I do think people can have multiple interests. I write. I sing. I’d like to maybe pick up an instrument one day. I like the sciences. I was into photography for a long time, but unfortunately haven’t really picked up my camera lately. I’m no gourmet chef, but I can cook. I’d personally prefer not to be pidgeon-holed, if that makes sense; I feel like I explore a lot of things, but I dive into them deeply, and I think that I can be a writer, musician, and a scientist, and not have a problem. I don’t know what path I’ll choose, or even if I’ll choose only one path. It’s hard to draw the line and say, “I am this” because…I am a lot of things.
I definitely agree with you on the other part though — I can’t stand it when people boast and don’t have the talent to back it up. Just because you have a camera doesn’t mean you are a photographer. Still, people, by nature, appreciate things, or so I’d hope. I guess everyone’s an artist in that respect.
“Within this black hive to-night
There swarm a million bees;
Bees passing in and out the moon,
Bees escaping out the moon,
Bees returning through the moon,
Silver bees intently buzzing,
Silver honey dripping from the swarm of bees.
Earth is a waxen cell of the world comb,
And I, a drone,
Lying on my back,
Getting drunk with silver honey,
Wish that I might fly out past the moon
And curl forever in some far-off farmyard flower.”—
-Jean Toomer, Beehive
been planning my Harlem Renaissance thesis. I love this poem.
hey adam don’t get down on yourself. hey, what do I know, but I really think you’re awesome. and college admissions are so unpredictable — maybe the fact that it’s not a conservatory means they were paying less attention to the music than other factors. Anyway, don’t give up, and don’t give up what you love.
Good luck getting into the rest of your list. Fucking nerve-wracking, I know
The following concerns a question in a physics degree exam at the University of Copenhagen: Describe how to determine the height of a skyscraper with a barometer.
One student replied: You tie a long piece of string to the neck of the barometer, then lower the barometer from the roof of the skyscraper to the ground. The length of the string plus the length of the barometer will equal the height of the building.
This highly original answer so incensed the examiner that the student was failed immediately. He appealed on the grounds that his answer was indisputably correct, and the university appointed an independent arbiter to decide the case. The arbiter judged that the answer was indeed correct, but did not display any noticeable knowledge of physics. To resolve the problem, it was decided to call the student in and allow him six minutes in which to provide a verbal answer which showed at least a minimal familiarity with the basic principles of physics. For five minutes the student sat in silence, forehead creased in thought. The arbiter reminded him that time was running out, to which the student replied that he had several extremely relevant answers, but couldn’t make up his mind which to use. On being advised to hurry up the student replied as follows:
Firstly, you could take the barometer up to the roof of the skyscraper, drop it over the edge, and measure the time it takes to reach the ground. The height of the building can then be worked out from the formula H =0.5g x t squared. But bad luck on the barometer.
Or if the sun is shining you could measure the height of the barometer, then set it on end and measure the length of its shadow. Then you measure the length of the skyscraper’s shadow, and thereafter it is a simple matter of proportional arithmetic to work out the height of the skyscraper.
But if you wanted to be highly scientific about it, you could tie a short piece of string to the barometer and swing it like a pendulum, first at ground level and then on the roof of the skyscraper. The height is worked out by the difference in the gravitational restoring force T = 2 pi square root (l / g).
Or if the skyscraper has an outside emergency staircase, it would be easier to walk up it and mark off the height of the skyscraper in barometer lengths, then add them up.
If you merely wanted to be boring and orthodox about it, of course, you could use the barometer to measure the air pressure on the roof of the skyscraper and on the ground, and convert the difference in millibars into feet to give the height of the building.
But since we are constantly being exhorted to exercise independence of mind and apply scientific methods, undoubtedly the best way would be to knock on the janitor’s door and say to him “If you would like a nice new barometer, I will give you this one if you tell me the height of this skyscraper”.
The student was Niels Bohr, the only Dane to win the Nobel prize for Physics.
Whether or not this story is actually true, it is a great story for why there is not always one right way to do something in science and and we shouldn’t limit our knowledge an understanding of science to just what we’re told.
“If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world,
paid a high price for living too long with a single dream.
He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through
frightening leaves and shivered as he found
what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight
was upon the scarcely created grass.
A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts,
breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about…
like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.”—
“…that knowing is better than wondering. That waking is better than sleeping. And that even the biggest failure—even the worst, most intractable mistake—beats the hell out of never trying.”—Meredith, Grey’s Anatomy