Saturday, October 02, 2010

at the start of october

You might recall that during my travels I revisited the idea of studying French again. It was back in 2004-2005, I think, when I took introductory courses 101 and 102 at the Alliance Francaise downtown but then, stopped doing so when I went to Chicago for graduate school. Occupied by graduate school and then, my health after wards, I let French slip by although my interest in it remained. But one can always come back. That's the beauty. We can always try again. And so, that's exactly what I'm doing.

This past Tuesday was my first French course at the Alliance Francaise. I knew I had forgotten a lot, but not until I sat in Tuesday's 101 class did I realize how much. The class meets every Tuesday evening for 3 hours. So, I get home at about 10pm. It's definitely a commitment after a full day at work, but it's a worthy one. I'd like to complete courses 101-103 ending in June, which would complete the introductory French level.

Last night was fun. After work, I headed to the American Museum of Natural History, where with two friends I listened to Dr. Max Tegmark, a MIT professor, discuss the Big Bang, parallel universes, expansion of the universe, and other fascinating topics. Titled The History of the Universe in One Hour, he weaved pop culture, physics, cosmology, and politics brilliantly into his talk making it both stimulating and fun. For example, this funny Simpsons clip was included in his introduction.

It was my first time attending an astronomical lecture at the AMNH.

On Wednesday, Sloan-Kettering will host its annual Stem Cell Transplantation Survivorship Celebration but I'll be away that night helping to chaperone the 5th and 6th grade students on an overnight field trip. This will be the first time in three years that I won't be able to attend. Here's a brief report about the hospital's SCT celebration two years ago: Transplant Survivors Celebrate at 13th Annual Party.

Finally, a couple of my Harlem River bridge photographs are in the 2009 NYC's Bridges and Tunnels Annual Condition Report, which was released in June. You'll find my images on pages 74, 75, 81, 276, and 283.


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