Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group Thursday 26, April 9:00 P.M. EDT Teachers In Heinlein

Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group

Thursday 26, April 9:00 P.M. EDT

Teachers In Heinlein

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Here Begin The A.F.H. postings
A theme in Heinlein books that maybe doesn’t get discussed as much as it should is education and the people who provide it. Overall of course, the main educator is Heinlein himself. What he put in his books, especially the juveniles, was a tireless repetition of the idea that learning never stops and that only a fool fails to take advantage of the opportunity to learn new skills.

Professor de la Paz exemplifies this. In Moon he set up a whole system of schools with a variety of pupils, including Mannie but he was equally willing to become the student.

‘I started electronics under him, soon was teaching him. So he stopped charging and we went along together until he dug up an engineer willing to daylight or extra money – whereupon we both paid new teacher and Prof tried to stick with me, thumb-fingered and slow, but happy to be stretching his knowledge.”

This attitude reminds me of Uncle Alfred in Time For The Stars; they are expected to study on board the ship to take their minds off the voyage,

“Uncle Alfred tried to sign up for everything, which was impossible, even if he didn’t eat, sleep, nor stand watch. He had never, he told me, had time for all the schooling he wanted and now at last he was going to get it.”

Maybe education is wasted on the young..they take it for granted or resent it, instead of being in awe of its power. Which leads us onto another area…the decline of quality education that, in part, makes a youngster feel that way.

Now, I don’t want to get off track and discuss the education system as such; I think the belief that our children aren’t working as hard as we did stretches back centuries..but Heinlein was definitely concerned that children weren’t getting a solid grounding in the really important subjects. Added to this was a minor theme, exemplified by Zeb’s degree and Clyde Lermer; the man with a degree in a worthless subject who thought that made him better than the hard working, less qualified colonists. To sum it up; pieces of paper and letters after your name are all well and good….but they don’t count for much when the chips are down if they’re not backed up by true intelligence and common sense.

So with that as background, I’d like to look at the teachers in the books and, make no mistake, the problem here is choosing which one as it’s almost impossible to think of a book that doesn’t have some sort of teacher/pupil scenario in it. Which teachers do you remember? Baslim who begged, Dubois who debated, Matson who survived; all maimed physically but still unimpaired in their ability to inspire. Kelly, Hendrix or Sam; who taught Max most? Cas, Pol and Kip all were coasting happily until their fathers kicked them out of their complacency; are parents the best teachers or is it a partnership between parents and trained educators? Can we see a pattern of the pupil surpassing the teacher? Mike and Jubal perhaps? Or is Thorby still a puppet of Baslim, whether he realises it or not? Is the acid test of graduation being able to beat one’s teacher or will a draw suffice?

This discussion can go a lot of different ways; I’ll just make one plea; it may slip off into discussing present day education and nothing else. Now that’s interesting but it’s something that has come up here on afh many times and I’m sure it will again. If possible, I’d like to keep focused on the books and the teachers in them.

[Editor’s note: These posts actually occurred prior to the jumpoff post by Jane Davitt, but I thought it useful to include them]

AGplusone wrote:


>Drop in on our chat group sometime when you’re able. Better, since you are

>likely to know more than just a bit about teaching, e mail Oz, Jane, and Dave

>Wright, and propose a subject theme for one set of meetings related to that

>subject to discuss. It’s been a while (going way back on AOL) since we focused

>and discussed teaching and education seriously and specifically in one of our

>chats, e.g., HSS–WT, Red Planet, the blistering attack in Universe’s essays,

>et al., as well as the laudatory characters portrayed by RAH as ‘teachers,’

>mentors and other educators of the young and not-so-young.



I think this would be an excellent topic; teachers in Heinlein range from the “proper” ones like Matson and Dubois to the less orthodox but equally valuable ones like Baslim. There is also the Centreville crew to look at…well meaning but wrong headed and the two faces of colonial teaching as shown by ‘Stoobie’ and Howe.

ddavitt wrote:

>teachers in Heinlein range from the “proper”

>ones like Matson and Dubois to the less orthodox but equally valuable ones like

>Baslim. There is also the Centreville crew to look at…well meaning but wrong headed

Ah, but remember, in HSSWT, Kip’s Spanish teacher Miss Hernandez, who tutored him in Latin (and his Spanish improved plenty as well). Later in the story, her contribution proved crucial in allowing Kip to talk to Iunio.

Even in Centerville, there were some good teachers.

Mike Dworetsky
Mike Dworetsky wrote:


>Ah, but remember, in HSSWT, Kip’s Spanish teacher Miss Hernandez, who

>tutored him in Latin (and his Spanish improved plenty as well). Later

>in the story, her contribution proved crucial in allowing Kip to talk to



>Even in Centerville, there were some good teachers.



GMTA….I made that same point in a recent email, having given the subject a bit more thought but I couldn’t quite remember her name.

Anyway, hold onto those musings; the next chat is to discuss Teachers In Heinlein and discussion can open (officially;-)) on Sunday.

Which isn’t to say it can’t be discussed before that of course….just makes it easier to collate all the pre meeting posts if they are in a specially marked thread and two chats don’t overlap.

>I’m not sure how academic qualifications are awarded in the USA. In Britain,

>they *used* to be awarded on the basis of independently marked exams – but a

>couple of decades back, some educationalists got it into their pointy heads

>that they should be awarded on the basis of coursework. The upshot was that

>whereas in the past you could have as much fun as you liked with your

>teachers and still get assessed on the basis of your ability, more recently

>you had to rely on them for your qualifications.


>In other words, nowadays if you irritate your teacher, you could wind up

>paying for it for the rest of your life.






>Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.

The RAH quote springs to mind: “The differrence between science and the ‘fuzzy stuff’ is that the former requires reason, whereas the latter requires mere scholorship”. One of His lines I have kept close.

Virtually all of non scientific higher education is based on the authority of the speaker, and woe betide any who disagree.

Many of its roots lie in draft / war resistors of the 60’s. And some of its fruits are grading K-12 students on how they “feel” about the subject.

cheers (anyhow)


Just a thought; can anyone think of any significant female teachers? Apart from the one who taught Kip Spanish but she wasn’t really a major character.

And is a mentor the same as a teacher? If not, what’s the difference? If we look at two of the ‘proper’ teachers can we see similarities? Matson has doubts about Rod; and is proved wrong. Rico thinks Dubois dislikes him; and he is proved wrong. Both leave their teachers with feelings of unworthiness and then go on to prove themselves. Is this a failure on the part of their teachers or not? Did Matson’s words of caution do much to help Rod? Did Dubois’ teachings, annoying and deeply insulting as they seemed at the time, have anything to do with Juan enlisting?

Jane Davitt wrote:

:: * * * I’d like to look at the teachers in the

::books and, make no mistake, the problem here is choosing which one

::as it’s almost impossible to think of a book that doesn’t have some

::sort of teacher/pupil scenario in it. Which teachers do you

::remember? Baslim who begged, Dubois who debated, Matson who

::survived; all maimed physically but still unimpaired in their

::ability to inspire. Kelly, Hendrix or Sam; who taught Max most?

::Cas, Pol and Kip all were coasting happily until their fathers

::kicked them out of their complacency; are parents the best teachers

::or is it a partnership between parents and trained educators?

I’ve been too nice to Jane, lately. It’s time to start another fight.

I don’t think any favorable portraits are depicted of “trained educators,” as such, whatever formalities that term may encompass, in any Heinlein story, possibly excepting only the Dean where Maureen decides to educate herself; and he isn’t shown “teaching” in any formal sense, although he evidently amused himself by reading Mo’s doctoral papers. Even little Maureen’s (Puddin’) daddy is never shown in a classroom. Where an individual is shown to be exemplary in actual teaching, it’s either a formally untrained person depicted, or the occasional oddball frustrated by the system, e.g., Mrs. Hernandez, the Latin teacher now forced to teach Spanish because after centuries to the contrary, our “trained educators” have lately decreed that Latin, a dead language, is no longer worthy of being taught to anyone, except, significantly, to themselves in their post-graduate studies at university where they presumably learn to teach. Ever her most effective teaching was something she did in her spare time outside formal classes with Kip. She may have been a disaster teaching Spanish in that classroom, for all we know. I had an ex-Latin teacher, Mrs. Oelrich, in high school, for the two extra years of it I struggled through, for “practicality,” when I finished up with Latin. She taught me, in Southern California, to speak Spanish with an accent “proper” only in Castile. Of course, that may have been her only possible sensible protest at having to teach a language that was “practical.” [She’d let you get away with Mexican pronunciation, she obviously spoke it that way beautifully herself, and I saw her occasionally reduce show-off native-tongue students to near tears with machine-gun bursts using their own accents and idiom.] Or at best, we know nothing about any formal training the individual may have. There is nothing formal shown about Matson’s training, for example: he’s simply an individual, called Doctor, when they don’t dare call him Deacon, with a couple letters after his name he could have gotten by correspondence courses he took over the winters of his career out in the field, or by examination when he retired from active explorations, who was professional successful at the trade he teaches, survival. Dubois is merely a crippled veteran with a cincture, that is, he has little more than a very effective Old Boys Network ensuring people like him, veterans, and only people like him, get jobs teaching the subject he teaches, History and Moral Philosophy. What kind of “formal training” did that require? Self-brain washing? What else, if anything, does he teach? We don’t know. Where did he find time working his way up to Lieutenant Colonel, before losing that arm, to take “formal” teaching courses? Hendrix doesn’t appear to have any formal training in teaching. He teaches his apprentices one way, his Captain another, just as Hank the Blacksmith will teach his apprentices to bend horseshoes his way, and Yorick the Barber of York on Saturday Night Live will teach blood-letting his own way to those indentured to him.

