Saturday, February 28, 2009

A $1700 dollar error and the most beautiful music ever made

I'm an atheist, which means that I don't believe in any God or gods. Even so, this week's events provide a compelling case that at least the irony gods are alive and kicking! Apparently they operate on a hair trigger, too. Whence came this revelation, you might ask? I have a story for you all.

I am a senior in my last semester at Suffolk University. On Wednesday I came to the realization that I never took a second c1ass in science, which is required to graduate. We are of course now well beyond the add-drop deadline, so I was facing the prospect of having to take summer courses! This would be terrible, not only because I have to work, but because I am applying to graduate schools for the fall. They tend to like their applicants to, you know, actually have graduated from college.

To make a long story short, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is a queen among women. I came to her with my plight and immeadiately came to the rescue. Her solution? Bend the rules and allow me to enter the only not-yet-full-to-the-brim science course. "Great," say I. "What's the course?"

"Quantum mechanics," says she. "Specifically, Nanomaterials and Energy Problems."


I've been reading Steven Hawking's book, A Brief History of Time. Just the day before, I had mentioned this to my roomate and said something to the effect of, "Thank God I'll never need to understand Quantum Theory!" The Irony Gods must have overheard this, and, since like a fool I didn't knock on wood, swooped down to punish me. I am now well and truly theirs to do with as they will.

So, I am officially enrolled in a Quantum theory course, mid semester. I will need to catch up on six weeks of lectures this weekend to be prepared for our lecture on Monday. To top it off, taking the course has me overenrolled, so the cost will come out to $1734. I have taken a loan out from my parents and will pay it back gradually over the summer.

This easily could be very depressing, but I'm working to be content about it. All the eastern philosophy I've been studying recently counsels that it is a waste of time to devote energy to wishing things were other than they were. This seems very wise. Instead of moping I am focusing on making the choice of being happy, revelling in the positive aspects of the situation. My family loves me and will support me through my errors. I am going to graduate on time. I'm even somewhat interested in the subject - if I never got involved in politics, delving into the nature of the universe through science would be the next best thing.

One other thing to be happy about: MUSIC. I found this incredible artist Zoe Keating that you all absolutely must experience. She is a cellist who creates music through loop patterns, playing one track over another and another to compose incredibly moving, sweeping musical pieces. With the help of a loop pedal, one cello becomes sixteen! I highly recommend checking out Tetrishead, The Legions and Time is Running Out.

It's a simple premise taken to a wonderful level of complexity. I've purchased two of her CDs and have been listening to them all day!

In other news, I presented my Senior Thesis, the Nuclear Policy of a Rational Iran. It was accepted! I think that this means I can graduate summa cum laude, which would make me very happy indeed.

How is everyone else's week treating them? I your week has been as interesting as mine! Odd that "may you living in interesting times" is a curse in Japan.

Peace, all.

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