According to our tour guide, the town of Kórnik used to be called Kurnik, the Polish word for “henhouse”. In the 19th century, this part of Poland was occupied by Prussia. There was concern that the town might be renamed Hühnerhaus, the German word for “henhouse”. To prevent that, the residents decided to change the spelling to Kórnik. This is pronounced the same way as Kurnik (well, there is a slight difference if you pay very close attention), but it no longer derives from anything hen-related, nor does it mean anything else in Polish, so it couldn’t be translated into German. The town kept its name throughout the Prussian, then German, occupation.
… Yorkville is not too crowded on a weekday afternoon, but weekends are a different story…
… and if you’re at the right place on Bloor Street at the right time, you might see Aimee Mann playing a live show for free.
It’s been a good semester. I have enjoyed the conferences and other organized activities (that’s where you learn things and get ideas), but also the quiet periods in between (that’s when you actually get the work done). It’s pretty quiet right now, and I have nothing else left to organize, so that I can actually focus on research.
There will likely be a separate post on thematic programs and on the joys of organizing one. Right now I’ll just say that this has been great for my own research program. When you’re isolated – as I was for several years – it’s hard to keep up with what everyone else is doing, and perhaps even harder to stay motivated. Now I’m enjoying mathematics more than I have in years.