"Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" and Memories

"Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow"



© David Burton 2023


     I recently finished reading a book by Gabrielle Zevin, titled Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow. The book is a piece of fiction about two college students in Cambridge Massachusetts, Sadie, a female engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Sam, a male mathematics student at Harvard University. The story takes place around the year 2017 and is concerned with the two main characters collaborating on the development of a digital video computer game.

     As I read the book, it brought back memories of the time I spent in Cambridge at MIT from 1954 to 1959.

     At MIT, Sadie took an Advanced Games Seminar that was taught by a professor from Israel named Dov. This fact stirred up the memory of the Israeli teaching assistant that I had had in the Aeronautics and Astronautics department at MIT. His name was “Chaim”. One of the reasons that I remember him so well was the well-known fact that the professor for whom he as working could not pronounce the guttural “ch” sound. Instead, the professor always called him “Haim”.

     My senior year project at MIT was devoted to the design of an air-to-air missile, launched rearward from a jet bomber. This rearward-launched missile was to intercept and destroy a missile fired at the bomber that my missile was defending. My missile was unique in that, instead of control fins on the tail of the missile, it had control fins at the nose of the missile – canards. In aeronautics, a canard is a wing configuration in which a small forewing or fore plane is placed forward of the main wing of a fixed-wing aircraft or a weapon. The term "canard" may be used to describe the aircraft itself, the wing configuration, or the fore plane. My air-to-air missile was the only one in my design class to employ a canard configuration.

     Besides being unique, my canard configuration made the missile aerodynamically unstable, thereby requiring extra work to implement a control system to stably guide the missile to its target. Like the video computer game developed by Sadie and Sam, my project was successful.

     On page 144 of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, there is a section about Sam’s chronic ankle problem that reads as follows: " . . . One of the seven metal rods that made up the structure of his foot had gotten out of alignment again and it was, inconveniently, poking through his flesh. The pain was sharp, but bearable. It was the nuisance that bothered him.”

     This reminded me of a similar event that I encountered. It seems that the band in my left wrist that surrounded the tendons there and kept them in place had developed a tear and needed minor surgery to sew it back together. The procedure was relatively simple and went smoothly. A permanent screw was used to secure the band in place, along with a temporary pin. The wrist was placed in a small protective cast while the wrist healed. I quickly noticed a sharp pain when I flexed the wrist. After a few days, I returned to the hospital to have the cast removed. As soon as the cast came off, the physician found that the temporary pin in my wrist had come loose and was poking through the skin whenever I tried to flex the joint. That was causing the pain. The pin was removed, the pain ended, the wrist healed and my original wrist problem disappeared.


  1. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, Gabrielle Zevin, ISBN 9780593321201; Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2022.
  2. Canard, Wikipedia, Accessed 8 September 2023.

  12 October 2023 {Article 596; Suggestions?_82}    
Go back to the top of the page