it was many years ago that...
I was an intern at a Large
Company(tm) in Rochester, NY.
My job was to do theoretical and computational
research with someone in the research division.
The guy stood up at the black board talking very
quickly about physics I was to learn 3 years later
in graduate school. When I explained this to him,
he gave me a book on Greens functions to read.
Everytime I went to ask him questions, he acted
like Dustin Hoffman's character in Rainman.
Either he was spouting useless jargon or he
spazzed out that I was disturbing him or
was just clueless. Who knows and who cares?
For the next 9 1/2 weeks I spent my time at work
napping and daydreaming about going out with other interns
that evening. By the way, Rochester is a great place
to hang out for a summer. There are beaches to play
volleyball at on Lake Ontario, many nice golf courses,
and inumerable bars, pubs, and clubs. You know,
they love Buffalo wings there: whereas in the
rest of the country, it is socially proper for a group to
meet for pizza and beer after work, in Rochester
you go out for wings and beer. It's just what you do.
But I digress.
On my last day there, the people in the group
(who rarely associated with me anyway) took me out to lunch. Afterwards, my supervisor and I wnet on this
long walk. He asked me, "What are your plans?"
I told him I'm interested studying theoretical
particle physics. Then he gave me a lecture, a
speech really, about how smart you have to be
to go into that field, how it uses a lot of mathematics.
He suggested that I reconsider or else I might be in for a
While I was tempted to be annoyed, depressed, angry,
and insulted, I had to remind myself that I basically
came into work each day just to get a little sleep before
going out at night. So, what the hell did he know?
Don't get me wrong, sometimes I feel guilty for not
doing anything productive that summer.
But, really, it isn't my fault. Really. He could have tried to teach
me something, anything. Instead, he just decided to
sit back, evaluate and judge me. What a loser.