I entered this world, as the rest of us did, with all the faculties of reason just waiting to be developed and utilized. Being witness to the first 5 years of my daughter’s life has been most illuminating in this respect. The facts of my own 29 years of experience often pale in comparison to milestones like her first words, steps and loose tooth. Not to say I’ve lost sight of my own identity. It’s just that, well, she’s so adorable it’s hard to think about anything else sometimes.
As for me, I can remember being about 4 or 5 and strumming my father’s guitar on the floor while my mother ironed and watched Phil Donahue and The Price is Right. When I was 9 they bought me my own and I learned to read music. There are no guitar chairs to be filled in the elementary school band and so, when I was 12 I got stuck playing the trumpet as all the saxophone and drum positions were filled. I couldn’t tolerate how terrible I sounded and so, without thinking, I began to practice and practice and practice. I still try to emulate that innocent, early experience of determination today.
So I graduated high school and went to William Paterson University to study Jazz with kids from states and countries equally foreign to me. We played music 8 hours a day and listened to recordings for another 8. You could tell who we were because we had headphones on everywhere we went and we only went to two places, the music building and the library… to get more music.
When I needed a break from music I often went to the library. Where else was there? Eventually, I began to gravitate towards the QA section where they keep all the physics books and found that I had a great appreciation for the particular kind of ingenuity involved in scientific discovery. It is a beautiful balance of the technical and the creative and I found (and still enjoy) a certain relationship between the sciences and the music I was trying to play. So I read Einstein, Newton and the likes as far as my Pre-Calculus understanding would take me. Sometimes this was the introduction. I even considered changing my major to mathematics but, well, I had no real pressure to choose a more sensible career at the time.
At present, after years of procrastination and of hustling just to make some money, I am halfway through a degree in Mechanical Engineering and boy am I glad. It’s kind of a crash course compared to the patience with which I used read and reread the excerpts from ‘Relativity’ which I couldn’t possibly have understood. We bang through subjects containing hundreds of years of discoveries in 15 weeks at the rate of 3 hours per week. Still, I’m grateful to be where I am. I’ll make a great engineer one day soon when the dust settles from all these explosions going on in my brain.
And that’s it for now. This is my first time being a ‘blogger’ and so I’m still learning the protocol. Really, I’m just here to invite, locate and participate in interesting discussions. I have some ideas I’d like to get out there, the best of which is about the benefits of having a willingness to concede. I like to be proven wrong. If you’ve spent all this time trying to come to know something and someone comes along and shakes it right out of your head, well, take what they gave you, it’s yours. Far worse than being wrong is to not have had an idea to begin with.