The quantum jester

I’ve been told that “the world is awaiting” my report about the QIP’2006 conference. So here it is. I’m in Paris, near the Pantheon. The buildings are beautiful, but the weather is crummy. The food is tasty, expensive, and fattening. Everyone here has been friendly, which is surprising — considering that I’m conspicuously American, and that my French consists almost entirely of the following phrases:

Bonjour!
Merci!
Oui!
Je ne comprends pas!
Monsieur
Madame
École Polytechnique
Croissant
Baguette
Ravioli (no, wait — that’s Italian)

(I’m in a talk right now, using the wireless Internet, and Harry Buhrman is reading this over my shoulder and laughing. Stop that, Harry!)

Oh, right: there have also been talks here. Maybe I’ll blog about them in a later post, but then again, maybe not. I’m not giving a talk, but I am giving the after-dinner speech on Thursday, the quantum computing community having relegated me to the role of jester. Which reminds me that I should write the speech.

I should also apply for jobs for next year. Actually, would anyone like to offer me a tenure-track faculty position right now? Most of the deadlines have passed, and I haven’t even written my research statement — so if that sort of thing doesn’t bother you, your chances of getting me are excellent.

9 Responses to “The quantum jester”

  1. mick Says:

    Scott, you can’t blame the community, you are a pretty good jester :-).

    Hope you are having fun.

  2. Dave Bacon Says:

    I think you have to say “please” when you ask for a tenure-track position ;) I’d stay away from the freedom fries jokes tonight…

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Sacré Bleu!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Scott, the truth is that it is not too late for you to apply, but it would help if you sent in your applications by Jan 31. I guess the hard part is getting recommendation letters in two weeks…

  5. Cheshire Cat Says:

    “…so if that sort of thing doesn’t bother you, your chances of getting me are excellent.”

    You’re in no position to assert this. What if most universities remain unbothered by “that sort of thing”? In which case, the vast majority of them have little hope of getting you…

  6. Anonymous Says:


    Ravioli (no, wait — that’s Italian)

    Italian requires stress on the “o”: Ravi`oli.
    French acquired it by putting the stress on the last “i”: Raviol’i.

    :-)

  7. Miss HT Psych Says:

    Two of the most useful French phrases:

    “je ne parle pas francais”

    “ou est le toilette?”

    Other than that, I’d say you’ve pretty much got it covered. Oh, and should you require it:

    “voulez vous coucher avec mois (ce soir)” (see, pop music is good for something!)

  8. Anonymous Says:

    At the risk of being pedantic, if you
    want to go unoticed, you’d better say:
    “Ou sont les toilettes?”
    Also this might be safer:
    “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?”
    The 1st version makes you look like a sexually deprived person, which you might want to avoid (because mois=month).

    Arthur

  9. Scott Says:

    Miss HT and Arthur: Thanks for the useful conversation-starter! Unfortunately, some people with lots of free time seem to think that question is not idiomatic French.