My other half is a scientist, which is a bit of a trend here in academia so I guess that makes us kind of a stereotype. Luckily we don’t work in the same lab, or the same field, or even ever see each other at work. In fact what we do is so different it doesn’t even seem like we do the same thing. And, no, we don’t talk about error bars or standard deviation at home.
This weekend was a mile stone in the relationship timeline, the Amalgamation Of The Possessions. For those of you yet to go through this it involves putting your shamefully embarrassing CD/DVD collection up for scrutiny, trying to palm as much stuff off on the local charity shop/freecycle network/Ebay as possible and, deciding which copy of duplicate possessions to keep.
Item number 1: two copies of Kafka’s The Castle. The discussion went a bit like this:
Me: Which one of these should we keep?
Me: Because we have two copies, nobody needs two copies of a book
Him: (perusing both copies) Mine, because yours appears to be in Chinese
Me: It’s just the cover, and that’s exactly why we should keep mine. I was given it in a hostel in China and so it has sentimental value
Him: but the pages are falling out, I would miss out pages of the story…
Now I personally believe that even if pages are missing from Kafka it doesn’t affect your understanding of his stories but nevertheless both copies made it side-by-side on our new bookcase. Despite the fact neither of us are probably ever going to read the book again. On the other hand, between us we own only one small saucepan.
Now a pre-requisite for science is logic. Not common sense, I think we can provide plenty of scientific examples (myself included) that prove that. But logic is right up there. You logically follow a train of thought and carry out logical experiments and things come to their logical conclusion and if they don’t then you think of logical reasons why and test them out. And if there are no logical explanations then people puzzle over it for a few years and in the end a logical solution will be found. It’s enough to make any Vulcan proud.
So I think it’s nice, if not always practical, that even two scientists can follow their heart and not their head when they want to. And when I seem to be spending more time in the lab than anywhere else right now I embrace these moments that would make Spock turn in his metaphorical grave (is Spock alive??) and remind me I’m a person as well as a scientist.