Christmas comes early chez Smiter!
Well, having just promised all of you a hasty return to more or less regular blogging, I blush to admit there may be yet another impediment to my best-laid plans.
Yes indeed, loyal readers, I have fallen prey to the siren call of The Great Courses, whose stated mission is “To ignite the passion for lifelong learning by offering great courses taught by great professors.”
Since 1990, they have been recruiting the cream of the U.S.’s professorial crop, from across a variety of disciplines, recording their lectures (audio or video or both), and selling them in packages to nerds like Yours Truly from all walks of life.
Several weeks ago, my good friend Katerina, whose husband is a keen customer of this company, passed me one of their catalogues (“God, I hate to do this…”, she said, in the grim tones of someone giving a baby its first taste of an Oreo cookie) and the rest, as they say, is history.
Or math and particle physics, as is the case with me.
Although my workload dictates that I must restrain myself and wait till this evening to watch my new DVDs (this may take duct tape and bribes, I fear), I am impressed with these folks already, even without having pressed Play — the chap on their order line was lovely and helpful, and a mere 48 hours passed between my placing my order with him and the breathlessly awaited ring of my doorbell at lunchtime today.
Even the FedEx guy was impressed — tellingly, he said that a fair bit of his business consisted of deliveries from The Great Courses. (Which makes me think there should be a Nerd category on the Toronto census form, but I digress….) His own brother is a hopeless TGC addict, he told me, with the indulgent smile of one who only sees his brother when the power goes out.
So I did what any addict would do under the circumstances: I gave him a catalogue. God help him.
At any rate, this is fair warning that for the foreseeable future, my evenings are spoken for. Goodbye evening news, farewell to The Office. Big Bang Theory re-runs — we may need to start seeing other people. Everyone else — unless you can lure me with food (my friend Katerina’s brownies, carrot cake, sausages… OK, anything she makes, ever…) or figure out a way to cut the power to my home, I will be parked in front of my TV, cup of tea and program notes at the ready, quietly doing what nerds do best, in silent but blissful communion with eggheads everywhere.
Toothily, mathematically yours,