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Lost in Translation

Jan 16, 2009

I expected this to happen with the language barrier. Here I am in Paris, knowing a few phrases, and processing papers on my own. At times I get lucky because some people I talked with know some English, but most of the time they only speak French. It’s a miracle that I managed to process the papers I need so far.

I never thought that I would also be lost in the subject I’ve dedicated my whole life with: Math.

This is my second week of observing how things go in the lab. I am amazed by the people who gave talks during the seminars, they have a good grasp of the things they are talking about. They have seen the connections between these concepts, and so it doesn’t bother them the slightest whenever someone from the audience interrupts the talk to ask a question. And the audience is active as well, asking questions if there is a concept they don’t entirely understand.

Why am I lost? My level of understanding is at the very basic, so to speak, and I hardly remember them if I am not looking at my notes. Not to mention that my training is quite disconnected and out of order. I rarely ask questions during lectures, because I always felt that maybe if I go over my notes later, I would find the answer. If not, there’s always Google.

Now how am I going to catch up with these guys?

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