Sunday, June 1, 2008

Congratulations Profgrrrrl and 402!

For the past year, part of the blog world has been following Profgrrrrl's romance with Dr. 402. Saturday, they got engaged.

If you read this, drop on over there and join Mrs Pion and I (and 70+ others) in wishing them the best of luck in their life together, and apart - for this is a Distance Loving relationship.

In physics, the two-body problem is solvable while the three-body problem is usually described as "interesting". [Translation: It can be solved, but it might take forever to do it. BTW, this Wiki article is extremely good.] In the (formerly?) sexist world of physics, talks on this subject generally included an allusion to a mistress, or jokes about taking a mistress as an excuse to explain absences that were actually spent in the lab trying to solve the 3-body problem.

In academia, the two-body problem poses all sorts of challenges. It is bad enough when both people are grad students. (A grad school buddy was the trailing spouse in a time of difficult job prospects, so I know what that can look like.) It must be particularly difficult when both are tenured faculty, as in this case, but they have the advantage of being in a Distance Loving relationship from the start - and using a variety of high tech DL tools (on-line teaching being one of PG's specialties) to maintain it during the courtship phase. My advice to Dr. 402 is to treat Profgrrrrl the same way every day that he has since he met her. And vice versa. And I wish you both luck, and maybe a favorable job jump for one of you, if you plan to add a third body to the equation.

No comments: