Vince Maertz, PhD


Today we got to play tug-of-war with our brothers in Hotel squad.  They came in the same day as us, India squad, about an hour before we arrived, so they have seniority on us for everything.  We lined up on the volleyball court.  16 men on each side and a thick red rope travelling the length of the court.

The rules were simple, not tying knots and no letting go.  It was a best of two out of three contest in which we did not need the third try, we were stronger.  We all cheered and felt pretty good about ourselves.

I also saw myself in a mirror today in just a T-shirt.  It’s been a while.  We are nearly always in our full khaki uniform and I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I looked good.  Defined pecs, trim stomach, and powerful arms.   I could have been a model for a boot camp ad in my khaki pants, grey T and shiny belt buckle.  I really am beginning to see the results of all my hard work.


On the opposite pole, there is negativity all around me.  People just don’t want to do any work to get an early release.

I’ve written before that everybody here is in chemical dependency treatment even though not everybody here has or had a problem with drugs.  So, on occasion, I hear people talking about the fact that they aren’t weak-minded pu*#@s that can’t control their own lives, and other such comments.  I understand that life isn’t fair, and that part of this program is about punishment, but these guys get released into the general public at the same time too.  They do minimal work, minimal exercise, and they always have bad attitudes.  It sucks.

I got to go to the library.  That’s why Fridays are my favorite day.  I say that, to say this: The other day I wrote that I had been pondering such things as the existence of time and space and life and what not.  Well, today a book caught my eye, A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson.  I read the thing on the back of the book that makes you want to read a book and it basically said it would answer all of my questions in a sort of simple, sometimes humorous way.  I’ve only read the introduction so far but it has me captivated.  I even read the first two paragraphs of Chapter 1 which starts to explain what a proton is and already can tell that I will be able to understand it.  So I’m a scientist now.  Wait, are scientists Doctors?  Maybe this book will tell me.

[ANNE: I love Bill Bryson, who is definitely not a scientist.  I just re-read his book about traveling around Europe, Neither Here or There, because I am going to Germany in a couple weeks.  I think I’ll pick up this book Vince is reading and see if I too can become a scientist.  I tried reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and couldn’t get past the second page.]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s