Friday, July 16, 2010

Stochastic, Fantastic, and Really Bombastic

And just like that we're done. It's been seven weeks, and I would like to say that it seemed so short, but it really wasn't. At times, it seemed like time was slowing to a stop, and at other is seemed to proceed at the normal pace, but I wouldn't say it ever flew by. But that doesn't mean I didn't have fun.

Things I Will Not Miss:
-Having to scramble in the morning to make lesson plans
-Having to play Yes or No
-Having to yell
-Dealing with tattletales and whining
-Walking the 2 miles to work
-Running the 2 miles to work when I'm 20 minutes late
-Being told I need to go to art school
-Teaching kids how to fold paper in half
-Asking what did we do yesterday, and having the smart-ass kids raise their hands to tell me "I wasn't here yesterday"
-Having to clean up mystery liquids that leaked out of the garbage bag because kids drag them across the ground instead of carrying them
-Washing said mystery liquids out of my hair because kids like to fling the leaking bag into the garbage bin
-Being told my mouth is too small for my head

Things I Will Miss:
-Most of the kids
-The people
-That genuine look of excitement when I show them the homopolar motor, or square bubbles
-Being called Mr. Science
-Being called Mr. Money-moto, Taketono, Cortez, or any variation thereof
-Hearing "wow, Mr. Sakimoto is mean today, yeah?"
-Having things remotely interesting things to write about
-Getting paid
-Being looked up to
-Feeling like an adopted big brother, father, uncle.
-Their little sweaty hugs
-Seeing their shock when I tell them how many sentences I have to write each day (hint: it's more than the 5 I ask from them)
-Reaffirming that I love science
-Reassuring myself that I am making the right career choice for myself

Wednesday night was a nice cap to this program. All the morning and afternoon teachers were invited to a party to unwind and collectively debrief. Honestly the most fun I've had all summer, which says something, I just don't know what. So many inside jokes, so many laughs, so many good people. I'm saddened to think that there's little chance I'll see many of these amazing friends and coworkers again, since my summer plans for next year don't involve me coming home. But I count myself lucky to find a job that has been rewarding in so many ways, and to make so many new friends. Awesome Summer Job: +1000 experience, +3 hit pts., +2 armor. Level Up.

This summer has been by far my most exciting, most painful, and most worthwhile one. I have been pulled to these ecstatic highs, and several soul crushing lows, by both this program, and other poignant facets to this summer experience. As we move closer towards fall, and that inevitable return to school, I'm not sure what to make of it.

I like the analogy of Brownian Motion. It's stochastic, meaning that it appears random, contrary to the determinism of Newtonian Mechanics. But if you had the computing/brain power to track every atom, every collision and every trajectory, it would appear very Newtonian. They often make the analogy of stirring jelly in to a bowl of pudding (or something British). As you swirl the jam into the pudding, everything becomes mixed. Can you unmix it just by going backwards? In theory, if you could track every atom, you could. But in reality you can't, it's nearly impossible.

I can track my personal trajectory pretty well. I know where I've come from, and can see how I've changed and progressed this summer. But what worries me is the gazillion other pudding molecules in this bowl with me. I know that it's impossible to simply return to the status quo, to revert back whenever it seems convenient. And why would I? Progress, growth and change are all wonderful things, at certain times. What I would find comforting is a sort of periodicity, and natural rhythm that I can rely on and return to when necessary. I seek not for stagnation, but stability. That perhaps is not the right word, but I'm rather out of sorts at the moment.

It's a mystery to me, what I shall find this coming fall. I can judge how I would fit in to the circumstances I left at the end of the spring term. It's like being led into the middle of a forest, then being blindfolded and told to find your way out. Easy, I know where I am, I saw everything on my way in. But what if the landscape changed. Trees switched places, ridges and valley sprung up where there were none before. Though my physical point in time and space has not changed, the landmarks by which we navigate have changed, or disappeared altogether.

I'll keep updating this blog, as I have many projects in the works for the remainder of the summer. The first one I'm tackling is making a cryptex, a la The Da Vinci Code. I'll post pictures once I make more impressive headway. I would start another, less narrowly defined blog, but I don't think I could stand to realize that only two people are still reading this thing.

So let us continue with this summer...

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