My life is a complete chaos. It all started past October when I accepted a lecturer position at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia (this last addition is necessary since google maps thinks Brisbane is in California). From August 1, I will continue my academic carrier “down under”. This is a big step for somebody who is born in a small town in the Netherlands, even though I already moved to the East Coast in 2009. (My Dutch family suddenly realized that the US was actually not too far away when I told them about Australia).
For this reason, I am writing this editorial in between visa applications, moving boxes, suitcases, and a lot of dirty diapers. Indeed, late February, my first son Erik was born (unfortunately, he missed the leap day by a mere six hours). This was a huge change: from being an irresponsible young postdoc, I had to turn into a responsible (?!) old father. No more late night parties, no more unplanned activities and a lot of extra sleepless nights, doctor visits and worries about teething. Life with a newborn feels like juggling with five balls when you can actually only do three. Mayhem all around!
In the meantime, I also took up the task of portal editorial-in-chief of DSWeb. Luckily this is not a chaotic job at all, but it is another important thing on my to-do list! For the reasons mentioned above, I have not been too involved in the first few issues and I came up with several (lame) excuses to dodge responsibility. With this writing, I would also like to promise improvement and thank Jens, Lennaert and Kresimir for covering for me in the meantime.
But don't get me wrong, I love chaos! It can be beautiful, it can be fun, it is energizing, it surprises you and it keeps you sharp. Chaos makes everything so much more exciting! However, I hope that the next few months (or maybe years) are slightly less chaotic and a bit more dull and boring because I could definitely use a good night of sleep and a normal rested day at the office! Australia, here I come!
Peter van Heijster
Did you find a regular solution to your n-body problem? Do you communte by air plane? Share your stories in the Letters from Readers section!