…until I found out that one of the 1st year undergraduates that was enrolled in my university physics course 11 years ago, is soon to get his PhD in mathematical physics. I remember him. He was an unbelievably sharp kid. I knew he would go far.
But my former student has now attained a level that I will, in all likelihood never attain. He has reached a goal that I will never reach.
I had a dream last night. I rarely remember dreams anymore, but I remember this one. I dreamt that I was back in my old University at a department pizza social. All the young freshmen from my 11 years old class were there, and none had aged a single day. They all asked if I was there as the new professor. No, I replied, I was just there for pizza, and to cheer them on for their dissertation defenses.
I think it is no coincidence that today is my birthday. I am 49 years old today. Well into middle age. I am not consciously thinking about aging, but it somehow snuck into my dreams last night.
I realize how trite, immature and selfish this sounds. I realize that I have a wonderful and fulfilling life. I realize that I am rich beyond my wildest imagination. I have no right to think such pitiful thoughts. But there they are - I am a mere human weakling after all. I think that this is a mood that will only last through today. After all, I swore to myself a long time ago that I would never let myself sink into a mid-life crisis.
Lift a glass. Here’s looking forward to tomorrow!