time reversal

the stories of four physicists separated by the whims of fate

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another one bites the dust

December 16th, 2008 by ben

Another term has come and gone. I’m unsure if I’ve mentioned this before, but without research, I’m pretty much just a glorified college student. Sure I teach classes, but when break rolls around, I actually go home because I have no work todo at school. In fact all of the first years at Cornell are in the same boat, which to be totally honest is quite infuriating. I’ve really liked teaching this term, but I miss doing science.Also, since I wasn’t really in any of the first year classes I kinda misssed out on the camraderie that a lot of the first years seemed to gain by all taking the same classes.  Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly happy that I have already taken Electricity and Magnetism, but this was just the end to another term for me…while the rest of the first years were super excited about “what they had accomplished.”

So what did I learn this term? I guess I learned a few things: 1) Renormalization isn’t actually as voodoo magic as I always thought it was, 2) Solid State is a hodge-podge of ever increasingly accurate approximations and you can never really solve for anything exactly, and 3) Ithaca is kinda boring but its really pretty when it snows. I think I learned other stuff too.

But, enough of science, I wanted to talk about something that has been annoying me. I like being a geek, but I only like being a geek up to a point. Some of the first years at Cornell want to start a Dungeons and Dragons club and I refuse to take part. I like D&D but I like playing D&D with my middle school friends…I like it as what it should be – a social event with glorious, glorious statistics.  Maybe I’m doing a bad job of explaining; If you gave me a D&D book I would love to sit down and read it from cover to cover and I would gladly meet up with my older friends play a game or two…but I’m long past the point in my life where I think it’s a good use of my time or a way to socialize with people I don’t really know.  I don’t want to be mean but what I am saying is that I view the first years who want to play D&D as having the social maturity of me in middle school and I don’t want to be me in middle school, or me in high school, or me in college, I want to be whoever I am right now.

I do not want to hate on the geek lifestyle though, so I want to talk about my amazing ride home. Since I was driving the 6.5 hours alone and I had already listened to lots of music driving back and forth for thanksgiving I wanted something more engaging to listen to. Unfortunatly the only book on mp3 I could get for free was A People’s History of the United States (which I am told will knock me off my feet…aw that isn’t even the correct scene) so I started asking everybody I knew (an hour before I left) if they owned any books on mp3. My friends, I hit the jackpot.

Thanks to Curran I was able to listen to Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows all the way home to Andover. Like I said, sometimes I really love being a geek. For six and a half hours I was practically bouncing up and down in my seat saying “Harry Potter!!1!!1!!” (I said the “ones” I think). It has been awhile since I read the 7th book, and I read it so fast that I’ve forgotten loads of stuff, so it was practically like reading a new harry potter book.  I just wanted to mention something absolutely hilarious before I go on, which is to say that I think Harry, Ron, and Hermione are my least favorite characters. I didn’t realize that until I was listening to the Book and I constantly wanted to “get back” to all the other characters. It’s not that I hate the parts with the 3 main characters it’s just that I absolutely love the parts with all the other characters.

I feel a little guilty saying this but I don’t remember who I hung out with the night of the 7th book’s release. WHICH WAS AWESOME. For those not in the know, the happening place to be was Harvard Square….oh sorry I meant HOGWARTS SQUARE. At the time I remember being slightly disappointed because for some reason I honestly thought they would make Harvard square look like Diagon alley…like really, but Harvard Square was awesome and it was the busiest I have ever seen it. All the stores and restaurants were doing Harry Potter themed stuff and Harvard Yard was having a huge harry potter themed concert. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to get a Butterbeer as Pizzeria Uno’s had sold out.  I think I stayed in the area till pretty late, and then (because I was smart) instead of trying to get a copy at the Harvard Square Coop which had a few thousand people lined up since 2 in the afternoon at around 11 I came back to MIT and went to the MIT coop. There was a huge line at the MIT store too, but not gargantuan. I didn’t stay up all night, I think I read till 4 slept for a few hours, and then just read for the rest of the day. What I remember most was how I didn’t turn on my phone or computer until I was done with the book because I was honestly scared the ending would get ruined.

Well I’m a year older now and at the moment all I can think about is finishing Harry Potter…but I have to leave it for the drive back, I have to!!!!

since you’ve been gone, i lost my cleverness

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