Three weeks into this course, I realize just how much I love science.
When I started computer science, it was, in many ways, out of self-management. I knew I needed a degree to make any sort of respectable money as a grown-up. I knew that I didn’t want to write any more literary analysis papers, or really liberal arts papers in general. I also knew that if I got bored or felt that I was smarter than everyone around me, that I wouldn’t go to class, and then I would fail out of college. So I chose a discipline closely related to my worst subject, math. I didn’t know at the time that I would love CS as much as I do–just that I needed to do it.
Throughout my undergrad, I struggled. I didn’t make great grades. I bombed (from my perspective) a couple of classes. But the struggle felt good. It was hard, and I was doing something important. As Jeffrey Ullman pointed out, CS people can change the world, far more than history people can.
And I surrounded myself with people who loved science. Alpha Sigma Kappa is full of girls who LOVE science.
So did science become a central part of my life.
I didn’t realize how much I loved it, I think, until I left. (That’s the thing about doing something completely different, living somewhere completely different… You don’t understand how important things are to you until you can step back and get some perspective on them.)
Now, I’m looking for ways to keep science integrated in my life. I think I am going to do MIT’s OpenCourseWare course in linear algebra. I have also sent a request to the CS faculty list in hopes of getting suggestions of papers to read.
I also think I’m going to apply at both Stanford and MIT to do my PhD. Because clearly I am a crazy person.
Long live science, the greatest achievement of the human mind.