Today has been an odd day. Tonight I ate haggis for the first time while listening to a live performance of sea chanteys. Earlier in the day, I got an offer to Teaching Assistant position under a Nobel laureate.
The haggis was good, if you like organ meat. In So I Married and Axe Murder, Mike Myers' character describes haggis (and other Scottish cuisine) as being "based on a dare". If he things haggis is hard to swallow, he clearly hasn't spent enough time in Chinatown checking out some of the more exotic stuff. What I got wasn't very big, and it wasn't served in a stomach as I expected. It was served as an appetizer, so I guess perhaps they make one and then scoop out portions to serve. I'd been curious about haggis for a while.
I'm not sure what to do about this TA offer. In fact, the Nobel laureate thing is not that much of a factor. The fellow in question is clearly a very good scientist and seemingly also a generally nice guy, but I already work with people who fall into those categories. Actually the bigger factor is money. I have full support as it is just to do research right now, but "full support" just about covers my basic expenses and little else. This position would mean about a 50% pay raise, supposedly for only an extra 10 hours a week. On the other hand, I would only be a grader, and grading is really pretty unpleasant work, in my opinion. Teaching is very rewarding, as far as I'm concerned, but I could never see grading as anything but a necessary evil. I suppose a fair portion of that is that grading always entails trying to assign grades to far too many papers to actually give meaningful feedback to each one, so it is largely boring and thankless work. The bottom line is that my life would be more hectic and less fun, but I could sure use the money. And, I suppose, fostering a relationship with someone who has such prestige might be handy at some point. I still have to think about it some more.