Just took my first physics midterm today which covered one- and two-dimensional kinematics, conservation of energy, and the physics of force, power, impulse and momentum in terms of Newton’s Three Laws. Nowadays I find myself looking at the world in terms of force equations and angles and it really is quite interesting. My daily bike commute gives me plenty of time to think about velocity, acceleration, inclined planes, static and kinetic friction forces, centripetal acceleration and rotational motion and the cool thing is, I can actually come up with some intelligent thoughts about it. In the past, I’ve never wanted to answer those sorts of questions, always leaving it to those scientists to figure it out but since I’m now armed with the tools, I can’t help but think about all this stuff, the budding scientists that I am. A quick search on bicycle dynamics yielded this nerdy discussion about the amount of force applied to pedals in order to achieve a particular speed and I could actually follow the thread! Physics is definitely a tangible subject, at least with this part of the course, and so much of it applies to the things I love (runnin’, bikin’, movin’). A definite part of my future in medicine will deal with how our bodies interact with the physical world, and how we can optimize that interaction in terms of our health.
About that midterm: I think I actually did pretty well considering what happened to me this morning. Riding up Queens Boulevard, I feel something land on my arm. Not a bug, but a splat. Urban guano! I’m thinking: Perfect! I’m on my way to a midterm and now that I’m armed with the luck o’ the flying rat, I’m solid gold! I wipe it off and I’m seriously happy. A couple miles later, a fast moving car makes a right-hand turn into a parking lot while I’m passing (or trying to pass) on the right side. Smack! But I’m fine, no sweat. I bend the rear-view mirror back and continue on my way but my good luck credits were karmically spent, ten minutes after I earned them! Despite this zero-sum incident, I still did well on the exam. After all, practice usually trumps luck and damned if I’m not spending all my free time curled up with Giancoli for nothing!