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Juxtapositions

April 2, 2015

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Not nearly as often as I’d like, but from time to time, Peter comes into my office and hangs out. He’s more likely to stay awhile if I allow him to lecture me on some topic (whatever his obsession du jour is… which, for months now, it’s been physics, ever since he started taking physics in school). Here, he’s talking about the behavior of various kinds of waves, and actually has a small slinky in his hand that he is using to demonstrate the various wave properties. (The slinky reflected the flash in my camera so glaringly I edited it out, sorry… I know… it makes the picture look a little weird. I also replaced his red eyes with slightly mis-aligned black dots, which explains the faraway look in his not-usually-black eyes, but hey.. it was dark-ish in my office and this was the best I could do with a pretty marginal photo.)

The reason I took the picture (somewhat to his annoyance) was because as I listened to him talk, I suddenly realized that behind the big, mature sixteen-year-old version of Peter was of a photo of a tiny, five-year-old version of him in kindergarten. And, as it happens, the kindergarten photo is taken in front of a poster full of numbers. The juxtaposition kinda choked me up. I mean, he’s kicking back in a rocking chair that is way too small for his large, gangly frame such that he’s got one very long leg slung over one of the arms, and he’s lecturing on and on in his cracky, teen-version-of-baritone voice about concepts that are well beyond my present day understanding of physics and instead of hearing the substance of what he’s saying I’m just floating back in time. I could recall exactly how his whispy hair and delicate skin smelled and how his voice was so high and sweet back then. And oh man, I’d love to hear that voice.

It was a bit hard to focus on wave theories.

Time does march on, doesn’t it? We hit a significant milestone today, as, at 5:00am, the scores from his recently-taken SAT test were available online. Is that a milestone? Feels like it. He was so incredibly anxious to know his results that he set an alarm so he could log on at the moment they’d be posted (I mentioned he’s a bit obsessive, right?).

And at 5:01, he’d seen his scores and, satisfied, went back to bed (I guess).

Don’t want to say a lot about that, because, you know, scores are scores, just like grades are grades, and batting averages are batting averages, and ERAs are ERAs.. and they are but a teeny tiny measure of a person who is much more than his scores, grades and averages (!). But I will say this: ┬áPeter’s obsession with physics is a good match for his skills.