It seems these past few weeks, Europe has had a cold spell (understatement of the year?). Apparently, so has Asia. And well, the western United States as well (Currently, the temperatures in Paris, Seoul, Lincoln NE, Salt Lake City, Wolfsburg are all between 24 and 34 degrees Fahrenheit)
Meanwhile, it's supposed to get to 50 degrees Fahrenheit today in Cville. I need it to, for my experiment. The seeding of iodine in nitrogen gas is highly temperature-dependent. A 10 degree difference in temperature results in a factor of 2 difference in seeding. (That means that if my experiment runs at 50 degrees, the we get half as much iodine as it would be at 60 degrees and twice as much as it would be at 40 degrees) If I was in Europe, or Asia or the western United States, I would have no hope of graduating this year.
Knowing that the temperature in Virginia has been uncharacteristically warm lately in the midst of extreme cold elsewhere makes me realize how blessed and lucky I am, and I am hopeful that my experiments will run well. But it also makes me wonder and think about my place in this world.
Lately, I have been reading of Embracing Defeat by John W. Dowes. It's about Japan and the aftermath of WWII. After reading just the Introduction, I put my head down and cried.
Sometimes, it's hard as an American to come to grips with the changes we forced upon other countries, to truly understand what role we have played in the world for good and bad. It is hard to accept responsibility for our mistakes.
We are all connected - and we always have been. What connections will I make with my brief life? Will they have lasting positive or negative consequences?
This song came across my desk today. It's called "I Won't Leave You Alone" by Mayday. Along with the title is this message, "If you hear this song, I want to let you know, 'You are the one I could never let go.'"
Who will we never let go?