Saturday, February 24, 2007

Back to School

Classes start tomorrow. My extended vacation since December is over, just in time for my friends back home to be considering their upcoming midterms. I'd be lying if I said this isn't completely weird.

All things being equal, I'm kind of glad to be starting up again. Physics is the same everywhere, and in my moments of homesickness it's nice to know that things can only be so different when your equations and textbook are the same. I'll also admit that I miss some things disproportionately to how much I'd have guessed otherwise (I already knew I'd be missing friends, cookie-loquium, and the physics parties). For example, why do I miss my labs so much? Hello? Was there something really cool about those photon attenuation runs we had to do over the weekend that I was not informed of? And what was I doing the other day feeling bittersweet over Perl and STACEE data?

Yes, I'm a nerd. It's ok though: I am a descendent from a long line of nerds, and I subsequently inherited this trait the same way other people inherit blue eyes or autocratic kingdoms. Did you know, by the way, that they did a study at Stanford once which concluded there is something innate in people who end up becoming physicists? I was told that once by a physicist in Chicago who had participated in said study, and I recall being very not surprised at the time about it.

I will also mention while I'm at it that it's been fun being out in the real world for a little while, as I'm not certain when I'll be separated from my field so long again. Do you realize what a skewed version of reality you get by hanging out all the time in a physics department? Particularly one like CWRU Physics which is essentially a close-knit group of resident geniuses? The physics worldview is in a sense terribly ironic because I think most people are capable of examining the universe very broadly, but are only capable of seeing a narrow version of themselves. Which is probably why physicists often have such a hard time explaining themselves to the general public, now that I think about it...

But anyway, I've gained perspective and don't plan on losing it anytime soon. So that's good. You know what's even better though? My first class on Mondays, electromagnetism, is at 2pm. That's another thing we always suffer skewed reality from at CWRU: no one ever seems to figure out that afternoon classes are awesome...

2 comments:

Ben said...

E&M at 2pm? Lucky! I unfortunately had to take it at 8 am on mondays. It was probobly the hardest thing to get up for in my entire college experience! It sounds like you're having a great time there in every respect. The post about people not wearing shoes made my laugh. Small differences like that really catch the attention don't they? But Im curious, don't people hurt their feet a lot walking around barefoot in a city with (im assuming) paved roads and whatnot?

Yvette said...

Yeah, you'd think so (which is why I don't do it), but I've yet to see anyone act hurt. Lots of callouses, maybe?

Plus in all honesty, walking along a nice paved road isn't what hurts, it's walking on gravel or broken glass that does! The potential of the latter is why I don't walk outside barefoot myself.