Last week, Cal and I went to the Chemistry Awards Banquet. Luke was receiving some awards and invited us to come. (Actually, we heard from someone else that he was getting awards and insisted on coming. But he was glad to have us come.) If you’ve never been to a get-together with a bunch of chemists, let’s just say it was an experience. We met interesting people.
First, we met girl who’s Luke’s physical chemistry lab partner. She was pretty normally dressed except for the Spock ears that were decorated with a big silk flower that matched her dress. She was very sweet. There was the guy in the white sport coat with a very fancy camera taking pictures of everything and everyone. I asked Luke if he was the official photographer. Luke said, “No. He just likes taking pictures.”
At the dinner, we sat at a table with a couple of professors and their wives. As we got to know each other, they asked about our other kids. And they found out that Ariel is a junior majoring in math, that Jacob will be starting college in the fall majoring in engineering. Luke added that he’s grooming Matthew to be a chem major. Luke’s prof told Luke that he gets a finder’s fee if he convinces Matthew to major in chemistry. Then, of course, the profs wanted to know what Cal and I studied in college. We told them—English Lit and Sociology. They blinked. A long pause ensued. Then, a throat was cleared and one of the wives said, “Um, I guess it must be in the genes somewhere.” Yep, must be. At that point, everyone ate their cake.
After the meal, the awards were given out, and Luke received several awards, which was very fun for us. Then, they announced a scholarship and called Luke’s name. His head jerked up. He didn’t know he was getting a scholarship. That was even more fun. And it was weird/fun hearing Luke’s professor talk about him. Weird because it’s a complete stranger who knows our son so well. And he discussed Luke’s research habits. I remember the words “the most persistent” being used. We see that personality trait at home too, but we called it “stubborn as a mule.” But, apparently it’s a good thing in the lab.
On the way home, Cal said, “I had a great time, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever met a group of more eccentric people.” I agreed. But now we understand why Luke used to meticulously organize his sock drawer when he was two years old. He was born a chemist. We just didn’t know it yet.