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December 11, 2018: None of its Simple

I had always thought that the solstice – the time of less light, more dark – was a near-instantaneous thing. I should have known that this, like most things, is more complicated than I’d originally thought.

Pete said he heard on National Public Radio this morning that just prior to the solstice there is less darkness in the evening. This must mean there is more daylight during the day. Quite clearly, I don’t understand this. All this to say that nothing is ever simple when it comes to the rotation of the planets.

I don’t have a science background. I have taken a LOT of science classes. But time spent in liberal arts classes takes time

Alys does science
Alys does science

away from time spent in science classes. Do I have regrets about this? Yes and no. Yes. Some of the literature classes I took were taught by professors who should have been bricklayers. Most took the easy way out – came to class, threw out a few questions, interjected comments when necessary. And no, I see the world differently because my focus was on liberal arts. I recognize a good image when I see it and respect metaphor.

Is the man in the moon an image? I come up with questions like this and spend considerable time attempting to answer them. It’s a good way to kill time in supermarket lines. How about this one? There are dog days but not cat days. Why is this? Wouldn’t the opposite of a dog day of summer be a cat day of winter?

What if we could go back in time and, say, register for differing college classes well knowing that the later outcome would be different? I suspect that I would have gone the science route and tried to get through veterinary school. Then I would have not become a writer.

Ahh, but I do recall reaching the point of no return. I was, after finishing my first two years of college, tired of taking science based lecture classes. And so, English classes were a welcome relief. I realized that I’d had enough when in the first semester of my fourth year of college, I signed up for meteorology, which was of all things an elective. I remember sitting a few rows back, and from the first day on watching a geeky student in the middle seat in the front row listening intently to what the teacher was saying. I could not listen intently because what this teacher (who wore plaid golf pants to class) was saying made absolutely no sense to me.

He told me to drop the class midway through the semester. I was not one for dropping classes and instead stuck it out. I failed. I studied with another student who was also failing. Her name was Jill. She told me the following semester that her having taken the class didn’t appear on her transcripts. I was very envious.

As hard as I tried, and I did try hard, I didn’t learn a single thing in that class. I did learn the names of the clouds on my own, and in my final semester, I wrote a paper entitled “T.S. Eliot’s Use of Cloud Imagery in his Poetry.”

Next: 346. 12/12/18: Pete Now on Vacation

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