And I disagree with the absurd notion that an examination of what Heinlein obviously considered necessary to be a “teacher” can take place without a careful look at the underlaying precepts of what system or philosophy of education the so-called teacher labors under.

::Can we see a pattern of the pupil surpassing the teacher? Mike and

::Jubal perhaps? Or is Thorby still a puppet of Baslim, whether he

::realises it or not? Is the acid test of graduation being able to

::beat one’s teacher or will a draw suffice?

What should that have to do with anything? I would think Heinlein would answer the question of what objective an education should attain with one word, merely, “learning,” not any certain level of achievement. “Goal orientation” isn’t something measurable by a degree, a certain grade point average, the passing through of a certain minimum number of weeks, months and years of “instruction” at a subject or curriculum, it’s an individual accomplishing his own chosen achievement, unless all formal education is is trade school for a job, somewhere, doing something.

If what the education czars of a society have decided to be the proper goal of their system is that everyone should receive instruction sufficient to award a college degree so that all are able to attain a certain level of productivity in supporting themselves, then they might as well enact legislation awarding the degree as they do in the California Republic in _Friday_, and leave it at that.

Zim is a teacher. Do you seriously think any of the graduates of Camp Currie, and subsequent training elsewhere, can even come close to a draw against him when they let them go on with “Trained Private” in front of their names? They couldn’t even come close to a draw against a hungover Corporal Bronson, er, Bronski.

And if we are not to look at the present education system, as you suggest we not, what difference does it make who comprises the partnership? A partnership between “trained educators” and “parents” are relevant only to an education system involving children, their parents being responsible for their education, and some surrogate directly or indirectly paid by them to educate children on behalf of parents. When Maureen Johnson Smith returns to formal education, what relevance does anything her parents care about the schools she attends, assuming either care, have to anything? My point I suppose is education and being taught doesn’t end with childhood, whenever that ends. And I don’t think Heinlein’s lessons about education and teaching ended there either. Who taught teacher David MacKinnon? What were their names? And what was the name of the school that gave him his post-doctoral course?

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”

>From: ddavitt

>Just a thought; can anyone think of any significant female teachers?

>Apart from the one who taught Kip Spanish but she wasn’t really a major


Well, there was Mrs. Wicklund from I Will Fear No Evil. Not sure if that was quite what you were looking for. WEG. Also, she was a minor character along the lines of Kip’s Spanish teacher.

Jill and Mike from Stranger alternated between pupil and teacher.

Eunice from I Will Fear No Evil, especially after she “died.”

Mrs. Mayberry out of Time Enough for Love, in the Tale of the Adopted Daughter. She is another relatively secondary character.

It does appear that most of the teachers were male, though.

This post did start another line of thought, though. Did the viewpoint of any story ever shift to a non human character? Not that I can recall.

Mr. President, we must not allow a mine shaft gap!
LV Poker Player wrote:


>This post did start another line of thought, though. Did the viewpoint of any

>story ever shift to a non human character? Not that I can recall.



We get to see the world through Lummox’s eyes once or twice.


wrote in message news:

>LV Poker Player wrote:



>>This post did start another line of thought, though. Did the viewpoint of any

>>story ever shift to a non human character? Not that I can recall.




>We get to see the world through Lummox’s eyes once or twice.





I recall a brief shift to Willis’s viewpoint in the very opening of the book. Seems that I recall another one there, but I’m not sure.

David Wright

On 2001.04.17 12:26:13,

the amazing


>LV Poker Player wrote:



>>This post did start another line of thought, though. Did the viewpoint of any

>>story ever shift to a non human character? Not that I can recall.



>We get to see the world through Lummox’s eyes once or twice.


Yes, and the shift of PV on the last page is very important to the “feel” of the story.

Cheers, N.

Nollaig MacKenzie


Setiathome: “You have completed more work units than 96.021% of our users.”

wrote in message




>And is a mentor the same as a teacher?

For purposes of the point that I am making here, I am equating the two:

Heinlein often used the device of having a teacher/mentor turn out to be something much more than was apparent initially to either the protagonist or to the reader. I am thinking of:

a) Dubois who Juan thought was just an ordinary veteran who had been fixed up with a soft job teaching a course which didn’t have to be passed. He turned out to be a Lt. Colonel in the M.I.

b) Kip’s father, certainly a key figure in Kip’s eductation, turned out to be someone well known and respected by top scientists and politicians.

c) Baslim, of course, who was more than just a beggar on Jubbulpore, but had also been a high-ranking officer in the guard and had actually been a teacher at one point at the academy.

d) Colonel Neilsen, who had been a Wing Marshal? and put in for reduction so he could head the academy.

e) Sam’s boss, in Puppet Masters, who turned out to be his father.

f) Rufo, who ostensibly was a servant, was really a cultural anthropologist?, and Starr’s grandson!

g) Starr, who turned out to be Empress!

h) Jubal, who at first appears only to be an eccentric writer, is both a Medical Doctor and a Lawyer.

i) Sir Isaac, who although not precisely a mentor, was considered by Don to be somewhat of a father figure and who turned out to be a first rate scientist.

There are probably more than I can remember at the moment. I’m not really sure what purpose, if any, that Heinlein may have had in mind for such situations. To me, these types of situations often provided an additional level of ‘reality’ to the story. There may be, and probably are, much more important reasons for his having done these.

I’m not sure that I have contributed to the main thread here, but all of this came to mind when I started thinking about this subject. So here it is for whatever it is worth.

David Wright
David Wright wrote:


>I’m not sure that I have contributed to the main thread here, but all of

>this came to mind when I started thinking about this subject. So here it is

>for whatever it is worth.



You certainly have; I hadn’t added it all up before but it’s true; a lot of Heinlein characters Aren’t What They Seem. This is a plot tradition going back to fairy tales, where the wizened old crone you help always turns out to be a beautiful witch…

I had a quick look at the Merriam Webster and Mentor was a friend of Odysseus, employed to educate his son, Telemachus. In more general terms, a counsellor or a guide. That sounds like a description of a good teacher to me.

In that case, I’ll stick my neck out and say all the books have an example of this. John from Star Beast is one of the few who doesn’t seem to at first glance but he has the memories and examples of his ancestors to guide him.

[Editor’s note: Mixed in with the regular thread are a number of posts which were not on the direct thread, but I felt that they were applicable]

I’ve just read on an Italia SF Mailing List a message that got me thinking about the real meaning of the title of _The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress_.

What is it supposed to mean?

In the Italian translation they translated it into “La Luna e’ una severa maestra”, that re-translates back in English into “The Moon is a Severe Teacher”.

But now I see that “Mistress” might mean “teacher” alright, but that it might also mean “lover”… so which is the obviuos meaning of the title to American ears?


http://heinlein.cjb.net – RAH in Italian
I’ve often wondered about that myself. That title was insisted on by the editor who thought it up.

The title it was sold to Putnam under was “The Brass Cannon” which seems more appropriate to me.

Virginia Heinlein

—– Original Message —–

From: “Astyanax12”

Newsgroups: alt.fan.heinlein

Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 6:35 PM

Subject: Re: “Harsh Mistress”

>I’ve often wondered about that myself. That title was insisted on by the

>editor who thought it up.


>The title it was sold to Putnam under was “The Brass Cannon” which seems more

>appropriate to me.


>Virginia Heinlein


I haven’t been able to track down the exact quote, but if I am not mistaken, there is a point at which Prof says that Luna is a harsh ‘school’ mistress. At least that was my impression as to the meaning of the title. Again, that could be one of my ‘unconscious assumptions’, among many others, that I have made about RAH’s works.

David Wright
ddavitt wrote:

>ddavitt wrote in article



>>Just a thought; can anyone think of any significant female


>>Apart from the one who taught Kip Spanish but she wasn’t

>really a major



>Didn’t Joe Green in Gulf first meet the woman who wat to

>become his wife snip

Just in case people didn’t scroll down far enough the first time I posted this, I’d like to clarify that I posted this for George Partlow who was unable to get his posts to show on the ng.

David Wright wrote:


>I haven’t been able to track down the exact quote, but if I am not mistaken,

>there is a point at which Prof says that Luna is a harsh ‘school’ mistress.

>At least that was my impression as to the meaning of the title. Again, that

>could be one of my ‘unconscious assumptions’, among many others, that I have

>made about RAH’s works.


>David Wright

I think you’re right David; the idea is that on the moon you learn or you don’t last long. Perhaps ‘mistress’ is an abbreviation of ‘taskmistress’?

>Perhaps ‘mistress’ is an abbreviation of ‘taskmistress’?


I think in American English mistress has less implication of schoolmistress than it does of “woman in a position of authority” — so “governess” would be a closer synonym in American than “teacher.” In the very deep south, in the parts where there is a French influence, a servant would address her employer as “mistress.” In the Theocratic north “mistress” was used the way we use “miss” or “mrs” (= mistress) now — it was the general honorific for a woman. The full form of address is completely obsolete, and even the “Mrs.” abbreviation is becoming obsolete. Correct usage is not even taught any more (i.e., there is no Mrs. Virginia Heinlein; there can only be Virginia Heinlein or Mrs. Robert A. Heinlein)

“BPRAL22169″wrote in message news:

>>Perhaps ‘mistress’ is an abbreviation of ‘taskmistress’?



>I think in American English mistress has lessimplication of schoolmistress than

>it does of “woman in a position of authority” — so “governess” would be a

>closer synonym in American than “teacher.” In the very deep south, in the

>parts where there is a French influence, a servant would address her employer

>as “mistress.” In the Theocratic north “mistress” was used the way we use

>”miss” or “mrs” (= mistress) now — it was the general honorific for a woman.

