time reversal

the stories of four physicists separated by the whims of fate

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The end of a book

September 12th, 2008 by ben

I’ve been reading Cryptonomicon for a little over 4 years…that is until 20 minutes ago when I finished it. It’s weird to say but my viewpoint of the book, and the topics it raises, changed so much after having gone to MIT. (Remember, by “gone to MIT” I am referring to 4 years of my life and ~30 classes). Right now, for the first time, I feel like I learned a lot at MIT.

Being in Grad School is probably helping me feel this way as well, interacting with people everyday who haven’t done any kind of math since high school and have never taken a physics class, not only that but…and I hesitate to say this cause it sounds condescending…but the attitudes of most of the first years and second years as well. A lot of them are honestly flabbergasted at how much work physics really is…and to be totally honest, problem sets in MIT grad classes were usually twice as long.

I’m realizing more and more that very few people do as much work in their undergrad years as I (and a lot of other people I know) did.  Also, we were really lucky, cause for the most part MIT treated us like adults…something that I assumed was common to most universities.

Now that I have got all of that off my chest I just wanted to mention that thanks to google updating their satellite imagery, Ithaca NY ( and Cornell) are now featured with high resolution satellite imagery.  Every kept implying that life would be really different after college, and some of it is. But for the most part I’m still following my normal schedule of getting up (earlier than I am used to) going to classes, (teaching classes,) doing problem sets till late, and then coming home for a late dinner. True, when I come home I no longer get to hang out with friends and its much more solitary, but I’m sure that that will change eventually.  I wish I could say my weekends are wildly exciting but last weekend I didn’t really do anything, and at the moment I’m sick. Einstein has also been pretty needy/affectionate tonight because I’ve been doing Psets till late the previous few nights…I think he likes my new glasses for some reason.

More and more I think I might try to do atomic physics, which means the schedule of classes I am currently taking and the ones I am planning to take in the spring are pretty much all superfluous…but I can’t really change that.

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