Aug 2007
Doubly charming.

As a senior graduate student at Virginia Tech once I had a chance of going with a group of prospective graduate students. This group was lively and had an almost equal composition of males and females which wanes towards a more senior career venture. We went to a restaurant with a bar with a plan to move to a more exclusive bar after this. The plan was to have a good chat in a noise free atmosphere before we move into a place where we could not possibly hear ourselves well.

Everybody went for a bear (pun intended, beer). Although I am not a teetotaler, I ordered a tea. Possibly in my head I was conscious that I am among a group of young people and I must be a good ideal. You see, this cuts across every cultural group where people like this are shown a little kind respect for attributes like this. A lady in our group promptly noticed but quipped later how this was charmingly odd for me to drink tea among a group who were all after bear.

I thought to myself I would have gone for the same myself had I been a little tired like them, they had all come from various parts of the country by all sorts of means and by all possibilities they were all tired from the extremely busy schedule they had during the day from orientation programs and visits and talks.  A chat ensued, these were all smart people and they all introduced themselves, where they came from, what field of Physics they would like to join and how they find the atmosphere here at Virginia Tech Physics Department.

There was this short  guy from Colorado who wanted to come to Virginia for a change and he narrated his experience in the plane he flew the day before. He had a chat with his fellow passenger and how he was greeted with “you are charming.”

Oh you are a Charmonium” I quipped. He did not get it at first and I was a little embarrassed as I wasn’t quite clear myself why I said that. Few moments passed into the situation and I remarked, “you see, a Charmonium is a nick name for a particle that has two quarks in it, each of them is a so called charm quark. So a Charmonium is doubly charming instead of just charming.”

Another of his friend remarked how its a little tricky to get a Physics joke. On the contrary I thought how it has become a little fashionable and thats why acceptable how out-rightly sexual, Physics jokes have become.

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