>The full form of address is completely obsolete, and even the “Mrs.”

>abbreviation is becoming obsolete. Correct usage is not even taught any more >(i.e., there is no Mrs. Virginia Heinlein; there can only be Virginia Heinlein

>or Mrs. Robert A. Heinlein)



I believe that you are correct in the normal situation. However, for whatever reason, the phrase ‘harsh mistress’ brought up the images of a one-room school house, a matronly lady in a long dress with a ruler in her hand putting a dunce cap on an unruly student and setting him in the corner. I am still fairly sure that somewhere in the book is a use of the phrase, either with the word ‘school’ added or implied by additional words such as ‘lesson’ or something like that.

The word ‘Master’ is definitely used in British English meaning the head of a school or college as in ‘the Master of Balliol’. I don’t know whether or not ‘Mistress’ is ever used in a similar context, although ‘Headmaster’ and ‘Headmistress’ certainly are.

David Wright
[Editor’s note: No further postings from the ‘Harsh Mistress’ thread were added after this’ I wonder if we can make a case for Heinlein getting more depressed about teachers and the constraints under which they laboured ( following the grammatical rule there!)?

Look at RSG, the first of the juveniles. His three lead characters are at a great school;

” I guess it is a pretty progressive school,” Ross agreed. “It’s a mechanical-arts- and science high school and it has more courses in math and science and shop work than most.”

And later Cargraves asks them what kind of high school teaches differential equations.

” It’s a new approach. You have to pass a test, then they give you algebra through quadratics, plane and spherical trigonometry, plane and solid geometry, and plane and solid analytical geometry all in one course, stirred in together. When you finish that course – and you take it as slow or as fast as you like – you go on.”

I’m sure I remember doing differential equations at A level if not earlier but maybe I’m forgetting. However it seems that Heinlein was advocating something quite unusual back in 1947.

What he got, or what he prophesied was Centreville;

“Algebra and plane geometry were all the math our school offered; I went ahead on my own with advanced algebra and solid geometry and trigonometry and might have stopped as far as College Boards were concerned – but math is worse than peanuts.”

The nadir was Zeb’s experiences and his scathing description of the teachers of his country;

“I knew that the stupidest students, the silliest professors, and the worst bull courses are concentrated in schools of education.”

Hang on; what do these schools do? Do they train teachers? Formulate policy? It’s a rather worrying thought.

I think we can assume that Matson and Dubois wouldn’t have gone through such useless teacher training ( of course, they were in different universes which may have helped). Their worlds seemed to have a more positive attitude towards education. Heinlein had stopped producing positive role models (given up in despair probably) by NOTB and was reduced to ridicule and cynical assessments….

I had a few teachers who stood out; I remember four, possibly five out of about 50. The rest were ineffectual, uninspiring and just going through the motions. Or as power hungry as the student in Red Planet suggested. The interesting thing about the juveniles is that even when the teachers are bad, the pupils get by. Cas and Pol don’t even have teachers but they are motivated to succeed, for whatever reasons. Kip is another example. And what about Max? One of the more unusual juveniles because of his poverty and lack of a stable family. His determination saves him. So, are the teachers necessary? Or only necessary for some? Do the ones who succeed in spite of bad teachers turn out better than those with good teachers?

Jane Davitt wrote:

>I wonder if we can make a case for Heinlein getting more depressed about

>teachers and the constraints under which they laboured ( following the

>grammatical rule there!)?


>Look at RSG, the first of the juveniles. His three lead characters are at


>great school;

>” I guess it is a pretty progressive school,” Ross agreed. “It’s a

>mechanical-arts- and science high school and it has more courses in math

>and science and shop work than most.”

>And later Cargraves asks them what kind of high school teaches differential


>” It’s a new approach. You have to pass a test, then they give you algebra

>through quadratics, plane and spherical trigonometry, plane and solid

>geometry, and plane and solid analytical geometry all in one course,

>stirred in together. When you finish that course – and you take it as slow

>or as fast as you like – you go on.”


>I’m sure I remember doing differential equations at A level if not earlier

>but maybe I’m forgetting. However it seems that Heinlein was advocating

>something quite unusual back in 1947.


I’m not altogether certain it was all that unusual. I started school in 1948, in the first grade. A year later I was attending an experimental school conducted by Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a public school devoted to something politically incorrect today–elites intellectually. To get in, little kids were tested for IQ, using what was then the standard testing for children their age, subject of course to all the criticisms laid then and in subsequent years. You had to score genius level to be considered; and they interviewed your parents, as well. Somehow someone made a mistake in administering the test to me and I qualified, my parents were supportive, and I wound up in the school until we moved to California two years later.

Judging from what my subjects in that school were, what the boys in Galileo attended was well within reason. I’d have expected eighth grade kids in this experimental school I attended to be ready, intellectually and scholastically, for about any college that existed.

That was the last I ever experienced or heard of a public advanced achievement school, until recent years when so-called “magnet” schools became fashionably for various reasons, some good, some indifferent, some bad.

>What he got, or what he prophesied was Centreville;

>”Algebra and plane geometry were all the math our school offered; I went

>ahead on my own with advanced algebra and solid geometry and trigonometry

>and might have stopped as far as College Boards were concerned – but math

>is worse than peanuts.”


Somewhere along in the 1950s, what I was led by my own teachers to believe what was fashionable and, more importantly, what was envisioned in my school as a model was the so-called “comprehensive” school, in which different tracks–academic and college preparation, business and general, and vocational, existed on the same campus. I keep wanting to say Connaught or Connelly was the educator behind this theory, but it’s been far to many years for me to remember. You were placed in whatever track your parents desired, assuming your grades so warranted it, and continued until or unless your parents requested a change, or poor grades mandated one. Obviously, if you wanted a change, you dealt with your parents; and if the school’s advisors wanted to change you, they dealt with your parents. It wasn’t like England, for example, because you were not stuck into one track for all time based on examinations taken once at some age level.

Maybe Educators’ or Child Psychologists’ concern over the “stigma” as they call it of a child’s being in one track finally overcame good sense; because I’m not sure they do that any more. OTOH, Los Angeles Trade Technical High School, and Long Beach Polytechnical High School, to name two in my area, were recognized as among the finest of their kind in the land back then. Not all the schools in the LAUSD back then were envisioned as Comprehensive High Schools. Trade Tech was just that and there was another one in the Valley. There were also five high not co-ed schools (four for boys, one for girls) that were disciplinary in nature. All the bad apples were transferred into and kept there–or passed on to more challenging 24-hour/7 days weekly courses of instruction or, rather, confinements, or at age sixteen were bid adieu.

Centerville High didn’t seem to be a comprehensive school to me when I read the novel while I attended my own public high school in the 1950s. It seemed incredibly dumbed down compared to my own school, which admittedly had a fairly high academic standing in what was then a very good public school system. Math subjects available, for example, went far beyond what Kip was offered, and surpassed what he studied on his own, so far as I can tell, although I only went as far in high school as trig and analytical geometry. Others went farther. I dunno, maybe kids taking a general course in my high school got that twaddle about adjustment instead of academic achievement; but I didn’t.

>The nadir was Zeb’s experiences and his scathing description of the

>teachers of his country;

>”I knew that the stupidest students, the silliest professors, and the worst

>bull courses are concentrated in schools of education.”

>Hang on; what do these schools do? Do they train teachers? Formulate

>policy? It’s a rather worrying thought.

I don’t know anything first hand about schools of education. At the university level very few at my university majored in education as a first choice. Most in the late sixties and early seventies who took primary or secondary teaching credentials did so, at least from my major, only after it became evident to them they were not going to be accepted into a decent or an affordable graduate or professional school. Of course, my university (the University of California) wasn’t then intended as a school for training as primary or secondary teachers; that was the job of the State College system–as it was then called, today it’s titled California State University because it also awards advanced degrees, so they say. We simply smile politely when they say it, and do not point out that it was always intended for CSC to award advanced degrees in Education.

>I think we can assume that Matson and Dubois wouldn’t have gone through

>such useless teacher training ( of course, they were in different universes

>which may have helped). Their worlds seemed to have a more positive

>attitude towards education.

I want to tie this thought into something I’ve read in Phillip Owenby’s forthcoming work, adapted from his dissertation, on Heinlein as an educator. It goes back, I think and recall from implications I received briefly and quickly scanning that dissertation, to an attitude our society seems to have lost: the notion that education is a life-long affair for all classes.

“Education,” lectures and deliberate reading, used to occupy a good deal of leisure time, even of those social classes who didn’t have a good deal of time. Radio programs, many of them, were educational. Magazines too.

Heinlein’s early writing, much of it, for *adults* was educational, particularly that which appeared in the slicks immediately after World War II. The magazines that catered to that sort of writing for the general public have largely gone out of business.

The Eye in the corner of our living rooms killed not only those magazines but that attitude I think–almost all of it. Hence, the “babble box” described in SiaSL, and Jubal’s opinion of it.

>Heinlein had stopped producing positive role

>models (given up in despair probably) by NOTB and was reduced to ridicule

>and cynical assessments….

Unless you speak of mentors such as Dr. Baldwin, displaced from teaching at colleges or universities into something else … I wonder what his doctorate was in?

>I had a few teachers who stood out; I remember four, possibly five out of

>about 50. The rest were ineffectual, uninspiring and just going through



I’m a generation before you, or more. I’d never say I had only a few who stood out. Most of the teachers I experienced were excellent and devoted–and far exceeded what I hear of public schools today (I suspect what I hear is about as true to fact as the truth of the recent media focus on increases in teenaged crime–there isn’t an increase–just an “if it bleeds, it leads” attitude in our media); of the others, all but less than a handful, did no harm. I remember most of my teachers with fondness, sadly I fear most of my later ones if they remember me at all remember me as a source of frustration. [“Why doesn’t he study?”]

