Read. Watch. Listen. with Sarah Gallagher

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Sarah Gallagher is the Associate Chair, Undergraduate, for Physics and Astronomy.

Today, she takes her turn on Read. Watch. Listen.



I read an article about ‘curating your friends’ that was primarily about (and this seems rather obvious) the health benefits of excising toxic people from your life. (“The Power of Positive People,” New York Times, July 10.) The most intriguing part of the article was a description of moais, which are part of the social culture of Okinawa in Japan. These are small groups of children with common interests or backgrounds that are put together as an emotional (and if necessary financial) support network for life. It reminded me of the peer alliances that I have built of friends that support me professionally and personally and have helped me solve problems and reach my goals. I think everyone needs a moai.


Arrival. I watched this movie on a plane (where I usually see movies), and it really caught me. I am a sucker for most space movies, and so that was the initial draw. This movie was much richer than just the standard alien encounter though, because it was about the richness of language and the difficulty of communication (even when everyone can speak). And there was also a choice the main character had to make that was poignant.


I have been on a couple of long road trips recently, and when I’m driving I go for 80’s music (like Sirius’ First Wave channel) so I have bouncy music to sing along to that keeps me awake. A shockingly large chunk of my brain must be occupied by the lyrics of 80’s pop songs.

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