Lifetime Learning

The boy and I went to a Fron­tiers of Astron­o­my lec­ture at the Cleve­land Muse­um of Nat­ur­al His­to­ry tonight to learn about grav­i­ta­tion­al waves from Dr. Kel­ly Hol­ley-Bock­el­mann. Here’s a sim­i­lar ver­sion of her talk:

For a quick run-down about the impor­tance of grav­i­ta­tion­al waves: Top 5 Tar­gets of a Grav­i­ty Wave Obser­va­to­ry.

I’d for­got­ten how much I missed hang­ing around a cam­pus and going to ran­dom lec­tures and learn­ing new things straight from the experts. That was one of the high­light of attend­ing a uni­ver­si­ty. Plus the snacks after!

It was my son’s idea to attend, and even though it was way past his bed­time, he learned a bunch, and even asked the astro­physi­cist an intel­li­gent ques­tion about the “pres­sure” of grav­i­ta­tion­al waves that she was able to explain to a 3rd grad­er. It was def­i­nite­ly a more intel­li­gent ques­tion than the one about time trav­el. I’m super proud of him for hav­ing the gump­tion to ask a ques­tion when he was the youngest in a room with hun­dreds of peo­ple in it.

After the lec­ture we went up to the obser­va­to­ry and got to take a gan­der at the moon. It was a first for both of us, and amaz­ing! Then we had the afore­men­tioned snacks, head­ed home, and he passed out in the car. I need to start loop­ing myself in to the local lec­ture cir­cuit. There are too many col­leges around for me to con­tin­ue ignor­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ties they pro­vide.

I might even be able to haul along my son, since he seems to be into the sci­ence-relat­ed ones at least. I guess that runs in the fam­i­ly too.