Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday's Word: Volume 2, Opsimath

An opsimath is one who learns late in life. In other words, everybody. Otherwise, why would Shaw have said that youth is wasted on the young?

It's a nice rolling kind of word. As though one tumbled into the classroom a little late, a little out of breath, orotund and with grey wisps flying in the breeze made by one's tardy opsimath.

Yes, that's the spirit. Arrive late, but arrive. Learn, and learn some more. In the end, learning is the only solace for the inevitable slings and arrows. Especially the arrows. You learn to take them out, you learn to make your own poultices, and you pick up whatever it was you were doing when so rudely interrupted by the zing of that fletched wood with the nasty steel tip. That's why all the herbalists tend to be old ladies...

Carry on, opsimath. Or consider the alternative.

Then carry on.

Surely goodness and mercy shall catch up with me eventually in the final days of my life,
And I will dwell, if not in the house, at least in the neighborhood of God somewhere.


At 8:30 AM, Blogger airforcewife said...

I will now forever-more claim that it is the "opsimath" in me whenever I make some boneheaded decision.

I will probably use it some time today. And tomorrow. Definately on Friday...

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Wally Ballou said...

On a wild tangent (and isn't this the blog for that?)

I did a little Google detective work (you know I am the GoogleMeister) and found a company named "Opsimath Research" that does way-out-there mathematical analysis for defense contracts. Interestingly, this company does not seem to exist, except for academic citations, where it is listed as the affiliation of a "Michelle Hugue". I hypothesized that this was a one-woman consulting business (the academic version of pajamas media). I found her home page at UM - but it is stark to say the least - no CV. It does have a link to a student mental health organization she seems to be involved with.

I found some course-specific pages which suggest she is a tough cookie - lots of messages to students about not whining to her about her tough grading.

Finally, I found a faculty directory page with a picture of this lady and my guess about why she calls herelf "Opsimath Research" was confirmed.

She ain't saying how old she is, but it looks like she was no kid in 1989 when she got her PhD.

Dr Hugue

She sounds like a combination of you and the Baron.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Airforce wife-- you can only claim the title if the boneheaded decision doesn't get repeated...thus proving your opsimathical capability.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Wally B--

I'd say "googlemeister" doesn't begin to cover it. You could probably pull dinner for four out of your screen if you had to.

The combination you suggest boggles the mind. So she'd have my math abilities and the Baron's therapeutic gifts?

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Wally Ballou said...

Er - exactly what I meant. I won't even specify who the "tough cookie" is - must be the Baron's Boy.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger saila scod said...

good research
indeed, i called my little one-person consulting firm 'opsimath research' because i was 34 when i received my phd in dependable computing. after 10 years in industry, i returned to my true calling--teaching. what i do is about the students--not me...whatever gifts i have go to produce the folks who will be programming what we use. thanks for taking the time to look for me. i am proud to call myself an opsimath.
thanks for looking

aka Dr. Hugue
saila scod
and darth hugue (among others)


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