Things I’m learning about Seattle:

  1. It’s more north than anywhere else I’ve ever lived, and the days are amazingly long in the summer. For instance, we went to see the Seattle Symphony* play Rite of Spring yesterday night and when we came out at 9:30 pm, it was still light outside. This is indescribably cool. I hear it’s correspondingly depressing during the winter, when the sun sets at 4:30 pm.
  2. The people here are really, really friendly. When I moved out to the west coast, I was told that people in California are more friendly that people on the east coast, but I didn’t find that to be the case. Up here, though, it’s amazing.
  3. The traffic is terrible, as bad as in the San Francisco area. Why are all the cool cities so crowded? :)
  4. The weather here is mercurial. Windy and drizzly, then hot and cloudless. An upshot is that weird things happen, like this awesome lightning storm last night. Check out some pictures  (not taken by me):
  5. Shoutout to my sister Meera.
  6. I had forgotten what it’s like to go to venues where people smoke: it’s really annoying.
  7. Watching the Lakers lose is just as fun up here as anywhere else.
  8. All told, though, Berkeley is better. Going back should be fun :).

* What is it with orchestras calling themselves “symphonies”? For some reason this bothers me. It’s like calling a baseball team “The Oakland Baseball”. No, baseball is what they play. There’s a reason it’s called the House of Representatives, and not the House of Dumb and Bloated Laws: the House contains Representatives, and emits Dumb and Bloated Laws. So “Seattle Orchestra” would be just fine. (I realize there is precedent here, in that string quartets refer to both the music and the group, etc. Then again, language has never made any logical sense, and I still find myself caring about these things. Call me dumb.)

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7 Responses to Inference

  1. awesome photos

    [dude, the sun sets at 4:30 in the winter in *Connecticut*.]

    • aj says:

      Re: awesome photos

      Yeah, and it made me depressed :).

      This is why I plan on never leaving grad school…

      • Re: awesome photos

        yeah, it is kinda depressing.

        But I always loved the really cold bluish half-light from sunset until it gets fully dark in the winter when there’s lots of snow everywhere. Really beautiful, like being underwater. Just about the most peaceful thing there is, though it does make me sleepy, and really need to drink hot chocolate and eat fatty foods.

        I suppose the snow doesn’t stick around long enough for y’all to get enjoy too much of that particular phenomenon in central connecticut, though.

        • aj says:

          Re: awesome photos

          I guess I have some form of SAD or something. I don’t know if it’s the darkness or the cold (but if I were to stay up here for the winter I guess I’d find out) but I feel like I have less energy and am definitely less motivated.

          When I graduated from college, I actually computed my GPA independently for fall and spring semesters; my GPA in the fall (over all four years) was something like .2 less than in the spring. That’s pretty crazy. The grades were pretty uniform, too: while my GPA increased with each passing year, for any given year my fall GPA was about .2 less than my spring GPA. I didn’t do the same analysis for high school but anecdotally I think the results are very similar. (My parents used to joke about how my grades in the spring would always be much better than in the fall; I’d tell them it took me some time to “figure the teacher out”, which they found funny.)

          • Re: awesome photos

            That’s a great anecdote about your GPA; interestingly, all three times that I got a C in college, it was in the fall semester (and no, those C’s weren’t above-average grades for me); all three of my A+’s were in the spring. So I’d imagine that my spring GPA is probably higher as well. I’ll have to check.

            In my highschool, we didn’t had semester-long classes, not the whole year, so the “figuring out the teacher” explanation won’t hold up for me. *But*, my grades always improved from the first quarter of a class to the second, most noticably – if statistically insignificantly – in my improvement from a 74 to a 114 in my western civilization class with Mr Holiday; he, however, changed his grading system for my benefit (nice guy, huh?). I suppose you might say that he “figured the student out”, if you want to end your sentence with a preposition. :?)

            As for SAD, I think that everyone feels a bit more sluggish when it’s dark out; if you really had SAD, you’d know it. My aunt (who has the misfortune of living in Syracuse, NY) was almost completely nonfunctional between November and Febuary, before she started getting the “sit for hours under really bright lights” therapy.

  2. ccho says:

    we have thunderstorms here too, monsoon season to start shortly

    I don’t know the exact historical reason for coining the terms Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, but it was a Greek term originally that was used for something quite different. You can distinguish the size and what type of instruments you might find in a chamber orchestra vs. a symphony orchestra just by name. Usually chamber orchestras were small enough to fit in a patron’s home and contained a more limited set of instruments while symphony orchestras were not and contained all the players needed to perform symphonies. The real question should be where, when and why was the term philharmonic coined? Violists aren’t the only ones who love harmony…

    • jwscoleman says:

      Re: we have thunderstorms here too, monsoon season to start shortly

      Does a Philharmonic have more violins or something? What’s the difference?