What’s up with that Lindsay girl doing her Homework?

28 02 2008

“It is so satisfying, reading this book. Just as I feel hopelessly lost in the complicated ideas and language and my eyes begin to disconnect from my brain, something makes absolute and perfect sense – it resonates and I have found that somehow, I have just learned something profound.” – My writings in the margins of my Cosmology notebook.

I am in the middle of reading Steven Weinberg’s The First Three Minutes which is “a Modern View of the Origin of the Universe.” Cosmology is one of the most fascinating and certainly one of the best classes I have ever had in any of the five colleges. Professor Tom Dennis, myself and one Mt. Holyoke student sit in his office talking about Light, The Universe and Everything – as he’d say, from 9:00am until whenever he kicks us out for the fifth time (neither of us ever really wants to leave.)

I was originally a little hesitant about the class, as I felt I had none of the “requirements” for being there, those pesky little requirements like Calculus and Physics. When I mentioned that to him he told me this story:

A young man was quite remarkable in Mathematics and Physics – he graduated and went on to graduate school where he learned that he wanted to do research in Astronomy. He wanted to learn about the beginning of the Universe. At the time, researching the beginning of the Universe in a modern sense was quite cutting-edge and, in fact, he learned that all the research at the time was done primarily in France and thus, all the papers he wanted to read were in French. He dropped his Mathematics and his Physics and began to study French. And to this day Tom was unsure as to whether or not the young man had ever made it to studying the Universe.

“Are you the kind of person who will leave this class for your Calculus and your Physics and learn from the building blocks up?” He asked me simply, “Or are you the kind of person who will just jump right in?”

I have done my homework every night. I have done extra homework every night. I have done my homework and extra homework even when I had none to do in the first place. I have learned and retained more math skillz in the past few weeks than during all of high school. I am actively seeking out more information because class just doesn’t happen often enough. I am loving every moment of this class. Except maybe for the fact that it begins at 9:00am.

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