These are some of my dirty secrets:
- I won first place in the Arizona state spelling bee in 1967, and I got a prize (not first) in the state math contest in 1971.
- My entire freshman year of college, I had a calculus class at 7:40 a.m. Monday through Friday.
- When I actually had a place to store them, my books and records (yes, it has been that long) were in alphabetical order.
- I always put things back where I found them.
- My favorite iPhone app is the American Heritage Dictionary ($19.99).
- I can calculate square roots and do Celsius-Fahrenheit conversions by hand.
- I have a poster on my office wall with several famous opening sentences in literature–diagrammed.
- A friend from graduate school proposed that I infiltrate the Moral Majority because I would fit right in.
- My culinary motto is “If you can read, you can cook.”
- I suspect that I belong with the “instruments of precision” at the end of Lionel Trilling’s short story “Of This Time, Of That Place.”
- If you have read this far, the factoid that follows should be no surprise: On the pop-psych quizzes I love to take, I usually score about 75% left brained.
In sum, lists, schedules, logic, and order comfort me; the second law of thermodynamics–that entropy will win in the end–terrifies me. I am a master of linear thinking, induction and deduction, and the appeals of logos, ethos, and pathos. Continue reading . . .