I had to visit a doctor recently for the first time, and I was asked fill out a form which – among relevant things like allergies – also wanted to know what my profession is. So I pondered, what is my profession? First I put in “artist”, but then added a “mathematician” after a slash.
I was a bit annoyed by myself that I apparently felt like I had to add some “real” job to the list. I justify this to myself by remembering that I am trained as a mathematician, while I am neither trained as an artist nor as a book binder. And asking for a profession is somehow different from asking for an occupation.
But it made me think. Indeed it is important to me that people know that I am trained as a mathematician. – But why? Actually, this should be completely unimportant to you. I suppose you judge me according to my works and my interactions with you. Which have little mathematical content. Should I decide to finally write that book for elder teens about mathematical curves that I wanted to write since I learned about them, then it is going to be important. But other than that?
I suppose I am trying to impress people by saying that. Which is extremely stupid because I don’t like people being impressed by that. I rather want people to be interested by this fact but it doesn’t work that often. Actually, people tend to react much more interested when I tell them that I am a book artist than when I tell them I am a mathematician.
Or maybe I just want to fight the impression that I have no formal training whatsoever. Or probably I want to prove that I am serious about being an artist. -?
What about you – what is your profession?