Quantum Physics, Bad Farts, and Job Interviews

Chain Link Fence

By Muselle Kamal,
Guest Blogger

Why is it that we always think we look horrible right now, and a few years later we look back and think, “Wow, I looked pretty good”? It’s an inescapable truth. And probably, if someone looked at us right now, they’d think we were pretty nice looking—I mean, looking good, but also that we looked like a nice person.  Quick tip: as you’re browsing through iPhoto, make sure you have removed all pictures of yourself more recent than 3 years old… or if you’re over 40, make that 5 years. That way, you can look back and still think you look pretty good. And then by the time you see how you look NOW, you’ll really be old and ugly, and you’ll think that how you look NOW looked pretty darn good!

So I’ve been having a day like that. I tend to not like to dwell on negative thoughts, to the point that I’m kind of in denial that I have them. But I’ve decided to go ahead and talk about them. Because after all, they’re a part of who I am.

And that gets me to thinking about QUANTUM PHYSICS. That’s a new buzz word for this idea that everything is related to everything else. The way people talk about it in everyday language, one of it’s main features is the idea that everything influences everything else. Like if you watch someone or something, you are actually having an effect on it just by watching it. Hey, I wonder if I can change the ending of Orange is the New Black by thinking hard enough. Anyway, I know that if someone is watching me, or talking to me, I feel their vibe, and it changes the way I feel and act, and even what I do. You can read what people think, and how they perceive you, and even what they allow you to be in their minds. This is a sixth sense we have. It’s really easy to pick up on in job interviews.

My daughter, who graduated from high school last year, told me they teach “new chemistry.” It came out in casual conversation over the dinner table. Electrons are now known to exist both as particles and as energy (wavelengths). The way she described it, if you are looking at an electron as a particle, then it will only behave as a particle. But if you are looking at it as a wavelength, you can only see it as a wavelength, and not as a particle. To me, this concept makes total intuitive sense on so many levels, but as a scientific concept, it doesn’t make ANY sense. Science is supposed to be able to dissect and divide reality into distinct parts that are only ONE thing. But here, an electron is one thing OR another thing, or BOTH. Depending on how you look at it. THAT’s what is so interesting to me about quantum physics.

Glass-eyed crow

So in a recent job interview, three people sat across from me and asked the regular round-robin of canned questions that always get asked for this type of job. The body language was fascinating. The two on my left were really pleasant and seemed to take in everything I said with understanding and even compassion for my nervousness. The person on my right sat with arms folded on chest (a large, tree-stump of a man), and with a constipated look on his face. That’s probably the best way to describe it. Not moving, solid, and strained. His brow was furrowed, making him look half confused and half trying to suppress a really bad fart. I KNEW that he wasn’t listening to anything I said. Or that he didn’t care about anything I said. It was SO clear that his mind was prejudiced against me. (I have a background of facts that substantiates this… no, I’m not paranoid). Still, you like to think that in an interview, everyone would at least give the APPEARANCE of listening objectively and open-mindedly to your answers. But there it is, that old quantum physics thing: the listener influencing the speaker. Changing my entire level of self-confidence because what I read was: “Yeah, just go on talking; nothing you say is going to make me hire you.” And you know what? I was feverish with the flu during the interview (although I didn’t know it yet), and come to think of it, I really didn’t want to work there anyway! I was just going through the motions because I needed to keep that unemployment check coming.




Have you taken your mom for a walk today

Blurry Flowers

Have you taken your mom for a walk today

to the park to watch the children play?


to feel the sun on her wrinkled cheek

and watch frolicking birds

at the edge of the bay?


Have you had a long talk with your dad today

about things he imagines

that won’t go away?

Or gone to the shed to see his display

of rusty old saws that he won’t throw away?


Do you listen to kids who push you away

and call you names, but want you to stay?

Can you hear their words or feel their dreams

in the music that raves

and the games they play?


Do you listen to birds who speak without words;

Can you imagine dragons?

Would you sit by the fire to hear the tales

of the pilgrims who circle their wagons?


Does the song of the river turn you around,

Does poetry give you pleasure?

Do you believe that the soul of the earth

is something you never can measure?


The Practice of Freedom

Food for thought …

“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”
― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

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