Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Conversation with My Mother (on the Phone)

Subtitle: If this blog had categories, I'd file this under "It Came from Schenectady."*

Background: My mother teaches chemistry. About 15 years ago my mother had a student named James Clerk Maxwell. (For real.)

Me: I'm safe here at MIT. Oh, you'll never guess who emailed me.
Mom: You're right, I'll never guess.
Me: I'll give you a hint: think of a famous physicist who found the connection between electricity and magnetism.
Mom: Newton?

In any event, her former student is now a professor who teaches at the same university that I do! (No, not physics. One of those humanities fields where people ask you what you'd do with a degree in it.) His sister came across something I did with math and knitting and recognized my name. I will have to see if he shares my opinion that the city we live in is the Schenectady of the South.

*For those not up on obscure sci-fi references, that was an obscure sci-fi reference.