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One of my year long sophomore subjects will be physics. At first, physics seems to be a menagerie of big, boring universal ideas and immutable laws rendered practically unimportant by their scale.

Peter, ok, let’s call him my boyfriend - just as a place-holder - is working on his “Doctorate in Applied Physics,” degree. “Will you help me with my physics homework?” I asked, hopefully.
“I’m sure we can work something out,” he assures me, wiggling his eyebrows suspiciously.

Peter got to visit the Hadron Collider, in Geneva, this summer. When I FaceTimed him he was as animated as a girl at drama camp. He was all, “proton collisions, Higgs bosons, top quarks and massive particles, bla, bla, bla..”
“That’s ok, I said, “If you’d rather not talk about it, I understand.”

Seriously though, I get it. Physics teaches critical thinking and problem solving. Fluid dynamics and pressure-volume-resistance relationships apply to the circulatory system. Pressure-volume curves can apply to lung function, heat transfer is applicable to frostbite, hypothermia and fevers - nuclear physics applies to nuclear medicine (SPECT, PET scans and radiation therapy and lasers) - yatta, yatta yatta.

But why ME, oh, lord?
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Menagerie: a varied mixture of exotic things
Jaicob Jun 1
Last day of school
Last English class
Last hug before study hall
Last school lunch
Last laugh with friends
Last history lesson
Last class game
Last bell
Last.
Anais Vionet Apr 14
Two nights ago, Sophy and I were studying for our chemistry class in a library 24/7 room. Those feature large open areas with couches, tables with computers and some other, small desks behind cubicle walls. We were seated in the cubicle area. It was after 11pm, a time when the library rooms are usually deserted.

Suddenly, these five brolics come noisily into the open area. As soon as we heard them, Sophy and I exchanged a look where we asked each other, “Should we leave?” But we decided to wait and see if they’d settle down or stay.

There’s a native kind of white, frat **** I’ve encountered once or twice in my year at Yale. These men, usually upperclassmen, are big, rude, entitled and combative ***** who are positive they rule the universe. We derisively call them “scions”.

One time Leong and I were in line to buy snacks. Leong had just stepped up to the register and this scion walked up - cutting the line - to buy a drink. He reached out with his card almost hitting Leong in the face - like she wasn’t there, like the line wasn’t there. I'm sure the checkout lady just quickly processed his card to avoid a scene.

Now there were 5 of those jerks in one room - their inherent chaos introducing them. They were loud and bunxious (hello, can you say library QUIET?). One, in particular, had a very deep, grinding and irritating voice. He started truthing to his audience, crowing about a recent, violent, ******* encounter he’d had. Sophy and I looked at each other in shock, like “***??”

At the end of his explicit narration, he kept repeating “Bang’n it.. Bangin’ it.. Bangin’ it.. Bangin’ it..” slowly, rhythmically, grindingly over and over - he must have said it 80 times with various nasty inflections. While he was playing that out, the others were laughing and yelling encouragement and raunchy feedback over his “Bang’n it” mantra.

I’m sure they didn’t know we were there. But I turned a little and drew my feet up onto my chair, my knees becoming a small wall, in case the barbarians rounded the corner. I’ll admit that ******-guys like that scare me a little and there’s something in the tone of their voices that makes my skin crawl.

This seemed more than those “guy’s locker room talks” we’ve all heard about. The scene seemed oddly private and primitive, like a band of excited apes celebrating a ****. Perhaps something one was more likely to overhear in a dark fraternity basement than in a college library.

I guess I experienced a moment of gendered fear. Sophy and I both scrunched down in our seats a bit, exchanging “chagrinned, what now” looks. There just didn’t seem an opportune moment to reveal ourselves by leaving. Sophy showed me her phone - the app that summons a security escort if a student needs one was up - but I shook my head “no,” to mean “not yet,” and we decided to wait.

After about 15 minutes one of them said, “Let's get a drink” and they left. Thank God. I wonder what would have happened if we stood up and left. Hopefully nothing, but even now I shudder at the memory of that guy's voice. Those guys were way, way more than creepy.
BLT word of the day challenge: Opportune: "suitable or appropriate time."


slang:
brolic = tough, hostile, steroid-aggressive, and possibly crazed
truthing = telling his story
bunxious = obnoxious, loud, rambunctious, disorderly
Anais Vionet Feb 9
The alarm interrupted my sleep with the urgency of lust
or sudden inheritance - only to end up being neither.

“Alexa, good morning,” I say, as I stretch. My room lights illuminate - in red mode - like a submarine lit for night routine and my Keurig springs to life.

How could someone living my dull, slow, academic life be so walking-dead tired in the morning? After all I got - trying to focus on my tiny Apple watch - 4 hours sleep. I rubbed my dry eyes and auroras traveled across my lids.

When I pull open my drapes, all I see is a waning moon suggesting light to a dark world. I step around abandoned clothes, lying where they fell like soldiers.

Aggk! I recoil when I see a three-day-old corpse in the mirror.
Ugh, gross, I fell asleep wearing my ****** detox mask.

My clock reads 5:40am. I whisper to my AI, “Alexa, what’s today’s forecast?” “Currently, It’s 21°, today will be sunny with a high of 27°” she whispers back.

In a moment of non assignment related forethought, while tooth brushing, I strip my pillowcase, tossing it on a pile of ***** clothes next to the full hamper of equally ***** clothes.

MattyBRaps begins throbbing “Little Bit” in the room next door. That means Leong’s awake - she’s obsessed with a 15 year old boy-singer on Youtube.

I wiggle into my spandex, grab my iPad and water bottle, then head down to the basement gym. I can replay my chemistry class while walking on the treadmill.

Good morning.
Anais Vionet Jan 7
With three more weeks of holiday vacation,
Lisa and I’ve started studying 5 hours a day.
You can read a novel for atmosphere
but you have to puzzle over and wring-out academic books
- with their essays and worksheets after every chapter.
I feel a simultaneous focus and boredom
- but the pull of school is staggering
- like resisting it could break me apart.
you can’t wait - all around the country, thousands of Yalies are back hard at it
Anais Vionet Nov 2021
A wall of Jacobean era lattice-windows
line my dorm room - my private eyes.

How many freshmen have watched
the gilt harvest moon from this seat?

I keep them open, for cool breezes,
and the comforting the sounds of life,
in overworked, needy moments.
the university opened in 1706 - I guess I'm not unique
Michael T Chase Jul 2021
I can only learn one word at a time,
for an equation,
one character at a time.
self-study
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