Quirky Meets Quarky

Sorry for the delay. I've been volunteering at the physics convention for the past few days. Brainiacs from all over the world have come to hear fascinating talks with topics like "Heavy Quarkonia" (which I would have guessed was a middle eastern county) and "The long slow death of the Cold Ionic puzzle" (I'm not sure what the cold ionic puzzle is exactly, but since I would have described my high school physics class as "a long slow death" also, I'm sure that the title isn't that far off).

You'd think that all these visiting physicists would be intimidating with all of their science-y brilliance, but mostly they're wonderfully nice in an Absent Minded Professor kind of way. I work the registration booth, and you'd be amazed at how many of them come back to me because they've lost their name badges or have misplaced their pens or need to know where Ballroom C is located (ironically, right next to the giant sign that says "Ballroom C"). They seem to inspire a kind of maternal instinct in me...I find myself going, "Come with me Dr. Frasdasdfdjhhju, I'll take you to ballroom C. And this time, try to keep up with your name'll need it to get into the lunch you need me to pin it to your shirt? Okay then. Well, try to be more careful next time. Here we enjoy your talk on "Second order relativistic Hydrodynamic Equations Compatible with Boltzmann Equation and Critical Opalescence Around the QCD Critical Point" (You think I made that up but it's an actual title).

Actually, this is what I love most about volunteering. I really enjoy telling people what to do helping people find their way in unfamiliar situations. Need some aspirin? Right over here. Directions to the nearest Kinkos? I'm your girl. Lost your flux capacitor? I'll help you look for it.

I'm sure that if you're in the hospitality business day in and day out, all these little questions quickly lose their appeal, and people become less quaint and more, um, annoying. But on a strictly volunteer basis, (and probably because I'll never ever have to see them again after today), I find these fascinating people delightful and engaging.

Even if their idea of engaging is Gluon Saturation effects and photon peaks in heavy Ion Collisions.