Qualms with Quantum

“I was once trying to explain something about physics to my girlfriend,” says my professor, his tone dryer than Arizona in August. “She didn’t get it, and then I said something along the lines of ‘it’s obvious.’ Well, that was the end of that relationship.”  Awkward laughter (the can that only physics majors can produce) breaks out across the room. We laughed because we got it –Physics is maddening, and having someone tell you that something you can’t seem to grasp is ‘obvious’ makes it even more so. That is pretty much the story of our lives.

A few seconds later, as I looked around the room and realized I was one of four girls in a forty-person lecture, a small part of me began to wonder if our professor would have felt comfortable telling that joke if the ratio had been less severe, or even reversed.

A big part of me thinks he wouldn’t have.

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