Friday, September 25, 2015

Conjunction : The Professor - Episode 2



Mary was quietly triumphant.... and she waited for Ted to come home to break the news to him. He was late, his meetings at work had gone on interminably, and he was glad to finally pull out his keys and open the front door. "Honey!! I have incredible news! It worked!" He was taken aback, but he set down his briefcase and listened patiently. Even the normal unflappable Ted was amazed at the progress and he hugged Mary "Maybe we can get our little baby girl some real help now?" Mary said softly "She's chosen her own form of help dear. All we can do is support her." Ted frowned, but he nodded "I guess so."
                                                                       
Dinner was a quiet affair, but Mary couldn't help kissing Tessa every now and then. She was beside herself with the successful meeting with Karl, and had trouble suppressing it. Later that night when Tessa was asleep, she spoke to Ted about the University and what she had planned as the next step. Ted was still not convinced, but he had no better plan, so he went with hers.

Two days later, Tessa and her mother were at the University. Karl greeted them and took them to meet with Dr. Hector, who was the head of the Physics department. Dr. Hector was a balding professor, who defined the cliché; he was avuncular and absent-minded. But when it came to matters pertaining to physics, he was sharp as a tack. He stood up with the small retinue entered his office.  "Hello there Tessa, Karl has told me about you." Mary wrung her hands awkwardly as Tessa ignored him completely. Karl nodded and began speaking about the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics. Tessa interrupted him shortly "The description of reality was sufficient for its time, but fell short of explaining the measurement problem. Wave function collapses only set off an additional domino effect as far as a nth-dimensional object is concerned." She stopped and looked at Dr.Hector. He took her in the corner and spoke to her. The conversation seemed to go on forever.

Dr. Hector left Tessa at his desk and came to where Mary and Karl were waiting "How old is Tessa?" Mary smiled knowingly "She's eleven." The professor looked shocked for a moment and looked as if he was lost somewhere, a look which was very familiar to Mary. Shortly he nodded, "We can give her free food, lodging, a place to stay and put her through our graduate level physics examination." Mary said "Oh, but that won't be necessary, she stays with me and my husband. I just got her here since she doesn't speak anything which is not physics. At the most I get a nod from her." She looked at the professor hopefully. Dr. Hector looked at her as if seeing her for the first time "She needs to join our University. She speaks at a level far above most researchers here; and while we are not a renowned University, we do think that we should be able to provide her some tutelage, at least for the next few years." He adjusted his spectacles as if to expound on the physics department..... Mary held his hands "Professor, you don't know how happy that makes me, but I need to consult with my husband. And despite her brain, Tessa is just a slip of a girl. She needs her mother." The professor nodded "Do come back with an answer, we need people like her."

When Mary and Tessa had left, the professor turned to Karl "There is no 'just' about that girl. She is a prodigy, mark my words. As of now, she's just testing her boundaries of knowledge, but there's no limit to where she will go." He turned and tried to get back to his memoirs, but he had trouble concentrating. This was a once-in-a-generation chance, and he didn't want to blow it.

At home, Ted and Mary had long and heated conversations. They took care to make sure Tessa did not hear them arguing. In the meantime, Tessa was reading a book titled " Quantum physics & observed reality: a critical interpretation of quantum mechanics" She was doing her own homework, and it seemed to be at a tangent to what had been discussed.

The next morning when Ted and Mary were talking again. albeit quietly, so as not to scare Tessa, she mumbled to herself as she was getting her school bag ready "The probabilistic nature of any measurement makes unique ones irrelevant." She hoped she would be taken into the University.