The paths we take though a city are laid out in asphalt and stone
in side-yard fences
in restaurants and convenience stores known and unknown.
I drove down the freeway today, took the less-than-predictable exit,
one later than I'd planned -
paused in front of a neon land laid out
on the vertical white walls of the nearest museum. It
cast a red glow like the firelight of the video installation
in the next room over.
When will I pass this way again?
M., who was once a new grad reporting to me and with whom I’m still in touch as an interesting person to talk to, just sent me this article:
I can still remember how mad I was, freshman year of high school, when my Spanish-class teacher wouldn’t give me an A. I’d gotten A’s on (a statistically appropriate number of) the tests, so I figured I deserved an A in the class. The teacher was adamant: no A for me. I’d skipped (a whole lot of) the homework.
Who was this teacher, I thought, to insist I do busywork that was clearly unnecessary to learn the material?! Hadn’t I proved I was right?!*
Looking back, I’m pretty sure the teacher was just young and immature, and maybe didn’t want to set himself up for dealing with a whole class full of argumentative would-be homework-skippers.
Looking back, I’m proud I went right on skipping the homework. B’s be damned. I knew I was right.
Looking back, I’m also really, really, really grateful to my parents for supporting me in this. Talk about ways to be fortunate in life – parental support in figuring the ROI on any given effort at a young age has paid off I-don’t-even-know-how-immensely in happiness. Thanks, Mom & Dad. Thanks.
* Clearly, I haven’t changed much.
There are a lot of Mars Rover images out there, but this is the one I saw first:
Like everyone else on the Internet, I teared up. Like everyone else on the Internet, I thought at first that this was a literal last message from Opportunity – that someone at NASA had built human language, or at least this phrase, into the Rover’s communication settings. I loved that idea – and even when I realized I was wrong, and this was a great if unintentional poetic phrasing by a journalist, the baseline concept stayed with me: that even when we don’t admit it, even when we don’t acknowledge we’re doing it, we build a little bit of human into the non-human creatures we create.
Because of course we do.
How could we not?
Goodnight, dear #Opportunity. Goodnight.