>Or as power hungry as the student in Red Planet suggested.

Good isn’t necessarily mutually exclusive of power hungry, although the later can detract from effectiveness of the former. I remember a couple department heads who were both. I ran into one who was both power hungry and bad. Her class walked out on her and got her fired less than two months after she began teaching–of course this was not a public but a parochial school at which freedom to terminate employment was greater–and Mother Superior Amard, I.H.M., carried a terrible swift sword–no one, adult or child in that parish or in the school, ever doubted that fact for an instant. I also remember one insane teacher–apparently a slow, sad progression. It took, in the public school she was employed, a while longer to put her where she couldn’t harm further students. They made her a “counselor” for a while until they could retire her.

>The interesting thing about the juveniles is that even when the teachers

>are bad, the pupils get by. Cas and Pol don’t even have teachers but they

>are motivated to succeed, for whatever reasons. Kip is another example.


>what about Max? One of the more unusual juveniles because of his poverty

>and lack of a stable family. His determination saves him. So, are the

>teachers necessary? Or only necessary for some? Do the ones who succeed


>spite of bad teachers turn out better than those with good teachers?

I cannot answer those questions. Heinlein constructed those situations with me in mind, I believe, however. He intended, I believe, and I certainly took away the belief that education, ultimately, was up to me to motivate myself if others couldn’t or wouldn’t motivate, up to me to set my goals if those set by others were too low. And he inspired me with the silly notion that there are a lot of subjects just like math that are “like peanuts,” i.e., you cannot eat just one plate and leave the rest of it there.

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”
AGplusone wrote:


>I cannot answer those questions. Heinlein constructed those situations with me

>in mind, I believe, however. He intended, I believe, and I certainly took away

>the belief that education, ultimately, was up to me to motivate myself if

>others couldn’t or wouldn’t motivate, up to me to set my goals if those set by

>others were too low. And he inspired me with the silly notion that there are a

>lot of subjects just like math that are “like peanuts,” i.e., you cannot eat

>just one plate and leave the rest of it there.


Learning for learning’s sake, rather than with an eye to exams, career choices and such is a joy but also a luxury in today’s society. We have entirely the wrong way of looking at it; as something to be endured till age 16/18/21 or whenever you finally leave the education system.

The flip side of this is the misguided notion that once you’ve failed at school and left it behind you, you can’t go back and try again.

Like voting, the easy availability of education has rendered it cheap. The clichΓ© of the country children who walked miles to school, in all weathers, to get an education, is after all based on fact. Those children could have stayed away and remained ignorant. They didn’t. How many kids today would put themselves through so much hardship to get educated? And of those that would, what is their motivation? Max wanted to escape, Cas and Pol were bitten by the true love of learning, Peewee was an Elephant’s Child….today’s children probably have an eye on a well paid job with benefits and a company car….

AGplusone wrote:

>It wasn’t like England, for example, because you

>were not stuck into one track for all time based on examinations taken once at

>some age level.


Nitpick – it was possible to switch tracks, if you were good enough – my father did



Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things. Simon:

>AGplusone wrote:


>>It wasn’t like England, for example, because you

>>were not stuck into one track for all time based on examinations taken

>once at

>>some age level.




>Nitpick – it was possible to switch tracks, if you were good enough – my father did.

Fair enough. My understanding is/was: however, it was a bit easier to do that over here in the 1950s than in England. I’m not sure it was so usual as to be common, but it occurred in goodly numbers.

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”
Go To Postings

Here Begins The Discussion Log

You have just entered room “Heinlein Readers Group chat.”

CHASGRAFT has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi there.

fgherman has entered the room.

ddavitt: Quiet tonight!

ddavitt: Hi Felicia

CHASGRAFT: Howdy. Charlie Graft here

fgherman: Hello

ddavitt: We may be a little thin on the ground. Ginny is away and Bill is moving house

fgherman: I’m sure we’ll manage

ddavitt: usually do

fgherman: Joel may be joining us

ddavitt: Great! More the merrier

ddavitt: Tonight we’re looking at teachers in Heinlein.

fgherman: Like in Starship Troopers

CHASGRAFT: Professor Paz is one of my heroes.

ddavitt: My pile of Books That Might Be Useful is getting topheavy next to me; i keep thinking of more to bring in

ddavitt: darn..off to fetch ST

fgherman: I didn’t mean to chase you away

ddavitt: I’m back; library is only a few feet away

CHASGRAFT: I’m bookless; I’m operating from out of town. OTOH, on my normal schedule, I likely could not be here.

ddavitt: Never mind; I think the discussion will be pretty loose

ddavitt: Not much response on afh to the pre meeting posts πŸ™

fgherman: Most of my SF library is in boxes from our move here…7.5 years ago

ddavitt: So it could go in any direction

fgherman: I only saw it this morning

ddavitt: EEK…I unpacked my books within 2 weeks of emigrating

fgherman: I had a baby within 2 months

ddavitt: i can’t live with them in boxes; double stacked is bad enough

ddavitt: I moved heavily pregnant too…not fun

CHASGRAFT: I did it the easy way — I haven’t moved in 33 years.

fgherman: I couldn’t even bend over to pack

ddavitt: Frustrating not being able to do stuff

fgherman: Amen to that

ddavitt: Since I grew up this ( 4 years) is the longest I’ve been in the same house

ddavitt: We seem to move into wrecks, fix them up and then let someone else enjoy them

fgherman: Next time I move I’m using a match

ddavitt: πŸ™‚

ddavitt: Not too bad emigrating as the new company paid relocation; having removal men come in and pack is luxury

ddavitt: I didn’t have to pack anything, not even empty drawers

fgherman: I had friends pack for us…Lot of karma to pay back

ddavitt: You realise just how much stuff you have…and I threw or gave away loads

ddavitt: Including bookcases…must have been temporaliy insane

ddavitt: Didn’t seem worthwhile taking them . bad move!

fgherman: That’s kind of like throwing away matches to stop smoking

CHASGRAFT has left the room.

ddavitt: Well, they were cheap build yourself ones and not very stable. I decided they would arrive in bits so gave them to friends

fgherman: 2 of ours didn’t quite survive the move

ddavitt: Since we’ve moved to a big house ( Canadian houses are huge compared to UK ones) I have a library for the first time ever. Not big enough but it’s a start

CHASGRAFT has entered the room.

fgherman: It seems odd that as a librarian, my personal library is such a mess

ddavitt: I can’t take over any more of the house tho; the rest are in the basement.

fgherman: I hope you don’t have any flooding down there

ddavitt: Oh are you? I volunteer at our local library

CHASGRAFT: Sorry about that — hit the wrong key.:-\

ddavitt: No; the man before us had his computer down there so we figured it wasn’t damp

fgherman: I thought it might be something I said

ddavitt: No problem!

CHASGRAFT: Parkinson’s Law variation — books expand to take up all possible room.

fgherman: πŸ™‚

fgherman: And then some

ddavitt: What sort of libraries do you work in?

fgherman: right now I’m in an advertising firm

ddavitt: I get dibs on any library books I delete which helps to bring in more on a regular basis

fgherman: (Having gone over to the Dark side…)

ddavitt: Ahh…

fgherman: But I started out in a public library

fgherman: And immediately took charge of the sf section

fgherman: πŸ™‚

ddavitt: If you have any tips for me on the Heinlein Society that would be great; I’m in charge of the Library section but I’m not experienced really

ddavitt: Apart from vast amounts of time spent in libraries since I could toddle

fgherman: I’ll take a look in my copious free time and see what’s there

ddavitt: Not much yet…I did a post on afh asking people to check out h books to keep them in demand but that’s about all

fgherman: It’s a legitimate way to remain a perpetual student

ddavitt: i know if they’re not borrowed they end up on sale and that’s not good

fgherman: My problem is I don’t need to borrow Heinlein books; I *own* them all.

ddavitt: When babies are all in full time school I plan to work in a library, don’t know why I never went for that from the start

fgherman: Getting the MLS is no piece of cake

ddavitt: So do I but I still went round and borrowed them all…then returned them the next day

fgherman: hmmm.

ddavitt: Have you ever read the Miss Zukas books?

ddavitt: She is a librarian who solves murders

fgherman: Doesn’t sound familiar

ddavitt: By Jo Dereske

fgherman: I’ll look into them.

ddavitt: She is a fascinating character. Much is made of the difference between professional librarians and amateurs

CHASGRAFT: I’ve gotta go move my laundry to the dryer.

ddavitt: Ok, when you get back we’ll start

fgherman: Sounds like a plan

ddavitt: Lucky Ginny is in Bermuda…though we have finally hit spring here now

ddavitt: Still have morning frosts but no more snow

fgherman: You sound even colder than us in Minneapolis

ddavitt: I am near Toronto; is that further north than you?

ddavitt: I have a poor grasp of US geography

fgherman: I don’t think so, but I’d have to check

ddavitt: I was amazed to find out that Maine is north of me

ddavitt: It’s the way is bends on a globe as opposed to a flat map I think

fgherman: We finally have spring here

ddavitt: Our weather is crazy; I put the air conditioning on a night ago; then had the heating on the next day

ddavitt: I have black fingernails as I’ve been planting out flowers

fgherman: I wouldn’t mind being in Bermuda now

ddavitt: It sounds lovely

fgherman: I just got back from Florida

ddavitt: I have been to Florida once, that’s the furthest south I’ve been

CHASGRAFT: I’m in Oklahoma, A/C has been on for a while.

ddavitt: We were near Palm Beach

fgherman: My parents live in Sarasota (on the west coast) so I go once a year

ddavitt: David got sent there on business and Eleanor and I got to go too

ddavitt: Went up to see NASA; fascinating!

fgherman: It’s great in April, not so great in August

CHASGRAFT: I’ve traveled Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the BVI (British Virgin Islands) quite a bit.

ddavitt: OK, let’s get going then

ddavitt: Sounds nice!

fgherman: ok

ddavitt: Anyone got any thoughts?

ddavitt: Any themes they’d like to kick around?

fgherman: Putting in teachers is a very good way to get the lecture section underway

ddavitt: How do you mean exactly?

