Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Astrophysicist at Columbia

Stephanie e-mailed me today. She must have been talking to Kristen, because she asked me about the Foraging Theory book, and there's no possible way that news could have gotten to her through anyone but Kristen.

The last time I e-mailed Stephanie was during undergrad. There was a volley of about three e-mails. I think I sent her a hello. She sent me a response telling me about her undergrad research, and in it she mentioned not having a complete grasp of something about the surface magnetic currents on cool stars (like our sun). So for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to explain it to her (even though I (probably obviously) didn't know this off the top of my head and had to research it myself).

So that was a typical long e-mail from me. Then I didn't hear from her after that. I'm hoping it was just because the e-mail was too long to deal with and not because the e-mail was a pompous waste of time and "e-breath."

The last time I actually talked to Stephanie in person has got to be high school. In fact, it might be her high school going away (or birthday?) party. I met her sister there too (can't place the name now)... She was studying web design in college for some reason, so Stephanie mentioned she should talk to me. I probably was too helpful to be anything but creepy, and that's the last I heard from either of the T's.

Alright, so in high school (and in middle school too? we both were on the high school math bus in 8th grade, I think...) I got a kick out of talking to Stephanie in class. During those four years, she was #1 in our class for at least one or two of them, and I was confident that she was the only one who actually deserved it. She was brilliant and extremely social. I just got a kick out of talking to her. She had good stories about her family, and she had really great mean things to say about the rest of the people in our classes. Always a good time. I only hope she thought something similar of me. Otherwise, Stephanie and I really didn't know much about each other. We had different friends. I was usually dating Kelly or Angie or Lauren or someone at the time, and (as Kristen frequently reminds me) she was dating some guy who I don't think I even knew (probably some college boy).

So I really respected Stephanie. And I was sad to lose touch with her. And thus, the e-mail that led to the surface magnetic currents on cool stars like our sun...

So she e-mails me today asking me about the book and why on EARTH I would stay at Ohio State for graduate school (she's at Columbia, and she came from SWARTHMORE... ). So I responded, and I tried to be brief, and I *TRIED* not to sound like a pompous ass... and I TRIED to ask questions that would give me information about how she's doing and what she's doing and what she did between undergrad and grad school...

But I forgot to even say anything about the weather. She's going to school at COLUMBIA and I forgot to say any sort of "Good luck in the snow" or something...

But, oh well...

I used to have so many smart, interested, interesting, independent, thoughtful people around me. I miss people like Stephanie and Erin (and even Kristen when she's feeling deep and not simply looking for a man to marry). (yes, Jenn, you too, but you're grouped a little differently) And why are all these names female? Maybe that's a dumb question. Or maybe I'm just overlooking names like Miles... and... John? Shawn?

Bed time for Teddie.

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