Sunday, December 30, 2012

In the end, why I switched majors in college:

" Science never cheered up anyone. The truth about the human situation is just too awful. "

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The first half of my university experience

I got a good letter today, Friday, August 23rd, 1996, from a young stranger named Jeff Mialich, one would guess of Serb of Croat descent, who is majoring in physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana. Jeff says he enjoyed his physics course in high school, and got top grades, but "ever since I have had physics at the university I have had much trouble with it. This was a huge blow to me because I was used to doing well in school. I thought there was nothing I couldn't do if I just wanted it bad enough."

My reply will go like this: "You might want to read the picaresque novel The Adventures of Angle March by Saul Bellow. The epiphany at the end, as I recall, is that we shouldn't be seeking harrowing challenges, but rather tasks we find natural and interesting, tasks we were apparently born to perform.

Friday, December 28, 2012

As a Creative Writing professor

I taught how to be sociable with ink on paper. I told students that when they were writing they should be good dates on blind dates, should show strangers good times.

Alternatively, they should run really nice whorehouses, come one, come all, although they were in fact working in perfect solitude. I said I expected them to do this with nothing but idiosyncratic arrangements in horizontal lines of twenty-six phonetic symbols, ten numbers, and maybe eight punctuation marks, because it wasn't anything that hadn't been done before.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The little things give you away

All you've ever wanted was someone to truly look up to you.

(6 ft underwater, i do)