Skip Navigation

Across the Sea

August 10, 2010 at 11:20 pm
By Collin Hazlett

(In which I settle on the far side of the sea.)

Summer vacation is over for me, but I won't be at Carleton this term, so if you are one of those stalker prospies who has now become a freshman and is planning on hunting me down, you'll have to wait until winter. I do still have stalker prospies, don't I? I hope I do.

Where I'm going instead of Carleton is Budapest. Budapest is the capital city of Hungary, and Hungary is a country which produces a lot of powerful mathematicians. One very famous Hungarian mathematician is Paul Erdős, who was famous for showing up unannounced at other mathematicians' houses to co-author proofs with them. He also was famous for such things as spreading breakfast cereal on other people's floors, calling children "epsilons," blaming God for hiding his socks, and requesting the epitaph "Finally I am becoming stupider no more" to be written on his grave. He is the second most prolific mathematician in history, behind Euler. There is so much more about him that I could write, but can't because it would take up too much space. So, away from Erdős and back to me.

What I'm studying in Hungary is, if you haven't guessed, math.

I'm majoring in math, by the way. I finally decided. No double majoring for me - there's just too much math to take and not enough time to take it in. So, sad to say, I am not an English major. But English will always hold a special place in my temporal lobe, and I will probably take more English classes down the road. I can't stay away forever.

But now is the time for mathematics. Mathematics in Hungary.

I'm not in Hungary yet, in case there's any confusion. I'm here in Grayslake, Illinois, at my desk, with a bunch of luggage on the floor behind me. Tomorrow night I'll fly to Eastern Europe. It seems very surreal, considering that the only international trip I've taken so far was a pop across the Canadian border to see Niagara Falls with my family.

The program is called BSM, which stands for Budapest Semesters in Mathematics, and it's run by our sister college across the river, St. Olaf. A lot of Carleton math majors go on this trip, though - it's kind of a tradition, in fact - and I've heard a lot about it for two years from my upperclassmen math major friends, and I'm really excited at the thought that now it's my turn to go to Budapest and learn all this awesome math and see all these wonderful things.

This is my last night on the continent for a while. I'll post again with pictures soon after I get there.


  • August 13 2010 at 7:34 am
    Carleton Parent

    Wow! I hope you have a great time in Hungary. It will be so interesting to read about your experiences abroad.

  • August 14 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Have fun in Hungary!

  • August 17 2010 at 1:19 pm

    So excited that you will be updating us from Hungary! We'll miss you around here, though.

    Upon your return, look for us in Web House at 2nd & Union. :)

  • August 17 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Wow!  Sounds exciting!  As a Carleton grad ('92) who's living in Budapest currently, and has been for the past 11 years I hope that you can find all the wonderful things about the people here and don't get too scared by the language, which is unlike anything else.  If I can help in anyway, feel free to get in touch.  My husband and I would be happy to show you around, or invite you over for a meal, and as a teacher I know lots of young(er) people who speak English really well.

  • August 17 2010 at 6:45 pm

    My sister (a St. Olaf grad now) went on this trip, she enjoyed it!

  • August 18 2010 at 2:42 am

    Ohhh I guess I'll have to wait for winter term!

    Although I'm a little sad English has been left behind... That sounds incredibly awesome and exciting! Can't wait to hear more! :]