CHASGRAFT: The teachers in “Have Space Suit — Will Travel” were hardly role models.

ddavitt: Maybe as an example not to follow?

fgherman: As we all know Bob, there’s a lot of stuff to explain in sf and Heinlein’s books

ddavitt: But they had good intentions, that was the scary bit

CHASGRAFT: The most effective teacher was Baslim. His methods were rough, but the results good.

ddavitt: The kids loved Centreville High; but it was bad for them

CHASGRAFT: (He did teach at the academy before gong to Jubbalpore.)

ddavitt: Baslim was sometimes rough with Thorby but he was good for him…and Thorby still loved him

fgherman: Let’s face it; for most of us the most important people in our lives after our parents are our teachers

ddavitt: Contrast with ST; Rico disliked Dubois a lot

ddavitt: Spend more time with them sometimes

ddavitt: A teacher is of vital importance; yet as parents do we vet them much/ As much as we would a child minder?

fgherman: Even those that serve as a horrible example

ddavitt: There are few bad and nasty teachers; Howe in Red Planet is the only one

fgherman: Most of us don’t have that luxury

ddavitt: Some bad and well intentioned

ddavitt: But we should have more say in it…maybe it’s different now but as a child I remember parents had little power in a school

fgherman: The dynamic was different then.

ddavitt: I volunteered at JK to be aware of what my daughter was doing.

fgherman: Joel and I are a lot more aggressive about our children’s teacher’s than my folks were.

ddavitt: Very rewarding and reassuring…but that option ends when they get older

ddavitt: Have to trust your child to report back to you

fgherman: And to listen to them

ddavitt: In Heinlein, a lot of the kids don’t have teachers

ddavitt: They teach themselves; Kip, Cas, Pol for instance

fgherman: They do have mentors

ddavitt: Was H saying teachers are of secondary importance; it’s the pupil’s attitude?

ddavitt: Yes but it’s ultimately down to them to fail or succeed

CHASGRAFT: A good teacher can fire up the learning ambition.

ddavitt: They had more obstacles

CHASGRAFT: I was always a horrible student — bored in class.

ddavitt: Oh yes. I remember some I had that I slaved for

fgherman: Given the variety of teachers that must have appeared in his life, I think he was showing how a person can react to them all

ddavitt: And some, I did a bare minimum for

fgherman: Me too, to both of those

ddavitt: How many kids would have done what Kip did?

fgherman: And some I still revere

ddavitt: He could have coasted but he slogged instead.

ddavitt: Yes; I wish I could tell the few that meant something how they inspired me but of course, at the time, that’s impossible

fgherman: I got to tell some of mine. It’s a great feeling

ddavitt: I remember my mum saw my old headmaster in town

ddavitt: He said, how is Jane, does she still want to be an astronaut?

ddavitt: πŸ™‚

CHASGRAFT: I am one of the few Electronic Technicians at the Postal service who is totally self taught on electronics. You qualify for the job by passing a very comprehensive test.

fgherman: I bet you still do

ddavitt: You don’t relaise that they remember you too…

ddavitt: Yes, I would if I could!

ddavitt: You sound like a Kip!

AGplusone has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi David

fgherman: Hello David


AGplusone: Hi, Jane, Charlie, who’s fgherman? I forgot.

fgherman: I’m reminded of the Sir Isaac Newton quote

ddavitt: We are discussing whether teachers are vital or if the pupil’s attitude is of paramount importance

ddavitt: Felicia

fgherman: Felicia, Joel Rosenberg’s wife

ddavitt: Which one?

AGplusone: Ah, Hi!

DenvToday has entered the room.

ddavitt: Quot I mean, not wife!!

fgherman: “If I have seen further than others, it is only by standing on the shoulder of giants.”

DenvToday:Greetings all!

AGplusone: To Heinlein, I think attitude was … hi, Ron.

ddavitt: Hi Denv

DenvToday:Howdy howdy

fgherman: Hello

ddavitt: I remember that one now

CHASGRAFT: But I flunked out of electrical engineering school. To much stuff that wasn’t getting hands on the equipment.

ddavitt: Could add to that what Roger Stone said;

fgherman: Heinlein seems to make that point all the time

ddavitt: My sons should know more than I do

fgherman: Exactly

ddavitt: But are we seeing a regression instead of a progression?

ddavitt: Heinlein seemed to get very disillusioned about education as the years went by

fgherman: I don’t think so; we are learning different thins

fgherman: things

CHASGRAFT: Our public education seems to be getting worse.

fgherman: Educational systems

AGplusone: I dunno … I think “more things change the more things are the same”

ddavitt: I still have a vague feeling that the schools are getting a bit Centrevilley

CHASGRAFT: Only a bit?

AGplusone: I was thinking that Masons’ Public School Program was started in 1910s to “save the public schools”

ddavitt: Sure, they have to teach different things; JK has computers for heaven’s sake but still

ddavitt: I wonder if it’s easier than it was

AGplusone: Been saving ’em now 81 years

CHASGRAFT: We never worried about guns in school. And boys carrying knives was normal.

fgherman: I remember spending a lot of time in 4th grade on handwriting

fgherman: I wouldn’t want my kids doing that

AGplusone: I agree we didn’t “worry” yet there was a boy killed by a gun at a dance just before I started public high school in 56.

ddavitt: So concerned with the kids being happy and not rioting that they forget that teaching them is blood sweat and tears πŸ™‚

NuclearWasteUSN has entered the room.

AGplusone: Hi, Jim

NuclearWasteUSN: Hello

ddavitt: My little girl cried if she has to miss school…when will that change and why does it?

ddavitt: Finally!!

fgherman: And the available labor pool has moved to the private sector

ddavitt: It’s taken you a while to get here Jim

AGplusone: [’twas a zip gun, not an AK47]

fgherman: Hello JIm

ddavitt: But I’m glad to see yo:-)

NuclearWasteUSN: I do not own a watch…

ddavitt: I mean months not minutes

NuclearWasteUSN: Good to be here finally

ddavitt: We are looking at teachers

NuclearWasteUSN: hello fg

fgherman: It’s Felicia

NuclearWasteUSN: yes I read the AFH line

NuclearWasteUSN: OH OK πŸ™‚

ddavitt: I’ve been browsing thru the books and there is that huge emphasis on maths

NuclearWasteUSN: RE your question of when do they stop wanting to go to school, I think it depends on the environment..

ddavitt: Was Heinlein just being typical for his time?

ddavitt: Perr pressure/ could be

ddavitt: Peer

ddavitt: Or was it his engineering background?

fgherman: The Military academies were engineering schools with aheavy emphasis on math

NuclearWasteUSN: Having had a math teacher who was an Anapolis grad, I think it may have been more his training

ddavitt: Roger Stone says a man who knows maths can teach himself anything without a teacher

ddavitt: I can’t agree with that 100%

fgherman: He may need a librarian, though. πŸ™‚

NuclearWasteUSN: LOL You must know some nukes

ddavitt: Thorby calls maths a game, like chess but more fun

AGplusone: Math is a way of thinking, analytical … geometry doesn’t really teach you anything useful.

ddavitt: How dos that match up?

fgherman: Until you play pool

NuclearWasteUSN: Other than logic

ddavitt: Quite

AGplusone: Unless you’re moving dirt and want to compute how much

ddavitt: Hmm…

ddavitt: Get a spade and start digging

NuclearWasteUSN: That is just applied math πŸ˜‰

DavidWrightSr has entered the room.

fgherman: Hello David

ddavitt: πŸ™‚

ddavitt: Hi dave

NuclearWasteUSN: Hello David

AGplusone: solving quadratics the same thing … until you see how it makes you analyze the problem

ddavitt: We are looking at why Heinlein valued maths over the fuzzies

AGplusone: doesn’t improve your spelling at all

ddavitt: I can do a quadratic but I never have in rl

ddavitt: Nor have I used trig

ddavitt: But I’m not an enginneer

AGplusone: I’ve used trig, but I’m one of the few who have worked as a surveyor

DavidWrightSr: Hi folks. My apologies. I am tied up on a study project and won’t be able to attend this evening. Just wanted to check in and make sure someone was keeping the log.

ddavitt: Then, neither is a vast amount of the population

ddavitt: I will Dave

ddavitt: If AG will too as a back up?

AGplusone: from when I arrived, Jane

ddavitt: i may have to call it quits at 10.30

fgherman: The most math I use these days is figuring out the tip on the restaurant bill

ddavitt: Sure; i was here first so i have it all

DavidWrightSr: Thanks. Haave a good evening.

ddavitt: That I get David to do:-)

fgherman: Bye

AGplusone: nite Dave

DavidWrightSr has left the room.

ddavitt: Night Dave

fgherman: Which I can do faster than my math major friends

ddavitt: Sorry; I’m married to a David…popular name around here

NuclearWasteUSN: I think it is based on the Roger Stone statement. I DO tend to agree with RAH about math, but only if you also include reading.

ddavitt: Well, I still have to think as in Canada the price tag isn’t what you pay

ddavitt: Tax is added at the till. Most annoying

ddavitt: I think literacy would have been vital to Heinlein too.

