When the physicists I know discuss physics problems, I understand (as from a great distance) that, to them, physics problems open up unto the wonders of unimaginable galaxies.I always feel (but usually manage the discretion to overcome), at such privileged-bystander eavesdropping-upon-physicists moments, an impulse to inject inane digressive jokes into these aethereal conversations.The physicists are patient but slightly annoyed with this. And I feel like an annoying child.Secretly I must envy physicists their wonderful lofty theoretical treadings of the stars, I guess.
Some years back, at a poetry open mike that I was frequenting at the time, a young man told about taking an astronomy class at the university here. He said that once during the class, a young woman asked the professor, "How high are the stars? I mean, when it rains, do the stars get wet?"The man at the mike, who was a musician with a guitar, then played and sang a song he'd written, based on the woman's question. It was actually a fairly sweet gentle song, full of dreamy unlikely questions, kind of light and sparkly.
Liking all of this (the cartoon and text that started this and both comments), I'm thinking about a time in the car yesterday driving Jane home from school. She's taking 9th grade physics (which didn't exist in my day) and was describing to Caroline (a former physics/chem jock in what I think was our current lifetime) how she solved some problems posed on exam questions that day. I felt similar to the way Tom describes his social encounters with with physics professors (and managed the discretion not to say anything.) This was never my bailiwick. To me, Caroline looked kind of lost in the envy Tom describes and wistful. Jane just seemed animated by the new treadings. Curtis
Yes, but I love hearing anyone try to decipher a problem that so directly relates to what we are/see/but don't think about accurately. I wish we had a video of the open mic Lyle talks about.I am reminded of a Laurie Anderson song/story in which she is sitting next to a woman on an airplane who looks down and sees the lights of cities below and actually thinks they are stars.
Years ago on a night of predicted meteor showers, I scooped up my son and his friend and we drove into the Wisconsin countryside to get away from city lights. I could hear the boys whispering in the back seat, but didn't realize until I turned the car off on a dark country road that my son's friend was terrified that a meteor would crash into us. My son was saying, "...no, no, they burn up in the atmosphere," and his friend kept answering, "You never know."
Post a Comment