I had an uncomfortable moment a few days ago while looking through the “Please make a contribution” site that my university alumni association implores everyone to visit; flipping through the pictures of now-suspiciously-young-looking college kids working in this materials lab or playing with that flow device, all the while wondering how staged these were (fluid dynamics labs blew goats, not wind), I read a comment about an aging lab and said to myself “that’s not old, that’s new.” A creeping sense of discomfort built in my stomach, however, as I examined that statement again. That lab was new. When I was a freshman. Normalizing my timeline to that of the happy kids in the pictures, freshman me (hello, fall of 2000) would have been walking by a lab that was built in… 1984?
No, that could not possibly be right, could it? Shit. Mental math 1, emotional response 0.
I can recall thinking that 30 seemed, if not decrepit, firmly in the “old” range. So how the fuck could I possibly have turned 35?
No clue. On the other hand, we did learn something: sparklers look great on a birthday cake, but deposit a sulphur-flavored dust (so we wound up removing the uppermost layer of frosting).