Tying Loose Ends: Spring Break


With the goal of finishing my incomplete thoughts from this past week, I'm writing the night away.

Part I: The Art of Manliness
Part II: Economics and Teaching
Part III: Spring Break Recap


Let's just go over what I wanted to do over break and tell the story that way.

  • Spend time with Friends and Family
Check. I spent much of the early week with Stefan and Mike (and got to see Dan), eating at our usual favorites and just hanging out, and I even managed to see Adam and Evan at the end of the week. Also got to spend time with my parents and Simba, and Sandeep even got back from Austin on Saturday!

We found Mike's old Simpsons VHS tapes!

  • Visit the site of the Battle of Gettysburg at sunrise
Close! Sara and I took a road trip on Wednesday, and we were even able to visit Diane on the way there and back. We left during the day and were able to catch Gettysburg at sunset and stargaze over Diane's humble town. I thought the cemetery would be like the scene in Remember the Titans, but it turns out that was filmed in Georgia. The site was still amazing though. They left the fields barren and it was just a small exercise of the imagination to feel the history and bloodshed that happened where we stood. 

This was the Union perspective on July 3, 1863 as Pickett's Charge advanced from the treeline


  • Try writing a “This, I Believe”
Not yet. I've finally settled on a topic, though. I'll try to write and revise it by the end of the month, and post it when I'm happy with it. 

  • Talk to my awesome high school physics teacher
I got to talk to him and my awesome high school english literature teacher. Check out this post from a few days ago for my thoughts on that. 

  • Catch up on my Electricity & Magnetism and Ethical Theory classes
  • Read Crime & Punishment
These two are together because.. I didn't do them. The first one has to happen this week though, and unfortunately the second one is a casualty, for now. 

  • Make a Charlie Chaplin movie outline for the rest of the semester
Done! Wrote about it on Sunday: Link .

  • Visit the American Museum of Natural History
When I got home and looked it up, I found that Neil deGrasse Tyson, the same man whose voice you can hear in The Most Astounding Fact, which got 2 million views in about a week, was giving an evening talk at the museum about his book, Space Chronicles. How serendipitous! I snatched a ticket as soon as I found out, and visited the museum during the day, hung out around Central Park, and returned for his talk, a photo, and an autograph! I think I finally understand him now. 

Sooo awesome.


He's upset that America isn't at the forefront of technology anymore. So he did some research and concluded that expensive endeavors are almost always justified by either war, promises of wealth, or worship (Glory, Gold, and God, in imperialist terms). Worship is unlikely and war is bad, so he tackles wealth and prosperity. 

Tyson asserts that the economic and scientific success America has had since the 60s is because of the culture of innovation that space exploration inspired. Also, that we've been coasting on that for a while without new propulsion, and that's why today we're being passed. So, he thinks we should increase NASA's budget (which he'll never forget to remind you is a mere four-tenths of a penny out of your tax dollar) in order to recreate the scientific climate which changed our lives for the better in the past few decades. 

Sounds good to me. What to do about it, though? Advocate for this. Vote for people who believe this. Write letters to newspapers and congressmen. Do something!