Sunday, November 30, 2008

the beauty of a library

Right now I am sitting in the basement of the H Library at the University. This building consists of 15 floors of books! Books about history, romance, chemistry, politics, art, religion, poetry, classic literature, biographies, journals, how-to books, magazines, satire, fiction, editorials, fantasy, science-fiction, mystery, suspense, tales of love and loss, fortune and fame; there is a book about every subject. I could spend hours perusing the shelves, flipping through pages yellowed with age, reading stories about knights and princesses, presidents and policy, age and reason, sense and sensibility, crime and intrigue, history of the human race, evolution and biology, art and outer space. There are vivid descriptions of life down to the smallest known particles (and even smaller proposed particles) and the expansive universe which is vast and equally unfathomable. here is so much to learn and observe and there is not enough time in a lifetime to cover it all. I think I could spend the rest of my life in this library and only make it through 8 of the 15 floors!

I found a happy little study spot on the 10th floor the other day. There was an empty desk overlooking the chemistry building. The sky was gray and dreary and the wind was blowing the tops of the trees. I sat in that desk for 6 hours studying for my orgo final. In that time, I saw one bird fly by and listened to one conversation about String Theory and the elusive eleventh dimension. Otherwise I experienced six hours of silence. I fell asleep at my desk for some amount of time...it couldn't have been long because I wasn't surprised by the time when I looked again at my watch. I don't spend much time in the library but I have made it my goal to never study in the same desk twice; and I will not again study on the same floor until I have been on each other floor for at least an hour...

It is these sort of simple pleasures that I think will help me survive graduate school. In the next five years, I will spend the majority of my time reading, studying, learning and I think it is enough to drive a person mad. Unfortunately, these little games could also be the death of me, as I have just successfully wasted 45 minutes of my study time on this blog...distractions are killer.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Great

Somehow I have found myself at a point where everything is good. We elected a new president; one who represents positive change in our country, and brings with him a new hope for a better United States. In the last 8 years, we have seen a change in public view of science. The public has been trained to generally distrust science and as a result, I don't think the scientific community has been allowed to thrive to its full capacity. This can be seen easily in comments made by Gov. Sarah Palin which showed her and the public ignorance regarding basic fundamental science. Obama is placing a greater importance on science which will help advance this nation and provide me with a little job security :)
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