Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Great Day

Today my dad and I took my daughter Anya to an event hosted by the UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering group. I got my BA at Berkeley, and my dad was a post-doc there in what was then called the Nuclear Chemistry group. It was great fun showing Anya around a small portion of the campus where I spent nearly seven years.

We started with lunch and about half an hour of Frisbee on Memorial Glade. After that, Anya (7 years old) spent three consecutive hours in 6 classrooms listening to and participating in discussion and demonstrations about radioactivity and nuclear power.

Anya spent probably 20 minutes of that wriggling around in her seat and the rest of the time she was engaged. The presentations were perfect for someone her age. The students doing the presentations were energetic and interesting. We got to see the old reactor room in Etcheverry Hall which now houses a bunch of interesting experiments. I got to meet a bunch of other parents, and it was fabulous to talk with other people who don't freak out when they discover that every home's smoke detector has a little bit of Americium-241 which sends the Geiger counter up several orders of magnitude once you get it close enough that the air isn't shielding it. (Pop - pop - pop - bzzzzzzzeeeeeeee)

Afterwards Anya and I walked around campus some more, watched some students learning to walk on a tightrope, and then went out to dinner together at Zachary's Pizza. For most of the hour long drive home we talked about how to design an "earth-friendly" town -- things like arranging the houses around a central area for the kids to plan in, building at the edge of but not in a forest, etc.

So, basically, I had a perfect day.

1 comment:

  1. hey Iain,
    What a fantastic & perfect father-daughter day!! You are a very sweet & great Dad! So nice to hear about Anya learning things to help the next generations from wrecking the earth!