...go ahead and do things when I'm caught doing the paperwork, and doing interviews and things like that. And sometimes it's frustrating, because I've had to wait sometimes a couple years before they understood what I was trying to get them to do. I don't know, it's really kind of amazing to me that I have actually accomplished anything, because I sort of have the feeling at times I really don't know anything. But I know a little bit about a lot of things, and I have a lot of curiosity, and somehow, ideas come.
Now, what about Columbia ought we to be talking, before we get to Bell?
Well, let's see now. Well, I certainly brushed up my microwave techniques there, and then I dropped that stuff quite abruptly when I went to Bell, which is a strange story. I guess what I got out of it mainly was getting to know Townes well, and talking with him, and seeing how he working with students, which was quite important to me in later years when I got to work with my own students, but not so important at Bell. And I just had a good feeling about what physics was about, and where it was going. Well, one incident I do remember that ought to go in the reocrd, was my lab was right next door to a lab occupied by one of Rabi's students, or some of Rabi's students, and in fact, there was a whole block of rooms occupied by Rabi's students, and this one of Townes' was at the end of them. And so, Rabi would come around once in a while, and of course, I was much intimidated by the great man, a Nobel Prize winner, and all that. But he went off to Japan for a month, then he came around and stuck his head in my door, and said "Well, what have you discovered?" And this really struck me, because, I never thought I could discover anything, you know. I might do something, but to discover something! It just sort of helped to raise your standards, and raise your sights, and so on: let's see if I can't pick out what's important to do, and not just do something. I can't think of anything specifically where I actually, you know, used it, but it really did sort of raise the tone of your expectations. You see other people who are not so very different who are doing very good things.