to the bday party I was invited to. I even tried taking a nap on
Saturday afternoon after practicing some piano, hoping that I'd be
refreshed, but no luck. So I decided not to go anywhere and instead
to try to relax as much as possible.
I've been reading The Idea Factory, a book describing a MechE
grad student's experiences at MIT from 1981-1984. (I found it at
BookBuyers.) I've finished two chapters and have skimmed through some
other parts of it. My initial reaction is that he wasn't ready for
the courses he started off with. He didn't have the kind of
background a lot of the other grads did, especially those who'd gone
to MIT as undergrads. I wasn't a MechE, but I had several friends who
were, and had seen some of their textbooks, problem sets,
etc. (However, I did take thermodynamics, during the semester of
madness when I switched from CS to EE. I switched back at the end of
that semester.) I knew enough of what my friends were doing to know
that he didn't have as much background as they did.
Speaking of thermodynamics, not too long ago, the husband of my
chorus' previous treasurer died not too long ago. He was a professor
of thermodynamics at Stanford, and had also done research at NASA Ames
and lots of other places. (In other words, he was a major player in
There are several other people in the chorus who either have
doctorates or have spouses who have doctorates. It is interesting how
well some of these people have done for themselves. It reminds me of
when I was a student, I would occasionally be invited to a professor's
house. Several of them had large, fancy houses beyond Route 128.
If you're wondering where I'm going with all this, it relates to what
I wrote earlier about how different the people I know now are from
people I grew up around (in my neighborhood, not my high school).