It is the final season here at Brandeis meaning that midterm season which started in mid-September and runs until, well just about right now, is over. We Brandeis students have been pushing hard to make it to this point without any breaks from the beginning of October to last week, but now winter break is now shining like the light at the end of the tunnel. We are all almost there, nearly reaching the end of it and claiming our well-earned rest.
This tunnel, which I am told is the only one in which you want to run towards the light, is unfortunately guarded with booby traps to instill more anxiety in our weary hearts. But, to perhaps make the journey more bearable or at least validate some of you and the crazy thoughts you have had throughout the semester I thought that I would share my deepest inner thoughts with you all.
These are things which keep me up at night and keep me wondering how the heck any of us got here and how any of us are going to be successful. Let’s begin with the little stuff that does not put straight into existential mode but works hard to get me there:
Fridge is spelled with a “D” but refrigerator is not. Since when did shortening a word mean adding letters to it that are not even in the original and longer word? Also why does the “D” have to be there if when we say the word fridge it comes out as “frih-ja”. The “D” is not even used in the pronunciation of the word when we shorten it! This is one of the many reasons why I will be billing the English Language for my therapy in the coming years.
You can drink a drink but cannot food a food. This one is less intense and certainly less linguistic based than the previous thought but the point stands. How is it that drink can be a verb and a noun within the same sentence? I can tell someone to drink their drink but food is only a noun? Why can’t we also just assign it verb status out of the social justice principle of equality! It would also reduce the number of words we use when speaking. Rather than saying, “I am eating my food” we can cut that in half and just say, “I food my food.”
Dust. Just dust, just the concept of dust. How is it that something can simply be sitting in whatever place that it is in and just become dirty? No one has to use it or touch it and it could even be inside where it is protected from the elements but it can still become dirty. Then we sneeze because I guess in a weird way, we all sneeze because we are all in some minor way allergic to dust?
And my final small thought is why is that when we break a bone in our body it can heal itself but when we get a tiny cavity, we have to get that filled? I mean maybe I am just bitter because I had to get four fillings over the summer because I “don’t floss enough” or whatever my dentist was telling me. I don’t know, doesn’t matter anyway, what would my dentist even know? I mean he is a Brandeis graduate after all.
So, while those little thoughts which don’t make any sense linger in the front of my mind, two thoughts sit in the back which haunt me to my core and truly keep me up at night. Let us begin with my thoughts on dark matter. If you look at all the mass in the universe you would assume that the universe, if pretty close to constant expansion, is no longer expanding or will implode on itself. But as it turns out, the universe is expanding but not just that—it is accelerating. The universe is getting bigger fast and the end of the universe is both the beginning and the end of time and when we ask scientists why this is they say it is because of “dark matter” and that “70 percent of the universe could consist of dark matter.” But then when we ask what dark matter is all the scientists can say is “we don’t know’. That doesn’t make any sense!
So, when I finally bring myself down to Earth from my thoughts on space my mind then begins to wander about the smaller stuff like atoms. We are all made up of atoms. In fact, we are made up of the same stuff that stars are made up of. To use a Neil DeGrasse Tyson quote, “we are all stardust” and when we drink water, we are drinking the same molecules of water that passed through dinosaurs and other creatures before it got to us. Now all of that has an answer but when we touch something our atoms collide with other atoms which are mainly empty space and somehow, we do not faze through other objects. Yet again, when we ask scientists why this is, they say, “we don’t know.” THAT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE.
This world does not make any sense and I hope that these thoughts which I have accumulated throughout this semester can provide you with some joy and fun things to take your mind off of finals. Or perhaps if you are a maniac like me, well then maybe I just validated some of your thoughts—congrats.