Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Out of my League

Yesterday I headed down to that hallowed hall of learning named "Stanford."  Really nice place.  I went there to drop off Henry who will be immersed in all things "physics" with many other like minded middle schoolers.  We used to call those "like-minded" kids "Nerds."  Now, most of us call them our bosses (heh heh heh).  But, I digress.

I, myself, learned a few things about Standford yesterday during my short visit there.  I learned that Stanford has the largest contiguous university campus in the world.  They also have the second largest video library - - surpassed only by Netflix.  I learned that our tour guide, a rising sophomore, had a great deal of information to impart regarding his personal engineering academic pursuits, the hours a college freshman keeps, his hometown (DC), what "not-to-do" with regards to sticking around campus at Thanksgiving (a real yawn-fest), what dorm he will be staying in next year, the age of most of the woman in his future dorm (seniors!  Out of his league!) and his fervent hope that he, and his 12 other fellow sophomores, will "rule the place" as the year progresses. All of these little tidbits were divulged as we passed by a number of important and large Stanford edifices for which I have no additional knowledge of post-tour than I did pre-tour.  But, I will die knowing that you should NEVER, NEVER EVER, take a 10:00 a.m. class (the earliest class offered at this revered institution of knowledge) because that's just BRUTAL.   Excellent advice for the large crowd of middle-schoolers who were the intended audience.

I was also reminded that Henry (and his ilk) are the smart ones.  We parents are simply the ones that fill out the paperwork.  Having filled out this paperwork does not make you the smart one.  It may possibly indicate that you are organized and have excellent skills in ensuring that your child's name and address are correctly spelled and that his test scores are adequately attached to the application.  This should not be confused with smart.  Smart is when I asked Henry's new roommate whether he liked Physics or not and he blithely replied, "I LOVE physics.  I am a huge fan of Michio Kaku, especially his work on Hyperspace and Parallel Worlds."  Was this kid 12 or just really short with good skin?   Henry nodded sagely and retored, "I like him TOO!"  My mouth just hung slightly agape.  Them = smart.  Me = Who the hell is Michio Kaku??? 

I will miss our budding physics PHD canidate while he is gone.  But he's gonna have a bang-up time swimming around in the super endowed gene pool of science for the next couple of weeks.  Me suspects that he will return home full of mind boggling factoids about atoms and Einstein and Quantum field theory.  All good.  Unless you are me and will be forced to smile and nod as if I have one teensy bit of understanding as to what in Kaku's hell he is talking about.

1 comment:

2W3 said...

Yea, Michio Kaku is OK, but his stance on the anthropogenic cause of global warming is too controversial for me.