Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Five questions

The five questions meme. Here's how it works:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your journal with the answers to the questions (or leave your answers in my comments).

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Greg interviewed me:

1. What's the most beautiful object in space?

Just one? JUST ONE?!?!?! Alright, there's the pretty blue marble. There's also Rho Ophiuchi, but that technically isn't just one object. But it always comes back to Saturn, for me. Especially with the images that Cassini keeps sending back, Saturn is a constant battle of sunlight and shadow, globes and rings...there's a sense of perspective here that we can't get anywhere else (yet).



2. You've got two weeks, a full tank of gas (and means to refuel), snacks and a credit card. Where you going?

Assuming I need to start from home, I drive north from Phoenix, heading through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. I stop for good food in Flagstaff. I then drive north and go through Zion and Bryce National Parks in Utah. Continuing north, I head into Idaho, driving through the Sun Valley area, and continue on to Glacier National Park in Montana. From there, westward to Vancouver. I head south and hit Seattle. Now that I've had a few days of city life, I head out to the Washington coast and then take Pacific Coast Highway all the way down the west coast. I'll take a detour to Powell's, I mean, Portland to restock on books, but otherwise I'll stay on the coast all the way through Oregon and California (stopping off at the Ferry Building in San Francisco) down to Cambria where I'll turn inland because the southern California coast is boring. Time for a quick meal in L.A. with friends before heading back to Phoenix. (My suitcase is calling upon me to fill it. Restless!)

3. Old stand-by: Dinner with any three people, living or dead. Who are they? (And, yes, you can just sit quietly and eavesdrop on the conversation if you want.)

I am obviously well-known by my interviewer, because I would definitely want to be quiet and eavesdrop. This is a hard question, because for the most part, I find ordinary people discussing their daily lives to be the most interesting. Maybe just three people off the street. (The sentimental part of me would invite Dad to have one last meal with Mom because she misses him so much and I'd leave them alone.)

4. You can teach your students one concept and one concept only, but they will completely understand and embrace this concept. What's on the syllabus?

How science is done. So many students want to learn the immutable truth, but science is all about change, a process and not a set of facts. And I would hope that, by the end of the course, I'd never hear the question, "Is that true?", but rather, "How'd we figure that out?"

5. What's one fear you wish you could eradicate from your system?

My biggest fear is of doing the wrong thing. This extends to all parts of my life, and I wish it didn't. It isn't just the big things like where will I move to or what my next life goal will be. I worry about making a bad choice of route to take or dinner I'll cook. We all make bad choices, but I don't want my fears to stop me from making choices at all.

10 comments:

Kirsten said...

#5. Amen, sister.

Carl said...

Interview me!

Dr. Lisa said...

Carl:

1. If you could live anywhere, money being no problem, where would it be?

2. When was the most frustrated you've ever been with a student, and what did you do?

3. Similar to Greg's question for me, if you could be guaranteed that your students would remember one thing from your class, what would you want it to be?

4. Name one science fiction/fantasy author whose works have had the most effect on you.

5. You have a beautiful kitchen, well-equipped and well-stocked with any ingredients you want. (Once again, money is no object.) What dinner would you make? Appetizers? Dessert? :)

Carl said...

Here are my answers Dr. Lisa!

1. If you could live anywhere, money being no problem, where would it be?

On an island in the Mediterranean. Never been there, but I've seen pictures.


2. When was the most frustrated you've ever been with a student, and what did you do?

I could not get the concept of "If body A exerts a force on body B, then body B exerts a force on body A. Those forces are equal in magnitude and also opposite in direction" across to a student. Usually they pick up on it after a couple of tries. Not this one. I had to excuse myself from the room so that I didn't say anything mean.


3. Similar to Greg's question for me, if you could be guaranteed that your students would remember one thing from your class, what would you want it to be?

Honestly I don't think I can give a better answer than you did. I'd love for them to learn the process of doing science. This way I would never again have to read the words "there is no such thing as evolution" on a website.


4. Name one science fiction/fantasy author whose works have had the most effect on you.

This was a tough one. Even though I have not read any novels by Stephen Baxter in the last few years I have to say it is him. Looking through my book catalogue I remembered how much I loved the novels Anti Ice, The Time Ships, and Voyage. While reading it I swore that Anti Ice was really written by Jules Verne. The Time Ships had the right feel to it. I may have a soft spot for these novels because the first two novels I ever bought were The Time Machine and War of the Worlds (my school must have thought them safe for young minds). I read them both so many times they fell apart. The first novel I remember getting as a gift was 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. As for Voyage, who wouldn't want to see a manned mission to Mars? Sorry John Barnes, you finished a close second.



5. You have a beautiful kitchen, well-equipped and well-stocked with any ingredients you want. (Once again, money is no object.) What dinner would you make? Appetizers? Dessert? :)

Appetizer: Beans & greens, a little on the soupy side with toasted bread
First course: spaghetti with sun dried tomatoes and porcini mushrooms
Second course: Grilled swordfish
Dessert: yellow cake with chocolate peanut butter frosting

Nothing too fancy.

Dr. Lisa said...

Stephen Baxter - good answer.

When are you gonna make me that dinner? :)

Carl said...

I need a grill first!

Charly said...

Interview me!

Dr. Lisa said...

Charly:

1. Are you happy having chosen Physics over Engineering?

2. Do you ever think of giving up the academic track to pursue music full-time?

3. Top five favorite foods?

4. What is the biggest difference living in Boston for the summer as opposed to Phoenix (or Hermosillo, for that matter)?

5. You have to make the choice - give up reading or give up listening to music. Which do you choose?

AaronJV said...

#3 is the sweetest thing I ever heard. Almost made me cry.

Dr. Lisa said...

D'awww...thanks, sweetie.