Sunday, April 12, 2015

Us Fish Must Swim Together--Letter #39

Dear Governor Ducey, 
One good thing. What would you say, if, on your death bed, what was the one good thing you did? As a pretend, doctor, I say, “first do no harm.” The less you do, generally, it seems the better the fellow human and our fellow species seem to go. But if you could do one thing, for one person, for me, it would be to give them an education. Kindergarten through college. One kid in Kenya. One kid in India. One kid in Ohio. One kid in Arizona. It doesn’t matter where because a whole life of solid education through college would change so much, for any of those kids. To go to school. To play at math. To read books. To make a game where oxygens become miraculously separated from hydrogens. Hey, where did my hot water go? To realize calculus was mostly a matter of turning the numbers and triangles you already know on their sides. To read Old Man in the Sea with everyone that you ride the bus with. To believe the fish is only one metaphor. To believe the whale in Moby Dick is only another. To understand that seas and men with a single-minded idea mean that 200 or 600 or 800 pages later means that know you know something about the purpose of tattoos. That you take the tattoo knowledge to college and you smash it against Plato, Ulysses and chemistry isn’t even organic. You make a collage on the front lawn. You haul a swimming pool up to the roof and call it a hot tub. You learn that everyone has to speak up if they want to be heard. You learn to sit and listen sometimes too. And you figure out that it’s in the classroom that a microcosm of the good life occurs—where you can listen and innovate and plan and imagine and disagree and come to some sort of compromise that says, this is one good thing I did with my life: I went to school. And then I sent someone else there. Think of the numbers of people you as one man can send. One man and big sea of college-going fish. You can send them forward or you can let them sink. Fish fish fish fish fish.

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