Rubin, WHS salutatorian, aims for the brainIt wouldn’t be a stretch to call Nathan Rubin brainy.
By: Mike Longaecker, Woodbury Bulletin
It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Nathan Rubin brainy.
He is this year’s Woodbury High School salutatorian. He carries a 4.26 grade-point average. He loves learning.
But then there’s a literal side to the adjective. Rubin is fascinated with the human brain.
In eighth grade, he read the book “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” by Oliver Sacks.
“It was the coolest thing ever,” Rubin said.
He was hooked. Now he explains to friends how the human brain contains 100 billion neurons. The connections, Rubin explained, are approximately equal to the amount of information on the Internet.
“I’d like to spend the rest of my life uncovering those secrets,” he said.
Not surprisingly, Rubin plans to study neuroscience this fall at the University of St. Thomas. He named chemistry as his favorite subject.
The 18-year-old was named this year’s math student of the year at WHS.
Rubin said academic success for him stems from learning to learn — a concept that, for him, was hatched after reading “Musciophilia.” Academically, things snowballed from there “and grades come as a result,” he said.
“I want to learn as much as I can,” he said.
When school doesn’t do that for him, he goes outside of class to expand his mind.
A heavy dose of that comes in piano lessons he takes with a Minneapolis instructor. The piano teacher, John Moss, has made a big impression on Rubin.
“The way he lives his life is really inspiring to me,” he said.
Moss followed his passion and followed it to success — “a good message,” Rubin said.
When he’s not studying, Rubin spends his free time bicycling to new cities, watching “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” and watching Daniel Day Lewis films.
Rubin said he’s also a follower of the podcast “Radiolab,” which examines intellectual curiosities. Among the program’s recent topics: the human brain.