A “Howard Hughes”-Like Moment

Well, I originally intended a bit more for this post, starting from a recount on how I recently finished watching The Big Bang Theory and a tentative remark on how perhaps it is so popular in China and other markets thanks the translators who would put up on-screen footnotes for all those vague pop culture and science “references” and so created an illusion of learning (other than language, that is).

I then forgot how that organically transitions into the body of this essay. So I’ll just toss that idea as is over there.


I’ll be brief.

I first learned of the famed 20th century aviator and entrepreneur a decade ago in a probably romanticized Reader’s Digest article, where, (I’m relying on my memory here), a young Hughes claimed that he wanted to become an aviator, a filmmaker, and a professional baseball player. He accomplished 2/3 of his goals with his later life remarkably, the article stated.

Not precisely that one magazine essay ordained that I want to follow his path, but I never forgot that story.

I’ve skipped homework in middle school to see Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of Hughes in “The Aviator” on my then brand-new iPad 2; I’ve stumbled across the office for HHMI in Valley Science building at Berkeley; I’ve visited where he grew up in Christmas 2017 — Humble, Texas — as a side treat during a family visit…

Like that, my intermittent interactions with his legacy have kept memories of him on the background of my thoughts.

I have forgotten (and failed to research) what means Hughes employed to articulate his goals, but I’m quite sure it’s not on a personal website (or, by extension, a bunch of grad school application letters being drafted).

So I’ll do mine here. It’s quite pathetic, maybe, but with you reading this my efforts won’t completely go to waste.

I am:

Twenty one.

Finishing up undergraduate degree.

Debt-free.

Alone.

Naive.

By the end of my life, or likely after so, I want to be remembered as:
  • A brilliant theoretical physicist and good educator
  • A recognized digital artist in music, film and transportation design
  • A pilot or racing driver

Howard Hughes

Tony Stark

I don’t know how long I have.

I don’t know if the chaotic flow of history permits any or all of them.

We will see.


I walked into LeConte for the first time on this day in 2017.

To struggle to remember anything from the only two weeks that I spent in Berkeley prior to knowing A always brings a strange feeling…

Sure there’s this poetic and eerie preposition that our paths could’ve been skew entirely.

But also, there’s the observation that I remember less of my life two years ago than a decade-old magazine piece.


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