Earlier this year, I made a compelling case for how science professors are like rock stars. I was reminded of this today as I walked near campus with my daughter. We passed a person who was singing a Beatles' song to himself, and my daughter asked me:
"When you're in a cafe and you see someone reading that book you helped write, I wonder if you feel the same way that Paul McCartney does when he hears someone singing one of his songs."
I, for one, am convinced that we feel exactly the same, despite a few differences in Paul's and my situations with respect to our artistic creations. (One example: people sing his songs by choice.)
I assured my daughter that Paul and I share this experience. Perhaps I did so because I want her to value scientific creativity as much as other kinds.
Perhaps I want her to know that if her rock band, which practices about twice a year, doesn't work out, there are other appealing options in life.
Perhaps I wanted to make up for the fact that, much to her disappointment and disbelief, I don't have a favorite Beatle. She asks me every few months, but the answer is always the same. Although she continues to hope, I figure that if it hasn't happened yet, I am unlikely to acquire a favorite Beatle at my advanced age.
Mostly, however, I knew that she would know I was joking if I compared myself to the Beatles, and that we would have fun talking about the analogy between musical and scientific artistes. Now if only I could get the rest of my family to believe that I might be as creative as my cousin who majored in Ethnic Dance more than 10 years ago and who has a favorite Beatle.
10 years ago