adventure · integrity · joy · life · school

Weird Science.

Winter solstice approaches. So despite the dwindling hours
of sunlight and what feel like dwindling hours of productivity, change is on
the move. I love thinking about stuff like that – my brother is an “earth
scientist” – basically, he’d steeped in physics, chemistry, and biology, and at
the moment is working as a cleaner upper of this here our earth.
He once sent me a text photo, when he began his job last
year in environmental remediation, of a teeny tiny little frog balancing on my brother’s blue hazmat gloves,
with the note saying, “I’m cleaning his home.” 🙂 It was the very sweetest thing.
Once, Ben and I heard the rumor that on the equinoxes in
spring and fall, you could balance an egg on its end in a window of like 3
minutes, and it wouldn’t fall over because the earth was positioned in such a
way that the gravitational pull was completely equal. – It worked! It totally
balanced on it’s little fat bottom end for about a minute or two before it
lopped over onto its side like all other days of the year.
We used to sit at home on the couch, and he’d basically
translate what he’d just read from Stephen Hawking’s The Universe in a
Nutshell
, and we’d talk about the expanding
and contracting of the universe, and about black holes, and just science-y
stuff in general. It was great. I rarely, if ever, get to talk to people about
stuff like that, mainly because I’m so novice, and also, it just doesn’t come
up – so, did you hear about Pluto doesn’t really count! (And p.s. I feel bad
for Pluto’s demotion!)
When I was in college, heading toward, well, I wasn’t always
in my right mind, I was taking a physics course, and one of the classes was on
relativity. And in the “Whoa, man” state of mind I was in, after class, we’re
all outside waiting for the bus, and I don’t really know anyone in the class,
being an English major, and I say to one dude as the bus approaches, isn’t it
crazy, the bus is moving relative to us, but we’re moving on the spinning earth, and
the earth is moving in orbit… You can see why lots of stoners get blown away by
such concepts ;P
But, it – science, math – comes up for me. Strange as it may
seem. My brother was a double major in geo-physics and music theory. Art and
science aren’t as far apart as they may seem. All my painting is is increasing
the viscosity of a pigment to deposit it on another surface 😉 One thing that
came up repeatedly for me over the number of times that I did the Artist’s Way
was to take a math class. Weird, I know. But we’re asked several times
throughout the course to list – without overthinking it – 5 classes we’d want
to take if money and time and fear weren’t an issue. And each time, math would
be on that list.
I was proctoring an SAT exam about 2 years ago for some
extra cash, and I was looking at the test in the aching silence of the room as
these poor students are having meltdowns and panic attacks about their future,
and sine and cosines swim in their graphing calculators. It was actually fun.
To feel these very old creaky wheels in
the back of my brain trying to remember the formula for triangles and circles.
I didn’t remember the harder stuff, but there was an inner perking up of, hey,
I know this stuff, and hey, do we get to do this. (I actually did better on my
SATs in math, twice, than I did in english, so…)
I don’t know what it means, but in keeping with listening to
my inner nudges, and knowing that this math/science thing has come up several
times over the last 4 or 5 years, maybe it’s time to listen. I actually looked
to see if I could do one at my school, but they are waaaay advanced, and I need like algebra 1 again! Not
lecture and lab. Math can be fun. Science was way fun the way my brother and I
used to talk about it. The way that he would explain these concepts to me, and
we could converse about them.
Keep ‘em coming, little nudges. I don’t know what yet to do
with you – but I have utter faith that I will. 

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