Excerpt from my daughter Sandra Nair’s novel, to be published in 2018.
‘ Scientia– The Knowing Link’
A beautiful diamond among teachers.
An inspiration for generations of students.
Author’s Note (TO BE READ FIRST!)
I’m sure most readers would notice something familiar about the names of the characters- each of them is named after multiple scientists. I used more from the field of (theoretical) physics and mathematics than others. Call it a personal bias. After all, those are the two subjects I’m pursuing degrees in 🙂
My dear Dr. Richard Mitchell, I borrowed your name for one character (Who, btw, is nothing at all like you. After all, you love cats and cats love you!), and your personality for another. The character that I put the most emotional effort into, who also happens to be my personal favorite, Isaac Sklodowski, is (very loosely) based on you. I remember how fond you are of Mr. Isaac Newton (as seen in the first problem set for Math 20B, Winter Quarter 2016, UCSC). I hope I did justice to your dedication as a teacher. Oh, FYI, readers can picture Isaac as David Tennant in the role of the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who, albeit with black hair and eyes.
This work is a fictionalized account of what happens when physics and spirituality encounter the first year of college in the US. I admit, quite a few characters and incidents were inspired by real life. If you recognize yourselves, but feel bad for whatever reason, please keep in mind that the only reason you are there to begin with is cuz I ❤ you guys. Every one of you. Yes, I suppose that includes my eleven-year-old sister, who is, believe it or not, an even more outrageous version of Julia the bionic cat.
Finally, the real girl behind Scientia has a very important message for the real boy behind Richard. She says, and I quote: “The theoretical physics you put in so much effort over the last couple of years, be it QFT or various mathematical methods, would be completely wasted in a corporate environment. Do a favor to yourself as well as future generations of scientists. Consider continuing in academia. We need more of those who are willing and able to share the knowledge they acquire.” She really means it sincerely.
Kathu, I am so proud of you! For not only being a good student, creative writer and a loving daughter (affectionate sister? Cough, cough! A cat got my nose:) but also a lovely, beautiful human being.
Life is a mixed bag. You might end up with certain people and circumstances who do everything they can to laugh at your dreams and go out of their way to harm your interests. However, for each such person and set back, there will be a wonderful human being on the path ahead: an unexpected friend, a great teacher, a caring mentor…all from the Universe’s never ending bounty.
Stay rooted, stay creative, stay happy. Never under estimate your own inner light. It might kindle much needed light and warmth in many sensitive hearts.
Happy New Year. Happy New Book!