18 May 2004

Cog Sci For The Masses!

Thos. Moran: A Scene On Tohickton Creek Posted by Hello


Okay, I'm writing again. I've gone to Crane's (obviously) and picked up some more stationery. I've also bolstered my collection of artwork that I use to decorate my letters with a little Thomas Moran (above). Also, as you can see from the envelope, the US Postal Service has decided to issue a series of stamps that really has some artistic substance and looks like money – you know the way God intended, the way they used to make stamps back in the good old days when the adhesive on the back of them tasted like the horsehide it was made from. It's the most beautiful damn stamp I've ever seen, even if it is printed on Mylar. Too bad it's a memoriam to two crazy muffuckers who blazed a trail that was too soon followed by the founders of trailer parks. In this series, the US Postal Service has issued the panoramic stamp you see on the envelope, plus one portrait each of Lewis and Clark. Sacagawea got nothin'. They probably figured she already had a coin, and if they gave her more than that, they might appear apologetic.

It's only been a couple months since I was formally enrolled in a class and I can already feel my IQ taking a vertiginous drop. I feel like I need to get back to my math right away before I forget all of it. There's a precalculus for life sciences course that I'm looking at taking this summer. One of the people I tutor with has a degree in math from Dartmouth and she has agreed to tutor me if I need it. I have an awful lot of math to get out of the way (117, 122, 123 and then Calculus I and II), so it would probably be wise to get started on it as soon as possible.

I'm sure I lamented to you on the phone about the fact that all the really groovy schools are in the middle of bumfuck nowhere. Hampshire and Bennington are two that I'm really considering right now. The interdisciplinary approach that I'd like to take is Cognitive Science and Creative Writing. The reason for the combination of the two has a practical purpose in my mind. I believe that Cognitive Science is the fastest emerging science of all and will also have the greatest impact on the average person. It seems to me that the best way to get the most beneficial discoveries in the field into the hearts and minds of the population is to be able to write about them in the vernacular. The rubber has to hit the road in other words. What good are any of these discoveries if in the end they only make for interesting cocktail party conversation between a bunch of academic wanks? On the subject of creative writing, I just found out today that Mary Oliver was until recently a faculty member at Bennington. She's a poet that I mentioned in a previous letter. I included her picture. She kinda looked like Joe Namath in it. Remember? Anyway, I read her poetry handbook and it just stunned me. I also told you that Ed Hoagland teaches there. He is, in a word, the dope shit as well.

Christ, but it's late. Eight thirty already. I'm off to bed now, and I promise it won't be so long between letters.

Cheers, and give my best to Marie,