On a recent Sunday morning I was listening to ‘Car Talk’ on NPR and a caller, an educator, whose job it was to convince her charges, high school students enrolled in an automotive repair and maintenance program, that other, less, hands on, subjects, like English literature or mathematics, are important to their development as future wage earners in their ‘chosen’ career. Of course, this would seem like an Sisyphisian task, and so she called Click and Clack, the Tappert Brothers. Who wouldn’t? Click and Clack agreed with her and, as educated men themselves, were able to provide numerous selling points on the virtues of a well-rounded education. Reading manuals, calculating numbers, quoting Shakespeare, …the usual.
Today, experiencing yet another of the abundant and unsolicited Comcastic moments that seem to introduce serendipity and pure chance into my life, I was reminded of that ‘Car Talk’ caller. My internet connectivity is as pure and fresh and reliable as a sudden squall. As I watched the hands of time march on while waiting for a website to load, or my e-mail to appear, I was reminded of those young high school students, their troubled and concerned guardian and the sum of my own experiences. The minutes ticked by and, after a brief, not more than 5 minute, jog up to the house from my studio to get a couple of aspirin to treat the increasingly severe headache, caused by frustration, no doubt, I was amazed that I could still, after all these years, recall a T.S. Eliot poem…”I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear my trousers rolled and walk upon the beach. Do I dare eat a peach?..
Therein lies the true power of a liberal arts education. That said, I do wish I was more like my sister,…she’s memorized the entirety of Coleridges’ ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, which could come in handy when dealing with Comcast.