Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Family Business

Forgive some familial bragging, but it was a very good week for the extended Coppersmith family. First, how about my sister Sue, whose election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences was announced last week? Alan Alda, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and the other new fellows can only seem even more lustrous due to their association with the Chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can read all about it either here or here. The latter, a UW-Madison press release, has about the best simple explanation of Sue's work that I've seen and I'm putting it my PDA so I'm not such a dolt when people ask me what she does.

Then last Friday, son Ben was honored by the Scottsdale Charros, which is a Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce-affiliated group that honors outstanding teachers from every school in the Scottsdale Unified School District and also an outstanding male and female student from each of the 7 district high schools. Ben was named by his teachers as the outstanding male student for Arcadia High School. You can get a bit of Ben's responses to the questions the Scottsdale edition of the Arizona Republic asked each student here (scroll down to the fourth entry). But the online version leaves out his best Q&A:

Q: Describe your perfect day.
A: Around 10 a.m., Keira Knightley wakes me up and tenderly hands me a large mug of freshly made cocoa and a tray of warm waffles and syrup. She looks stunning….Then, Dick Vitale shows up, and we drive to the Suns game. Anything that happens after that is just gravy.

Q: What is one thing you want to accomplish by the time you're 30?
A: My perfect day.

By way of comparison, the outstanding female student from Arcadia lists the Young Republicans Club as one of her activities and is holding a Bible in her picture. Yes, as the saying goes, the snark doesn't fall very far from the wisenheimer. Or is that vice versa? Ben said that once he realized that it wouldn't mean that they wouldn't find a cure for cancer if he didn't list finding a cure for cancer as his goal, it became much easier to write the questionnaire.

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