In my 45 years on this earth I have had a lot of interests. When I was a child I was interested in drawing, music, playing the piano and exploring the infinite realm of my imagination. As I grew older, those things I cherished as a child stuck with me. Rather than paying attention to what the teacher was saying in class, I was either doodling or looking off in no particular direction and imagining I was somewhere else, doing something I’d rather be doing. That didn’t get me very far in school. I remember one or more teachers telling my parents that I was hopeless, that I couldn’t be taught anything. Little did they realize that it just wasn’t my time for learning, it was my time to develop the creative mind inside my skull. Learning the usual curriculum would come later.
As I got older, I began composing music, worked in Information Technology and eventually enrolled in a college to get a bachelors degree in Graphic Design (which I am still working on). Then I began to write short stories and poetry, my creative mind growing and growing. Suddenly I began to become interested in what made the world tick. I became interested in archaeology, solar physics and now as I enter into my 46th year, with three books under my belt and several more waiting in the wings, I have become insanely interested in particle physics. Why?
Well the only reason I can come up with is because I want to know it, I want to understand the universe of the very small. I used to look through my telescope and see the vastness of our galaxy, our universe and gasp with awe at the complexities within it. I was, and still am, a huge fan of Dr. Carl Sagan, Dr. Stephen Hawking and just recently Dr. Brian Cox. Brian Cox, yes he was the spark that lit the fire of my mind. Brian is a theoretical physicist and before that was in the rock bands Dare and D:ream. He too was grabbed by the physics bug and moved on from his musical background to become an incredible contribution to the scientific community.
I am always changing, always wanting to explore new things. Despite a horribly poor ability to do math in the past, for some reason I have begun to get some sense of understanding it. While I will most likely never excel at the math necessary to fully grasp theoretical physics – I can and will still endeavor to pursue learning it and trying to understand it. I have started to watch the lectures of Leonard Susskind at Stanford University. I have found his teaching style to be compatible with my ability to grasp the theories and mathematics behind particle physics, quantum electrodynamics, quantum chromodynamics, quarks, mesons, anti-particles, bosons, fermions, etc. It’s all very fascinating to me.
So to those teachers who thought I was a lost cause, that there was no hope in my future or ability to learn. Well, you just didn’t understand my needs. I am not being prideful when I say that I am very very smart, I can do whatever I set my mind to doing, when the time is right. That was the missing piece of the puzzle back in the days when I didn’t want to learn. I set the pace, not anyone else. I suspect I will continue to gather new and interesting things to learn about as I grow older. God willing I will have time to grasp it all before I kick the bucket.