Gang aft agley

So the plan for this weekend: go to Kentucky, do math. Simple, right?

Originally, the first part of the plan — go to Kentucky — was scheduled to be a two-day affair; I’d start the drive down Thursday night, stop someplace in southern Indiana to crash, and finish the trip the next morning. This was meant to both maximize the amount of time this weekend that I’m actually in Kentucky and doing math, and allow me to give a colloquium presentation while I’m there (since such presentations don’t typically happen on weekends). Simple, right?

Only then it develops that one of my colleagues is also going to Kentucky this weekend, and the same place in Kentucky, also to do math. (Different math, though.) So the logical thing, then, would be to pool our resources and head down together. The only flaw in this plan (from my perspective) was that rather than making the trip in two days, his intention was to do it in one… starting far too early in the morning on Friday, early enough that it would still be morning when we arrived at our destination some 300-odd miles south. But since my colleague would be doing the driving (leaving me to hold up the dozing-on-the-road duties), this is still reasonable.

…until yesterday, when my colleague mentioned that (since the term’s technically over, really, with only exams left to go) he’d probably stay an extra day and also work with some colleagues in Nashville. This was not a point on which I could be flexible, since people (i.e. students with exams the next day) were expecting me to be around on Monday. But he hadn’t decided yet whether he’d stay the extra day, and could he tell me tomorrow?

So, the dilemma. If I was making the drive (and thus, according to the original plan, leaving in the evening) then I should be sleeping in to make sure I’ve got the energy reserves. If we’re sharing the ride (and leaving way early on Friday) then I should be getting up early to prepare my body for the shock of the next day. Not knowing which was the case, I pursued the game-theoretic solution of splitting the difference.

And it turns out that I will, in fact, be driving out tonight. This has its good points and bad points: I can arrange to stop in Indianapolis on my way back, which might have its uses, but now I have to figure out again how to navigate around this particular large Kentucky town. And secure accommodations for the evening. And so on.

I can’t wait to see how complicated the second part of the plan gets.

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