A quick note from a Starbuck’s in Iowa. David and I are en route to visit Tom at Grinnell College, even though it is Family Weekend (breaking my long-standing tradition of avoiding parents’ events). I used to spend summers in rural Iowa as a child, and it’s odd to find myself heading there to see my China-oriented and Chinese-speaking son. But it was yesterday evening that got me thinking about life’s many circles. Michaeleen Howatt-McNabb, whom I met at UCSB in June, came to visit. Michaeleen is the development director at the College of Creative Studies at UCSB, where I got my BA in literature and first became deeply interested in science. After nearly 25 years I’ve rediscovered that unique and still quite amazing academic institution. And it looks as though Berkshire Publishing may be able to help publicize some of the College’s new endeavors, and I’m counting on having excellent reason to visit Santa Barbara now and then, especially with the 40th anniversary celebration coming up in 2006-7. I found myself thinking about the film we made with David Christian and William McNeill, two world historians who have incorporated science in their work and who believe that overcoming the divide of the “two cultures” is one of the great intellectual challenges that face us. The College of Creative Studies, founded by an eminent literary critic, Marvin Mudrick, has always had a breathtakingly advanced science and math program. In fact, they have five Nobel laureate UCSB professors working with CCS students. The College is tiny–with less than 2,000 graduates in its 40-year history.

karen christensen's corona typewriter on t s eliot's desk

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