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In pop culture, we see a physicist surrounded by boards, with a handful of integrals scattered everywhere and math operations we have never seen in our entire life. Perhaps this is true of some physicists but certainly not all. I think a major reason why physics seems like an unapproachable subject, studied only by a few presumed to be smart(er?), is precisely because of this pop culture approach to physics. Physics is not a subject that only a few should enjoy. Physics is certainly not a subject that only a few should understand. Instead, physics should be for everyone.
According to my mother, I was not a very difficult child, but I had my moments of being difficult. The story she always gives as an example of one of those moments is from when I was two years old and spent the night away from my parents for the first time. They were going to a wedding, so they dropped me and my older brother off at my grandparents’. I put up a bit of a fight when they tried to leave, but ultimately they succeeded.
There are a lot of terrible things happening right now, and it’s difficult to know how to acknowledge that while also putting something a bit more uplifting out into the world.
On Sunday I attended an event hosted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore) called “Hear Our Voices: Personal Stories of Mental Health.” The event was part of NAMI’s campaign, #IWillListen, for Mental Health Awareness Week. I wanted to share my experience to hopefully encourage you to attend a future event like this and get involved in the conversation around mental health awareness, a topic very close to my heart.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, my alarm blared at 5:30 a.m. Today I was going to pay my respects to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
It’s hard to believe that a month of college has passed. In my first article, I wrote that keeping track of time during quarantine had become a hobby; certainly in this first month, that hobby has become a sport.
Here’s a good one: You find a pile of quarters in a room. In order to keep the coins, you need to separate them into two piles, each containing an equal number of quarters with ‘heads’ facing up. Unfortunately the lights in the room go out and you can’t touch the coins, so you can’t tell which side is heads or tails. Before the lights went out, you counted 20 quarters with heads-side-up. How do you divide the coins without looking at them (Answer at the bottom)?
What a year it has been so far, and we still have three months to go. One thing that the added time from quarantine has allowed me to do is binge-watch pretty much every show ever made. But it also has given me the opportunity to learn about various productivity methods. As the summer days kept passing, I became more aware of how much time I could be using in a productive manner, and so I began to set up a desk.
I will shamelessly admit that I am one of those people whose camera roll and Instagram stories are filled with sunset photos. The beautiful blend of warm and cool palettes against the city landscape never fails to give me a sense of peace and a reminder of how beautiful the Earth can be, especially after being stuck inside for so long. Sunsets usually signify the end of a long, tiring day and a time for a bit of rest.
On the afternoon of March 13, I got my admissions decision from Hopkins. I opened it in my car, parked in the mostly deserted senior parking lot of my high school. Some track athletes were talking a little ways off. When I read “You’ve been admitted,” I hoped they couldn’t hear the screams coming from inside my Mazda. I double- and triple-checked my portal, and when I was partly convinced my acceptance wasn’t a mistake, I drove home floating.
I am a romantic in every sense and in particular, regarding the idea of love.
It is hard to sit still enough to write. It is hard to be still. There is some nervous energy that runs through my body, making my heart beat faster than it should, my mind race faster than it should, and making me unable to write in a manner that would be of any value.
1. I recently found my "Hopkins Bucket List" while cleaning in quarantine. Fourteen theses bulleted on a sticky note. I'd stuck the page in a bright red Leuchtturm 1917 days before O-Week.
Each night around 8:00 p.m. this past summer, I would walk out into the backyard with my mom to water the plants in our garden. I usually started around the squash plants and then worked my way over to the lavender and rosemary before misting the flowers at the right edge of the bed. This was often my favorite part of the day. There is something ineffably comforting about providing nourishment to flowers and herbs after long hours of studying and running errands.
Over the past few years, I’ve become something resembling an extrovert. I was more of a homebody during middle and early high school, but my social life got more active toward the end of high school. When I got to Hopkins two years ago, I moved into a double in AMR II and quickly became close friends with my roommate and other people in the dorm.
The past few weeks have been challenging, to say the least. The difficulties presented by the already fluid schedule of college life have only been exacerbated by the fact that I never technically have to leave my bedroom if I don’t want to. This flexibility makes it easier to procrastinate, shortens my attention span and all but kills my motivation. To add to it, the lack of human contact, or repeated contact with just a few humans, has made this somewhat dull routine even more mundane.
One night, after we have shut the doors behind us, I dream my home is haunted. In the dream, I lie in my bed in the inkblot dark, twisting my hands through the sheets, when the faintest white glow softens the room. I rummage through the drawers of my nightstand and strike a match. In the firelight, I see a specter suspended midair above my bed, one hand reaching out for me. I take it, and the ghost pulls me into its translucent arms. I can’t help but dissolve like sugar.
Content warning: I’m going to discuss suicide in this column. Please don’t continue reading if you aren’t in a place where that’s something you can read about — I know that I wasn’t for a long time. Take care of yourself, and if you or anyone you know is suffering, know that you are not alone, and that help is available. Please see the bottom of this article for a list of resources.
So I thought I’d have my life all figured out by now. I would be a legal drinker and one step closer to a mortgage. I was positive I would have every step planned from graduation to grave by the time senior fall came around. Oh, how I was wrong.
The roast duck at Alan’s deli next to Great Wall supermarket hangs in a neat row, skewered in place by the neck and dripping with oil. My mom half-shouts to be heard over the sound of a chopping knife as she orders duck, char siu and crispy pork belly from the man behind the counter.