If you just look at the title, there is a million possibilities of what I could be talking about here. Well I am talking about the literary meaning of this word, 申请书. As far as I could remember, I have been handing in application forms since 10th grade, when I first participated in the regional science fair as a high school student. But life has since been full of such treachery. College applications were not even the worst example. I had spent more time ruminating on application essays than other more exigent matters such as research. Every year there are applications to fill out, otherwise you risk the loss of financial funding for the subsequent years. The cycle has recently been compactified so that I seem to only have 2 or 3 months in between two peak periods of application preparations. More puzzling is the fact that my body seems to resent bureacratic work more vehemently each time it is asked to sit down and do so. For instance, after filling out 6 applications for graduate schools and fellowship, highlighted by 3 major essays written all in one weekend, my stomach revolted and put me in bed for almost a week afterwards.
There is something to be said about those 3 on-spot essays. Many scholastically worthy ideas seem to spring out of those essays. To those who know a bit of mathematics, I conceived out of occasional necessity the notion of p-adic manifolds, topological spaces locally homeomorphic to vector spaces over the p-adic field. The motivation stated was Hopf-fibration, amongst other classical geometric constructions. Also I had in mind the problem of finite dimensional division algebra over the real, which has been classified completely without much excitement. I suggested to myself the possibility of looking at division algebra over the p-adic completion of the rational. Admittedly I am not well-versed in number theory, nevertheless I seem to like things unfamiliar to me better than the ones that occupy my mind everyday. This is vitally dangerous as I understand the same character can be said of my social personality. Besides I sacrifice efficiency by focusing on things not immediately accessible to me.
Maybe only in the midst of an intensive research do I find true devotion, and that’s under the assumption that the subject matter suits my taste sartorially. Many a time I failed to solve the problem at hand and stays in the impasse only to be consumed by self-humiliation and mental constipation.