an unapologetically strong accent in spite of having lived in the US for many years! I am grateful for the tolerance of Americans for us immigrants with our imperfect English. They realize that the simplified English that we use in our international interactions is the modern Esperanto.

I also listened to Seffi Naor's tone during his talk. His voice goes up and down gently like ripples lapping the sea shore at night after the wind has died down. It is a pleasant, soothing sound. The content is surely very interesting (the title contains the exciting terms "small set expansion"!), but I am out of energy, and the long introduction listing previous work tried out my patience and quickly wore it out.

Obviously, other people are more resilient than me: they are still participating actively, asking questions during the talks. I don't know how they manage it!

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