Progress and kindness

First of all, I want to share (sorry for the repeat, Facebook friends) this amazing piece by Oliver Sacks in the New York Times opinion section a few days ago. It’s heart-wrenching and beautiful and meditative and overwhelmingly human. I first ran into Sacks’ writing in an issue of Chemical and Engineering News that was sitting around in our house when I was maybe 11 or 12 years old. It had profiles of all of the elements on the periodic table by a range of prominent scientists, including my own mother! Her piece was great, but the one I read over and over again was on Oliver Sacks’ on gallium. I was totally caught up in the sense of fun and wonder he brought to anecdotes about an element I’d never really thought about before, and for years, gallium was my favorite element, too. I’ve never read any of his books or other writing, but I’m definitely planning to now.

Levent talks math in his MCR seminar.
Levent talks math in his MCR seminar.

Oh right, this is supposed to be a life-update post. Well, I hesitate to say this lest I jinx something, but I think I’m almost done with the main part of collecting data for my current project, which is a pretty big milestone! Now I need to get my head back in “actually understanding the physics” mode and start thinking about writing (yikes!). On a somewhat related (i.e. academic) note, I enjoyed the MCR academic seminar last week by Levent Alpoge on elliptic curves. Nice to know that I can still understand new math things, at least a little bit. I also got my official re-admission to Harvard last week, which was…reassuring, I guess. Maybe it’s time to start corresponding with potential new research advisers there.

I also enjoyed playing Coup in the MCR after the seminar.
I also enjoyed playing Coup in the MCR after the seminar.

Rowing update: last Friday was the Getting-On Race for Lent Bumps. As the name implies, it determined which lower-boat crews get to race in Lent Bumps this week. W2 was in an interesting situation because one of the Clare College women’s boats crashed into us on Thursday morning and broke the rudder on Lady Julia, our boat. So far, none of our races have occurred without some kind of catastrophe! Fortunately, Selwyn College lent us one of their boats for the race, and we had no further mishaps for a change. Although we put in a really good effort, we didn’t get on. I’m still proud of W2 for a good race.

W2 waiting before the start of the Getting-On race. Photo: Giorgio Divitini.
W2 waiting before the start of the Getting-On race. Photo: Giorgio Divitini.
After the race, the traditional pose with blades in front of the boathouse. Photo: some King's College rower, Katy Surman's phone.
After the race, the traditional pose with blades in front of the boathouse. Photo: some King’s College rower, Katy Surman’s phone.

Saturday was a day of indulgence for me. I had a nice lunch with Saara-Anne, a fellow Dartmouth ’14 and rower (in W1) who’s also on a Reynolds Scholarship and doing an MPhil at Churchill. That was followed up by a nice, long run and some granola-making. Amanda, Morgan, and I tried out the Rainbow Cafe, a vegetarian restaurant near King’s College, for dinner. I really liked the atmosphere and appreciated the plentiful gluten-free options (and vegan for Morgan), but the dish I ordered was pretty bland, unfortunately. We went to Churchill and listened to some jazz afterwards, which was nice as well.

Morgan and Amanda are all smiles at the Rainbow Cafe.
Morgan and Amanda are all smiles at the Rainbow Cafe.
A jazz band (called better than tv) in the Churchill bar. I spent most of the time they were playing talking to David Kolchmeyer about physics.
A jazz band (called better than tv) in the Churchill bar. I spent most of the time they were playing talking to David Kolchmeyer about physics.

As a closing thought, I wanted to thank everyone who reached out to me after my last (non-recipe) post. I really appreciate your emails, skype calls, and general well-wishes. I can’t say I’m really doing better yet, but I have hope that I can heal.

P.S. Actual closing thought is a shout-out to my brother Zach, who got 27th in his age group and 241st out of 3729 overall in the Birkie! Here’s hoping I can get myself back in skiing shape and maybe do it next year.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s