AGplusone: It’s the process of analysis it does teach, problem solving: try this, try that, try another thing …

ddavitt: But that doesn’t get the airtime that maths does

NuclearWasteUSN: Yes, a sort of unstated given in the equation, if you will…

ddavitt: Isn’t that logic and philosophy too?

ddavitt: getting fuzzy…

ddavitt: And in Tunnel, survival is an art form, not a science

NuclearWasteUSN: Sure, but most great mathematicians started as philosophers

fgherman: It seems to be the other way around these days

AGplusone: “lemme see if this factors out … ” when I was in first quarter of college a professor talked me out the major I had by telling me the idea was to learn to “think” and either change to Math, Philosophy (i.e., Logic), or English

ddavitt: Really/ then saw the error of their ways?

NuclearWasteUSN: ROFL

AGplusone: so I took the lazy way out and went to English

NuclearWasteUSN: No the math was an offshoot of their pondering

NuclearWasteUSN: Was that really the lazy way out, or did you just think so at the time?

ddavitt: I did maths at A level, up to 18 that is so it’s not sour grapes…I just don’t like the attitude that all else is a waste of time

ddavitt: I will admit that I failed that particular exam too…but I still did it πŸ™‚

AGplusone: Actually, the girls around Royce Hall (English Department) had a little something to do with it

fgherman: a-ha

ddavitt: Hmm…education is wasted on the young

AGplusone: I was 25

fgherman: being young is an education

ddavitt: They have much better things to do

NuclearWasteUSN: I do not think that was really what he was saying… More a case of valuing it above the fuzzy subjects.

ddavitt: Cheek!

AGplusone: Exactly … the rhetoric, the argument, the essay writing necessary.

ddavitt: If a nation that ignores its history has no future, why isn’t my history degree important?

DenvToday:Yep, I agree.

NuclearWasteUSN: I would love to do like Hilda or Zeb and be a professional student

ddavitt: maths has done nothing for me in rl.

fgherman: Don’t look at me, I have a music degree

AGplusone: One-eyed man in the Kingdom of the Blind, Jane.

ddavitt: Oh yes. I’d get me on a campus and stay there

fgherman: Or become a librarian

ddavitt: Who is blind? πŸ™‚

ddavitt: Well, they have libraries on the campus

ddavitt: I could do both

NuclearWasteUSN: LOL Do not shoot me Jane, but I would teach math, and devote my off time to studying some of the fuzzy subjects I neglected the first time

AGplusone: You can look at the arguments between Newman and Huxley and see both really have points, can’t you?

ddavitt: Kip ends up doing mechanical engineering; wonder what Peewee would have majored in?

fgherman: Math has a horrible tendency to creep into real life whether you want it to or not

ddavitt: maybe I just don’t notice it.

NuclearWasteUSN: Art History being one of them.

ddavitt: maths is IMAGINARY for heaven’s sake

ddavitt: Art history. Hmm…

fgherman: Math creeps into art history too: e,g., perspective

NuclearWasteUSN: I never realized it was anything other than basketweaving until I took a survey course. Never appreciated Jubal’s love of sculpture before then either.

NuclearWasteUSN: Oh yes, and composition too!

ddavitt: Pushing it a bit Felicia:-)

NuclearWasteUSN: composition even

AGplusone: The Golden Mean?

ddavitt: I suppose so..I don’t appreciate art at all in an educated way.

DenvToday:I think RAH’s point that in mathematics, either an equation is solved or it isn’t. Same with engineering. Either stresses check out or they don’t. A bridge never stood because the architect and engineer had pull.

fgherman: During the Renaissance they drew actual grids

ddavitt: It’s honest you mean?

NuclearWasteUSN: Maths are not imaginary, they are symbolic, there is a big difference.

DenvToday:It’s honest–and definite.

AGplusone: They do the same thing in architectural drafting …

ddavitt: Trying to remember where it said that. I’m sure it was a Heinlein book

CHASGRAFT: Engineering is large part art.

ddavitt: Beauty in efficiency?

NuclearWasteUSN: True to a point Denv, then Heisenberg bites you, and you run headlong into Plank’s wall.

CHASGRAFT: Electronic work is mostly abstract analysis.

fgherman: like math πŸ™‚

DenvToday:As is higher mathematics. But the end result has to be proven–it’s definite.

NuclearWasteUSN: Form follows function, Jane?

ddavitt: I see the attraction of one answer that’s right and that’s it but that’s not very realistic

AGplusone: Writing an essay, an argumentative one, is really the same thing, Ron. You solve an equation so to speak with “IRAC”

DenvToday:Nuclear, true.

ddavitt: Possibly Jim

ddavitt: But in a fuzzy subject, there’s room for more than one POV

NuclearWasteUSN: Just Jim, Denv. πŸ™‚

DenvToday:But even with Heisenberg, the end result “probable,” no matter the method used.

DenvToday:Okay Jim πŸ™‚

DenvToday:The end result isn’t probably, is what I meant to say.

NuclearWasteUSN: There is room in physics, and abstract maths for more than one point of view.

TAWN3 has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi Tawn

DenvToday:David, excellent point.

AGplusone: Hi, Tawn … talking about education and the emphasis RAH put on Maths

fgherman: I think that it’s harder to grasp math, so it has to be taught more.

TAWN3: Hi all

ddavitt: We are discussing maths in a rational way with no emotion πŸ™‚

fgherman: Hello Tawn

AGplusone: “IRAC” = “issue, rule, analysis, conclusion”

ddavitt: Why is it hard? Because it’s not natural

ddavitt: Arguing and debating; now THAT’S natural:-)

NuclearWasteUSN: True Denv, You can state that gas will expand equally, but you can not know where the molecules are and there motions without changing what you are observing, so in the larger scale it works out.

fgherman: For me, because I’m a math-phobe

ddavitt: Logic and precision are alien

jegorman1111 has entered the room.

fgherman: I know that my mind processes information diffrently than many of my friends

AGplusone: Mr. Gorman, welcome

fgherman: Hello

jegorman1111: Thank you, and hello all

ddavitt: I think it’s important to differentiate between arithmatic and mathematics too; Jake in NOTB couldn’t do ‘kitchen maths”

NuclearWasteUSN: ISTR one of his characters, or possibly in an essay, where he stated that people who do not like or understand math generally have had very poor teachers.

ddavitt: Hi there

DenvToday:On a practical level, you can’t argue with a house or a bridge and say it SHOULD stand because you’re a nice person. Either you’ve done the work correctly, or you haven’t.

NuclearWasteUSN: Having tutored at all levels, I find that to be the case.

fgherman: On the other hand, I took to music like a fish to water.


ddavitt: I was told at 10 that I was good at English and so I had to be bad at maths. Took me a long time to overcome that hurdle

ddavitt: I found I loved maths at 13 or so

CHASGRAFT: Yes, but you can (over)design by rules of thumb, have a standing product, and use no math.

AGplusone: On a practical level, you really cannot make a reasoned argument and persuade if you ignore logic or misuse it.

ddavitt: It got too hard for me later on but i did enjoy it, same as I enjoy crosswords

AGplusone: On an emotional level, however, you can …

ddavitt: I just don’t see it as being the be all and end all of education and a key to the world as Heinlein did

DenvToday:David, have you ever listened to anything a politician says? They don’t seem to care about logic or reason–yet they’re successful at persuasion.

NuclearWasteUSN: I think that mastering math can be a great door into the rest of the world though.

fgherman: hear, hear

CHASGRAFT: Some of our building disasters (I refer to the walkways at the Hyatt in Kansas City about 20 years ago) were cause by mathematically designing it with computers too closely.

AGplusone: that is because they push emotionally charged buttons, speak in elipises

ddavitt: It all depends on what you want to do with your life Jim

ddavitt: I don’t think higher maths is vital for a chef for example

ddavitt: basic arithmatic , yes, we all need to be able to do that

NuclearWasteUSN: Notice that I said “can be a great door into the rest of the world” not the only door.

ddavitt: Fair enough

jegorman1111: Most people learn alot more math in school than they ever need in life

fgherman: Perhaps not in the first person, but for the stuff around her, sure

ddavitt: I suppose that goes for a lot of subjects

ddavitt: But learning for learnings sake is good too

NuclearWasteUSN: Part of that is the WAY that most lower level math is taught

ddavitt: Are we lsing it tho?

jegorman1111: use it or lose it

NuclearWasteUSN: You open a book and work 50 similar pre-made problems BLEH

ddavitt: My grandad could do mental arithmatic; I use a calculator

DenvToday:It’s the only training in logic that most people ever get in school.

CHASGRAFT: I did not learn Boolean algebra in school. And that’s the higher math I use the most.

AGplusone: say: “compassionate conservatism” instead of -b + or – root b squared – whatever it was over 2 a c …

ddavitt: I get the answer faster but my brain is lazier

ddavitt: I rememeber that equation!

NuclearWasteUSN: Give the students real life problems and allow them to derive the equation from the situation, then they will see the RL application

ddavitt: plus or minus the square root of

ddavitt: All comes back to me:-)

ddavitt: That sounds sensible so it’ll never catch on Jim

AGplusone: problem is “compassionate conservatism” means whatever the listener perceives it to mean …

ddavitt: What is Boolean logic anyway?

jegorman1111: Don’t you have to learn the pure number part before you can work the word problems?

ddavitt: It gets mentioned in search engine instructions

fgherman: Not with the current test-mentality in US schools today

DenvToday:It’s the logic they teach at Yale. Boolean Boolean.

NuclearWasteUSN: LOL My wife finds me irritating because I can come up with an answer faster than she can type, Jane, That is nothing more than repetition.

CHASGRAFT: Logic principles used in logic circuit (computer) design.

NuclearWasteUSN: jeg

NuclearWasteUSN: why would you have to?

fgherman: Boolean logic = set theory

ddavitt: In the Little House books, they stood up and did problems in their hread, no paper. magic..

NuclearWasteUSN: Why not learn them concurrently.

ddavitt: Surely using your brain is good for it/ it’s a muscle

ddavitt: Of sorts

NuclearWasteUSN: Most people hit the wall of not understanding because they do not understand WHY you do something.

NuclearWasteUSN: It is not enough to tell them to press the “I Believe” button

AGplusone: Whatever works, Jim, works … problem I have with Educators is you’d think they were preaching the ‘One True Faith’ whenever they get into a dispute with each other

ddavitt: I like to think there’s a point there somewhere

CHASGRAFT: A computer designer uses it to find simpler or equivalent circuits are logically equivalent to more complex and expensive ones.

NuclearWasteUSN: LOL My Mother is a school teacher, and we have had some wonderful discussions of just that.

jegorman1111: NW, first thing in solving the word problem is to convert it to an equation

NuclearWasteUSN: Yes…

ddavitt: Going back to Citizen; Thorby got taught stuff that had no relevance at all to his life as a beggar…but Baslim had a plan of course. If he hadn’t left the planet would it have been wasted knowledge, getting him unsatisfied with his life?

NuclearWasteUSN: Ouch, that is a tough one.

jegorman1111: Darnn, I still havn’t read Citizen???

NuclearWasteUSN: I think you have to believe that there is such a thing as wasted knowledge.

ddavitt: I come down on the side of all learning is better than ignorance but..

CHASGRAFT: The basic operation in Boolean are “AND” and “OR”. With millions of permutations.

ddavitt: It’s a good book. I see it as a Kim type plot.

fgherman: AND, OR & NOT

jegorman1111: You could look at it as being prepared for life

AGplusone: Something taught as “flow charts” when I was young

ddavitt: Thanks!

jegorman1111: You never know what knowledge you might need

ddavitt: Very true

NuclearWasteUSN: Since Thorby was obviously able to manipulate that knowledge to his advantage, do you think he would have remained just a beggar?

CHASGRAFT: Truth tables are a basic tool when working with Boolean

ddavitt: You could be on that Millionaire quiz and need to know all sorts of things πŸ™‚

jegorman1111: I learned flow charts in college last year

ddavitt: I don’t know. He didn’t seem to have much drive or ambition that wasn’t Baslim fuelled

ddavitt: He seemed to be a puppet the whole way through

NuclearWasteUSN: True, but at that point he was still “in the nest” and able to be comfortable.

ddavitt: I think he would have risen after he was freed but i don’t know how

CHASGRAFT: With his whole personality being Baslim fueled, it is hard to distinguish.

ddavitt: Yes, I suppose so.

NuclearWasteUSN: On the other hand, there is the example of his “learning a new trade” on his own

ddavitt: That’s a theme; people who are almost carbon copies; Lorenzo in Double Star for instance

NuclearWasteUSN: That it was not particularly honorable is another matter

ddavitt: Which trade Jim?

CHASGRAFT: (Conversation with Dr. Maeder — Studying how people live togeher) “This is a science?”

ddavitt: Stealing

NuclearWasteUSN: Pickpocket

ddavitt: Bad move though; so 0 out of 10 for him!

NuclearWasteUSN: LOL

NuclearWasteUSN: Yet Dr. Maeder was portrayed as a very knowledgeable woman

ddavitt: He was infected by then with a maths mind set

AGplusone: In a way for Maeder it is … she explained why Jerry didn’t hand him his head while he was still a fraki

ddavitt: It’s Margaret Mader btw..nit pick

NuclearWasteUSN: We are also overlooking Jubal Harshaw. Not a maths major.

AGplusone: It’s Margaret Mead btw, nitpicker

NuclearWasteUSN: Interested in art, etc, and NOT an engineer

ddavitt: Not a teacher as such…but he does a lot of it. Enthusiastic amateur?

ddavitt: Nope she was the real life one

ddavitt: So there!:-):-)

NuclearWasteUSN: That would be a good way to describe him.

fgherman: Good teachers show us how to learn

fgherman: The best show us how to teach.

NuclearWasteUSN: Come to think of it, Stranger is pretty short on maths representation…

AGplusone: Why are all the good teachers enthusiastic amateurs?

ddavitt: Mike has more important things to do

ddavitt: No; just Jubal

AGplusone: Which goes first, enthusiasm or amateur status?

ddavitt: πŸ™‚

NuclearWasteUSN: Jubal was an author, and an MD. IIRC

ddavitt: The ‘proper’ teachers were Dubois, Matson…any more memorable ones?

CHASGRAFT: When you do something professionally that’s fun as an amateur, it’s not nearly as much fun anymore.

CHASGRAFT: Jubal was also a lawyer.

NuclearWasteUSN: One moment Jane, trying to remember others

ddavitt: Even the ones in Time For the Stars were just people who knew how to do something; not teachers

NuclearWasteUSN: True, thanks Chas


ddavitt: Ditto for him

AGplusone: Maybe the problem is gaining professional status RAH thought … wading through what is taught in schools of education

AGplusone: Zeb’s paper

ddavitt: I was being a bit sarcastic there. Teaching is different from knowing how to

jegorman1111: De la Paz sounds familiar, what story is he in?

NuclearWasteUSN: He also said something about the gentlemen who drove horse and buggies somewhere as a hobby…


AGplusone: MiaHM

ddavitt: Imparting knowledge requires a different skill than knowing how to do something

jegorman1111: oh

NuclearWasteUSN: Professor Bernardo De La Paz

NuclearWasteUSN: Prof.

ddavitt: Not all French people could teach English people French for instance

NuclearWasteUSN: You must be thinking of my Mother in Law, Jane

ddavitt: Not all explorers could teach geography

fgherman: My best teachers were professionals at what they were teaching. It’s part of what made them excellent

AGplusone: Few French people would deign to do so

NuclearWasteUSN: Her English is not too hot either…

ddavitt: Why is that?

CHASGRAFT: Teaching in definitely a separate skill. I do it as an amateur, teaching railroad airbrake theory and locomotive operation every year.

NuclearWasteUSN: Elle n’est pas une accent Parisienne

ddavitt: You know what I mean…teaching requires an extra skill, over and above knowledge of the subject. Or it should.

NuclearWasteUSN: I agree

AGplusone: Does teaching require a logical mind?

ddavitt: Yet Heinlein slammed the schools of education with some justification

fgherman: Not necessarily

CHASGRAFT: Depends on what you are teaching.

AGplusone: A problem solving mathematically mind?

ddavitt: An open mind I’d say

NuclearWasteUSN: It’s just she has spent 25 years in Texas… Do you have any idea what French with a drawl sounds like??? EEEK!

ddavitt: πŸ™‚ LOL

AGplusone: Still, are the better teachers logical ones?

CHASGRAFT: There is a teaching gene in my family — two of my uncles were (quite distinguished) college professors.

ddavitt: Not necessarily IMO

jegorman1111: Not as much a logical mind as a lot of patience

ddavitt: Patience, yes.

CHASGRAFT: “Speaks Martian with a bronx accent.”

AGplusone: Given the tolerant ones are the only ones considered

NuclearWasteUSN: I don’t know AG, My mother is short on logic IMHO, yet is a very effective primary grades teacher

NuclearWasteUSN: EXACTLY Chas!

ddavitt: Ability to impress students and keep them respectful but friendly

AGplusone: What’s her attraction, then, to the student, Jim?

CHASGRAFT: Come to think of it, would you count Mike in “Stranger” as a teacher? Teaching Martian?

ddavitt: I guess so.

jegorman1111: I’ve had some teachers that don’t seem bright on anything else but there subject matter

ddavitt: a pioneer in fact!

ddavitt: Wonder if LL ever taught? Must have done at some point..but I bet he wasn’t that good at it

AGplusone: Ethos, Gorman (what the hell’s your first name?)???

jegorman1111: Jonathan

ddavitt: Jonathan?

AGplusone: He teaches the twins

AGplusone: Leeta and her brother

NuclearWasteUSN: She does know how to teach reading, math, and science at that level. She also understands what problems they run into, and knowing the stumbling block at that level is 90% of the battle.

ddavitt: To read, yes, I suppose so

AGplusone: Thank you Jonathan

ddavitt: Fingers getting tired here

jegorman1111: and yours?

ddavitt: Sorry Jonathan. I’m Jane

CHASGRAFT: There are those who claim that a person with teaching skills does not need to know the subject. But I think you have to be someone like Prof to get away with it.

jegorman1111: so many “code names” here

ddavitt: Mine is the same as the one I post with on afh

CHASGRAFT: I would not want to take flying lessons from a non-pilot, though.

jegorman1111: Jane

ddavitt: Do people want to introduce themselves?

CHASGRAFT: But very few pilots can teach well.

jegorman1111: Maybe in a simulation

NuclearWasteUSN: Mine is, with the addition of the USN

AGplusone: I’m David, but there are several of us … “AG” will work.

ddavitt: We can also take a short break as we’ve been going for over an hour

ddavitt: In fact, i may have to leave soon…

AGplusone: Back at 40 past the hour, Jane?

CHASGRAFT: Charlie Graft. Big Charlie on Heinlein forum.

ddavitt: OK

fgherman: Felicia Herman

AGplusone: David Silver

NuclearWasteUSN: Ah, ok, I generally just read over there.

