I am not a science person.
I’ll say that off the bat. Okay, I’ll admit that I’ve had a blast fulfilling my Arts and Sciences science requirements with classes on insects and astronomy…but let me just make it clear that I much prefer the humanities. (Debating over dissecting, Marx over Mendel, GDP over gymnosperms…however you want to say it.)
But when Bill Nye the Science Guy ’77 comes back to Cornell to give a speech, you better believe I’ll be in attendance. Sure, I watched quite a few episodes of his show in elementary/middle school science classes…but this guy was more than a TV show host to me. He was, in many ways, a symbol that science could be exciting, not something you have to sit through before recess. Plus, the fact that he’s a Cornell alum makes him all the cooler.
I’ll let you read the details here, but the long story short is that Nye came back to Cornell to dedicate a solar clock that he put above the new Rhodes Hall. Before the dedication, he gave a speech in the Statler. How excited were Cornell students? Excited enough that loads of people, among them your humble blogger, waited in line outside the auditorium an hour before doors opened to guarantee good seating. People got comfortable waiting on the cement floor, breaking out board games and engaging in friendly conversations with one another.
All was calm in the auditorium until Bill walked in and took a seat in the front row, waiting to be introduced. That’s when the fist-pumping, quickly rising audience started chanting “BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL!” (from this theme song, if you’re not 100% clued in).
He gave an awesome speech, talking about his science career and love of timepieces; after the presentation everyone gathered around Hoy Field to marvel at the new solar clock. Satisfied with the awesome experience, my friends and I headed back to West Campus.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the day for me was later on, when I walking in the Cornell store to buy my final textbook. I was leisurely scanning the magazine stand by the entrance, when I looked up and…lo and behold…Bill Nye himself, one of my childhood heroes, was standing about 4 feet away from me with his family.
What would you do, dear readers, in this situation?
What did I do? I nervously muttered “hi,” heard him say “hello, hello,” then walked away.
So that’s my Bill Nye story…I’ll share the (hopefully) amusing poll results soon enough.