Volcanoes And Sharks And Physics, Oh My!
Start writing a post
Student Life

Volcanoes And Sharks And Physics, Oh My!

A journey through some of the things I've loved over the course of my life.

16
Volcanoes And Sharks And Physics, Oh My!
National Geographic

One summer, when I was still in elementary school, I loved volcanoes. I kept renewing a book about earthquakes and volcanoes from the library all summer long and read some pages of it before I went to bed each night. I read and reread, traced my fingers across the cool, glossy images printed in hot hues of red and brown and orange and yellow. We didn’t have earthquakes here, or volcanoes, but I imagined what it would be like to stand in a city shaken at its roots, or to watch molten rock flow down the streets as ashes rained from the sky. It fascinated me more than it terrified me back then, and I fancied myself a volcanologist, or even a seismologist, in my future. I thought I was so smart. I don’t remember any of the facts I read back then, and I haven’t been interested in earthquakes or volcanoes since. In fact, as I got older, I looked away from the ground and up at the sky.

Still, in that time, I've looked at plenty of things in between. I've always loved to read, and while, growing up, my domain was fiction, I couldn't help but be curious about the real world around me.

I remember I spent another summer reading books about sharks, with only the occasional novel slipped in between. I have less vivid memories of this, but I remember the book series I read that had a different species of shark on each cover. I vaguely remember the blue and white images, and the disclaimers that most sharks weren't dangerous to people at all. I don't really remember what I learned from those books, either, but whatever it was certainly enchanted me as I tucked the books in under my pillow each night.

There was another year that I became somewhat interested in particle physics. It probably started when I first heard a song about quarks by Hank Green called "Strange Charm", which then turned into my thirteen-year-old self binge reading Wikipedia articles on quantum mechanics. I, of course, understood absolutely nothing, but I found it extremely interesting (the way it's rewarding to read scholarly scientific journal articles, even if you don't understand a single word). I didn't really like my physical science class at the time, but I decided that physics sounded both horrible and interesting.

But even though I found that particle physics interested me, I started to learn a little bit about astrophysics and decided that, while particle physics could keep me up at night for just as long, astrophysics just sounded cooler. Sure, I felt sick just thinking about the fact that the universe was infinitely expanding, and I hated the feeling of being so small on a cosmic scale. But if I was going to pursue an interest of mine, I thought, it had to be the flashiest one. And what's flashier than the vast expanse of a universe that came into existence with a big bang?

Thus was born my love of space. I became interested in other things after, but that love lingered, and when it came time for me to go off to college, I chose to pursue it. I'm now much more comfortable with the idea of an ever-expanding universe and human beings' cosmic insignificance, and I think physics is less horrible and more interesting than I used to believe. I made a conscious decision to pursue the flashy thing, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But, I'll admit, I'm glad I learned about other cool things along the road.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Black Friday: Explained

Time to question this unofficial corporate holiday.

1405
Flickr/John Henderson

On a personal level, Black Friday has always confused me. Everyone just ate a ton and spent all day with their families—why would we want to go out and vigorously shop, fighting crowds? I totally see why other people want to go do it, but I’ve never quite understood the concept myself. While I’ve been Black Friday shopping once or twice, I don’t get that excited about it unless it’s an opportunity to spend time with family or friends. Don’t get me wrong; I am the queen of bargains. Still, I never seem to have the energy to go out into the jungle of shoppers early the day after Thanksgiving, or even immediately after Thanksgiving dinner. Many people, though—including my loved ones—are enthusiastic about Black Friday shopping, and it seems most other Americans are the same way. So, it’s worth looking at the reasons for this commercially-driven, unofficial American holiday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

#OptOutside This Black Friday

I am opting to go outside this Black Friday, and I hope you do so as well.

4477
Ross Woodhall

The day after Thanksgiving has always been regarded by many as the beginning of the Christmas season. While not a federal holiday, many people take off work, spend time at home with their families, and enjoy the beginning of the holiday season. This Friday off turned into a prime opportunity to begin the never-ending chore of Christmas shopping. Soon it became one of the busiest shopping days a year, which companies capitalized on by bringing the best deals of the year to this day we know as Black Friday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

Cereal never seemed more appealing than at 10 pm.

6225
7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

There is almost nothing more annoying in the world than waking up to the sound of an alarm. From the moment you get up until the time you get to bed, you are bombarded with responsibilities. You have to go to work and school, run errands, and do favors. But if you're a night owl then you have an advantage of getting a few more extra hours in the day. Here are seven perks to being a night owl:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

17 tasty foods to cook in an air fryer

Air fryers are becoming a staple in all health conscious households because of its delicious, yet grease free way of cooking your favorite dishes! We all love a good fried chicken dish, but this is a great alternative if you are eating mindfully.

There are plenty of places that sell air fryers such as Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon.

5126
Air Fryed Avocado Fries
Photo by: Tatum Oblonsky

Keep Reading... Show less
Wallpapers Pro

The Thanksgiving season is a time we spend with our loved ones giving thanks for the blessings we are given. Here are 20 Bible verses that remind us of what Thanksgiving is all about:

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments