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Little Things Made My Day

April 6, 2016

This year, the Mathematical Association of America had its Allegheny Mountain Sectional Meeting (conference) downtown in my city that I lived.  So I decided to take the public bus down.  Nobody, I believe, in my department did it.  It is just a little thing, and if I were in New York City or Singapore or London, I’m sure, myself and many other professors will do the same thing.  But that’s not how most cities in America are built.  They are built with “everyone has a car” in mind.  So taking the public bus, is just so rare, it is a predicament.

I did my part reducing carbon footprint.  I have to wake up very early to take the first bus to school because that day, I have a Test for my students and I have to be in my office in case some students want to see me.  SO I walked out at 5:30AM in the cold ERIE April Fool’s Day, walked about three-quarter of a mil, then waited I think a further 10-15 mins before the bus arrived.  If I missed this bus, I’ll have to catch the next one an hour later.

So after class at 2:30PM, I brave the cold and walked to the bus stop in the school and waited for the 3:17PM bus to go downtown.

There I met one of my students.  He talked to me and said this driver is frequently late.  I laughed and told him how unreasonable this would be if it were in Singapore or London or NYC.

But despite catching a bus which was late, and despite getting off at a bus stop earlier then the correct one, I still managed to arrive at the meeting early enough for the first talk of the conference.

After the talk, I was in a dinner sitting with my colleague.  At the end of the dinner, we all flashed out our cell phones and the amazing thing was:  none of us (all five of us) was carrying a smart phone.  And that’s not because we were old or we don’t know how to use Technology, we are all mathematicians! But that’s another thing I would write about when I have time.

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