Relaxing after a long day of playing god

Oh relax. That just means I spent the day cloistered in a conference room with the long-suffering cat-herding person and some other team members deciding whether to fix (or not) various problems found in our web application and where to slot them. We were joking that we were playing god. This one lives. This one dies. This one gets to twist in the wind for a while. We are nerds. Hmmm, well hopefully, bits and bytes aren’t sentient entities who actually do live and die and twist in the wind.

I’m now remembering when I was a kid learning about atoms and thinking about how they were structured like our solar system and *then* wondering whether an atom was almost like a little solar system itself. When I was a kid, the atomic model that was taught had a nucleus composed of protons and neutrons with electrons orbited it. I can remember making diagrams of various atoms but can’t quite reproduce my elementary school thoughts about this. I mean, it seems to me now that the nucleus would be the sun and the electrons would be the planets. But since the electrons didn’t have any mass, how could they support land and water and freeways and skyscrapers and people and aminals and and and… ??? And. If they could, did that mean my body was filled to the brim with little solar systems…

By the time I took physics in high school, physicists were in the beginning stages of discovering new sub-atomic particles. Muons and gluons and bosons and hadrons and quarks (with all their flavors) ensued. I got extra credit for reading physics articles in Scientific American magazine and I think we subscribed to it at home, so it was easy enough to obtain. After years of [stupidly] trying to dumb myself down, senior year was a good academic year for me, mainly because my boyfriend that year (hard-working college kid, not the one who left me at the snow-mo racetrack) valued education and intelligence. When I started hanging around with him, I relaxed and let myself fly a bit. Since I was interested in this stuff anyway, I did read about it. And yes, I was a blasted ninny about letting a boyfriend or lack thereof define so many of my high school years. Why? I dunno. My mother didn’t do that and neither did Radical Betty! And my *kids* didn’t do that either…

These days, I do not know what the atomic model looks like and I have no idea how many sub-atomic particles have been isolated and named.

What did you think about the universe when you were a child?

One Response to “Relaxing after a long day of playing god”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I let a college boyfriend control me too much–which was unfortunate. Instead of spending a year in France(like I should have), I spent a summer. Yuck. I was very interested in astronomy as a child/teenager and took astronomy in college. It was one of the best but hardest classes I took, especially since I had no advanced math or physics background. Loved it!