“Illi me comitem et consanguinitate propinquum
pauper in arma pater primis huc misit ab annis.”
[My poor father sent me here to war from my youth,
as a companion to him and nearest in consanguinity.]
–Vergil’s Aeneid, II.86-7
1. Why we are doing this (a tongue-in-cheek modification of Matt’s statement of purpose for postdoc fellowship applications):
“Two major brothers have played an important role in the Covington Family: Matt, and James. While related by blood, currently these brothers occupy distant localities within the United States. To satisfy his passion for language, James is trying to finish his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Arkansas. Meanwhile Matt has undertaken a significant program of Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. However, upon nearing the completion of their degrees these brothers realized that they could be combined into a single pursuit – writing a blog, in which they could discuss, entertain, and share each other’s lives.”
–Matt, the elder brother, in “Statement of Purpose”, Jan. 16, 2008.
2. Where we get our name:
“First we must come to an understanding of what the word consanguineous means. Whenever one wants to learn the essential meaning of a word, it is often beneficial to understand the roots from which that word derives. In this case, consanguineous comes from the Latin words (con + sanguis, sanguinis, m.), meaning “with” and “blood.” Considering that “sanguis” can also be used to denote a blood-relationship, we can easily arrive at a coherent definition of the word “consanguineous.” How about “with [common] blood-relationship.” (Nota bene: it is a corollary of this line of reasoning that the word “consanguinity,” then would be “the state or property of [common] blood-relationship.”)”
–James, the younger brother in “Definition of Terms”, Jan. 9, 2008.
–James uncovering the ancient site of Corinth.
It’s spring of 2010, and Matt and James’s sisters are joining the chaos. Katie, the elder sister, and her husband are moving from Fayetteville to Houston because of his job. Lisa, the younger sister, has recently moved out of the house and into the dorm. With the sisterhood being split up, they have decided to join the brothers on this blog in an attempt to keep everyone connected.
Matt and James, the original authors of this blog, are two brothers who grew up in Fayetteville, AR. Matt graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2002 with dual degrees in physics and philosophy. Shortly after graduating, he married his wife Elizabeth, who had also attended the U of A but had graduated a year earlier and begun work on a PhD in Cellular Physiology at Stanford. After graduating he joined Elizabeth in California and began working on a PhD in theoretical astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. For his thesis work he is studying simulations of galaxy collisions. However, another important fact about Matt is that he is completely obsessed with exploring and mapping caves. Over the past 10 years he has spent about 1 month out of each year on caving expeditions in far-flung places. Matt plans to finish his PhD in the near future and has decided to align his profession with his passion for caving. That is why he is now working on a one-year postdoc position in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota. After that he has a two-year postdoc lined up in Slovenia! The research projects for both postdoc positions will be using a combination of computer simulations and field work to study caves.
For the first part of his life, James tried hard to follow in Matt’s footsteps as best as he could, but life has chosen to take him down another path. James graduated from the U of A in May 2008 with a B. A. in Classical Studies and German. He married his wife Allison in July 2007, and she graduated with him from the U of A in Anthropology and Spanish. They are now living abroad planning to translate the Bible into a language that does not yet have it. This stems from James’ passion for studying other languages as well as the Bible. Although he thought he was going to be a math professor when he matriculated into the University, James learned a few years sooner than Matt that it is best to pursue one’s passion, not a career. It sounds like Matt and James have really exciting futures ahead of them, as they will both be doing what they want to do.
It’s 2010, and the sisters are joining the blog:
Katie got married to Jeremy Rogers in 2003, while they were both attended the U of A. Jeremy graduated in 2004 with a degree in accounting and later got his master in Business Administration. Katie graduated in 2006 with a degree in child development, and she also attended the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. She currently works for SOAPware, an EMR software company. Jeremy works for Southwestern Energy, and the company is moving him to Houston.
For her entire life, Lisa has tried her hardest to follow in Katie’s footsteps, and she has largely succeeded. She is currently finishing up her freshman year at the U of A and plans to major in English and German. She is mostly interested in creative writing and aspires to become an author. This summer and next school year, she will be working at University Baptist Church as an intern.