Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mechanics, quantum and automotive

A colleague is going to Pasadena this weekend for the California Senior Games, which is the qualifying event for next year's nation-wide Senior Games. (We both find it odd that an athletic meet for seniors has a one-year lag between qualifying and the meet itself ---- does everyone qualified in the 80 yrs and up age range always show up at the nationals a year later?)

The state games are in Pasadena. When I asked her where the events were held, she said at some technical college in Pasadena. After a few moments of thought, I asked her if by any chance she meant the California Institute of Technology. She said yes, that's where it was. I explained that calling it a technical college isn't quite accurate: future Nobelists, not auto technicians, are getting their undergrad and grad degrees there in quantum and other non-automotive mechanics.

We both had a good laugh. For me, it also brought back some very fond memories of dating guys in Ricketts House (dorms are houses at Cal Tech) many many years ago --- could it really be that long ago, or has the space-time continuum gone awry? So far, no Nobelists (or automotive techs) among those I dated, but one lawyer, one last heard of in law school at an advanced age, and an anthropology/ linguistics professor.

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