Saturday, February 20, 2010

Musings in transit

I am currently sitting in the airport waiting for my final flight departure. This particular airport is quite nice and clean with light classical music playing. A most agreeable atmosphere to wait in. It's also great for people watching. You see families with small children, surly teens, young couples, old couples, and the gamut of stations in life. It's a small drama at every turn. See the young mother with a small child race for their plane. See the military man coming home with a spring in his step.

Another excellent people watching place is the subway. Yesterday, I spent an hour on the subway since I'm not familiar with the bus system and would thus get lost trying to find the connecting stops. It was fascinating. Everyone rides the subway. The tweens who think they're so cool in their trendy clothes. The old hobo who is riding for warmth. The businessman coming home from a long day at work. And everyone avoids meeting each other's eyes. As if acknowledging the existence of a fellow human would somehow be intrusive or wrong. Carefully staring into an empty patch of space. Surrounded by people and yet completely alone. I'm no sociologist or psychologist, but it's an interesting look into at least Western social mores.

Well, that's enough philosophical musings for today. Now watch Mr. Stephen Fry (who always brings me joy) as he trips over his own tongue to the amusement of all.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Ugh, I am completely and totally ready for Reading Week to come. I've been through several midterms and assignments and two essays and am very excited to take a break.

One of my midterms (on Thermodynamics) was almost uniformly awful. We all thought we'd get about two hours since that was the block on our schedules for the tutorial where the exam took place. That was false. We got 1 hr 20 min. Predictably, it only went downhill from there. The average on the first question was 3/23. Or 13%. Apparently it was based on an example in class, but if everyone didn't understand how to do it, then obviously something has gone horribly wrong. In the end, the average was 58% after they halved the weight of the first question. Ugh.

I have also found out that my essay writing skills have atrophied considerably. I had to write a film review for a class and had to stretch my usual concise manner into four pages. If left to my own devices, it would have read, "It was good. You should see it."

Finally, I am looking forward to going home for the next week, but considerably less thrilled by the prospect of going through security. I just have to remember, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home..."

airport security
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