July 25, 2002
Something really cool happened to
Something really cool happened to Scott yesterday - on his way out of the department, he stopped by the men's room. (No, that's not the really cool thing.) While he washed up, an old man stepped out of one of the stalls and proceeded to wash his hands as well. Scott casually glanced over, and did a double take - the man bore a striking resemblance to John Nash (yes, the brilliant subject of the horrible film A Beautiful Mind). He was pretty sure it was him - there's an international game theory conference going on right now on campus and Nash was giving a talk as well.
So Scott's waiting for the elevator, when Dr. Nash comes along again. He wasn't really dressed up as academics tend to do when attending conferences (blazers, button-downs, slacks). Nash just looked like an old man, dressed in old man clothes. He mumbled something about one floor, and Scott asked him pardon? He said he only had to go down one floor and was considering whether to just take the stairs instead. (For a man his age, forgivable. For a whippersnapper college student, utterly lazy - but it happens. A lot.) But then the elevator arrived and Scott said he might as well. So they rode the elevator together - Dr. Nash one flight down to the Economics department and Scott down to the ground level. By this time he had spotted the name tag on the man's lapel, which said "John F. Nash." The man must've realized Scott recognized him, seeing the odd expression that was first on Scott's face, but neither made any big deal of it. Of course, Scott's gonna tell all his buddies about it.
As an aside, Scott and his department friends were thinking of attending Dr. Nash's talk. They mordantly joked that during the question period they should address questions to the young British man or the little girl or Ed Harris (if you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about - if not, believe me, you're well better off - read the biography instead). That's grad students for you - sick and twisted, which is probably a healthy way to approach academia.