NuclearWasteUSN: Jim Yount

ddavitt: Do you read afh Charlie? I know you from the sff groups of course

fgherman: And I’m afraid I have to call it a night.

CHASGRAFT: Not in the last couple of years.

jegorman1111: I recognize most from the NG

AGplusone: Tell Joel I said hi …

ddavitt: Thanks for coming Felicia!

jegorman1111: But I forget

fgherman: will do. He’s even more tired than I am

AGplusone: was actually reading The Hill and forgot the time

ddavitt: Lauren is teething; I’m tired and it’s 10.30 here

fgherman: Thanks. Good night

AGplusone: [about Dak To]

fgherman has left the room.

jegorman1111: g’ night

jegorman1111: too late

ddavitt: That always happens!

NuclearWasteUSN: Dak????

AGplusone: Wait ’til Jane leaves ….

NuclearWasteUSN: Hmmm

NuclearWasteUSN: Broadbent?

ddavitt: I say I’m going, i go; like a cat:-)

NuclearWasteUSN: Which story is that?

AGplusone: Joel was writing a new novel and offered to let some of us read it. It involved Dak To

ddavitt: Double Star

NuclearWasteUSN: Thank you!!!

ddavitt: Yes, has he sent it out yet?

AGplusone: Central Highlands in the late SE Asia games, Jim

jegorman1111: Another I’ve yet to read

jegorman1111: So many

ddavitt: I didn’t tell him my email, just said I’d love to see it

jegorman1111: I’m sure when I finish the last one, I’ll wish there where alot more

NuclearWasteUSN: I am ashamed to admit that I have not read any of Joel’s work yet.

AGplusone: I read it. It’s good. Just some technical criticisms I made

ddavitt: Oh you will!

ddavitt: I want it!!

AGplusone: Great story

ddavitt: Did you email Joel after the chat?

AGplusone: Yes.

ddavitt: I will do that then.

ddavitt: He may live to regret the offer πŸ™‚

AGplusone: You’ll like the characters … he may … and the story.

NuclearWasteUSN: Grr I will not have access to the used book store until the fourth

ddavitt: Did you get to read any besides the Guardian books?

ddavitt: I still haven’t got any Smith books yet.

AGplusone: I’ve bought a couple more … including one of the Jewish ones

ddavitt: Can’t find them in library or used stores

ddavitt: Not For Glory?

AGplusone: I’ve got one … and two more lined up, and will drive to the Valley tomorrow …and get one

AGplusone: Pallas and two others.

AGplusone: I think Not For Glory might be it

ddavitt: I will keep trying. But it is around my birthday so I may not be around for the sat chat

jegorman1111: Happy Birthday!

NuclearWasteUSN: B&N then?

AGplusone: Smith is interesting … lots of rhetorical characters

ddavitt: OK, i will regretfully have to go as Im dead on my feet

AGplusone: B&N might have some

NuclearWasteUSN: Who would definitely have some?

NuclearWasteUSN: It is a 2.5 hour drive to B&N from here

ddavitt: Few thoughts to leave you with; does the society govern the teachers? Or do they make their own rules? Would Centreville be possible in the ST universe for instance?

AGplusone: dunno …. bookfinders usually works

NuclearWasteUSN: D’oh

ddavitt: Would the survival course be unthinkable in most of the other juvenile timelines?

NuclearWasteUSN: Thank you David. Next time hit me with a brick though

AGplusone: sorry …

NuclearWasteUSN: LOL

ddavitt: See you on Saturday.

jegorman1111: The teachers mold the future

NuclearWasteUSN: Have fun πŸ™‚

jegorman1111: See ya’

CHASGRAFT: Ideally (and we have gotten far away from this) by the parents or the student to teach what the student wants to learn or what the parents want the student to be taught.

AGplusone: we still have a little used book store up in the SFV that gets me by

ddavitt: I’ve saved to here if whoever is last out can also save that would be great

NuclearWasteUSN: Do you think so Jonathon?

ddavitt has left the room.

AGplusone: Okay, Jane, will do

NuclearWasteUSN: Exceptional teachers may, but most I see as clinging fearfully to what has already been

AGplusone: I think teachers have it tough, standing on the center stripe …

AGplusone: problem is the school board is always a stepping stone for budding politicians and demagogues

NuclearWasteUSN: I will say most of them WORK

jegorman1111: Yes, I consider students to be “young skulls full of mush” and the teachers can have a huge influence on them.

CHASGRAFT: I’ve always thought that survival course would never be allowed. (Tunnel in the Sky.) What was that teacher’s name anyway?

AGplusone: probably there’s a post-combat stress disorder for teachers in the new psych manuals

CHASGRAFT: Dean Matson, that’s it.

AGplusone: And he had his problems with the school board, didn’t he?

AGplusone: Arguments of cutting back on the course, make it easier …. etc

jegorman1111: Matson ends up marrying Rod’s sister. Are there any RAH books where someone doesn’t get married?

NuclearWasteUSN: Charlie, how about in Starship Troopers? Would work well there…

CHASGRAFT: Red Planet?

NuclearWasteUSN: Double Star

AGplusone: Bonforte marries “Curly Top”

NuclearWasteUSN: Have Spacesuit, Will Travel…

NuclearWasteUSN: Ack OK

AGplusone: off-stage of course, between living it and writing it

CHASGRAFT: I think solo survival and combat are different disciplines.

AGplusone: It’s a shop course, Charlie

jegorman1111: OK, so there are, ( I haven’t read those), it just seems like most of the main chars. ask someone to marry after meeting them yesterday.

NuclearWasteUSN: Yes, they are, but once the war is over, and colonization can begin again, wouldn’t solo survival be useful?

AGplusone: or an athletic one, practice football, then play the game

jegorman1111: Marriage and slide rules, both common

CHASGRAFT: Both much less common than they used to be….

NuclearWasteUSN: Jonathon, getting married that fast is not unheard of. πŸ˜‰ Ask my wife.

AGplusone: Helen says that her privates took the course (just as she did), and encourages Carolyn to buck for a commission

AGplusone: Or mine

AGplusone: Came home, got married and started college all in four months

CHASGRAFT: The classic is Zeb and Deety.

jegorman1111: My wife went home and told her mother we would marry after our first date.

NuclearWasteUSN: The second time I talked to Millie’s mother the conversation went “Hello, Jim, this is Irene. Nice to speak to you again, I was just wondering why I was not invited to the wedding…”

jegorman1111: I wonder if Robert and Ginny married that fast, and with that low level of ceramony.

AGplusone: LOL!

NuclearWasteUSN: I said “Millie, your Mother is on the phone…”

AGplusone: Once Robert was free of the one-year interlocutory decree

jegorman1111: Book characters seem to rush down to the Justice of the Peace and sign a contract.

AGplusone: I think it went pretty much like the way Dan Davis marries in Door Into Summer

NuclearWasteUSN: Yes, but I do not think that is all that uncommon Jonathon

NuclearWasteUSN: Was that the jump over a broom ceremony?

AGplusone: … when Ricki shows up from sleep with Pete.

jegorman1111: No, I’m sure it happens all the time

CHASGRAFT: I liked the marriage options in “Puppet Masters”, “Permanent or term? Binding, Mutal consent, or either party?” (OWTTE)

AGplusone: They had those in Beyond This Horizon and implied the same in Friday, Charlie

NuclearWasteUSN: That would make more sense in most cases Charlie

AGplusone: It would a lot better than musical chairs we have today

AGplusone: ‘serial pologamy’

NuclearWasteUSN: My wife has promised never to divorce me. πŸ™‚

NuclearWasteUSN: She will kill me instead.


AGplusone: 37 years and counting

CHASGRAFT: Indirectly in “horizon” but it was stated as part of the license purchase in “Masters”. I don’t recall details of marriage types in “Friday”.

AGplusone: no, that’s wrong … 35 years

jegorman1111: Which book was it where the guy got on a computer term, and announced he is now married, and that was it.

NuclearWasteUSN: 1 year 3 months and 7 days πŸ™‚

NuclearWasteUSN: Just seems longer, David?

AGplusone: When Friday meets the other AP on the trip to Seattle he mentions it

jegorman1111: They did it right after breakfast as I recall

AGplusone: The one with the phony photo of wife and kid

AGplusone: 35 … 37 … what’s the difference?

jegorman1111: I’ve got to go, the LOML is calling.

CHASGRAFT: Alfred Bester mention getting marriages and divorces from vending machines in “The Flowered Thundermug”.

NuclearWasteUSN: LOML?

jegorman1111: Good night all

NuclearWasteUSN: Good night

jegorman1111: Love of my life

AGplusone: give our regards to your spousal overlard unit, Jon

AGplusone: lord!

jegorman1111: Ha

jegorman1111 has left the room.

NuclearWasteUSN: That may qualify as one of the funniest typos yet

AGplusone: I love that title … Flowered Thundermug …

NuclearWasteUSN: I will now bow down to the Tai Po master

AGplusone: could be … better than calling Oz, Ox

NuclearWasteUSN: Did you really?

AGplusone: several times

NuclearWasteUSN: At least z and x are next to each other

CHASGRAFT: Have you read the story? It great but little known.

NuclearWasteUSN: No, who is the author?

AGplusone: Tawn and Ron are quiet …. ::::::hello:::::::waving::::: never read it, but the title is great

CHASGRAFT: Flowered Thundermug Alfred Bester.

TAWN3: I’m here, been back a short while, just eavesdropping

AGplusone: wonder how many have ever seen a thundermug, or used one

TAWN3: What is a thundermug?

AGplusone: back before indoor plumbing, Tawn, shall I go on …

TAWN3: Canopee?

AGplusone: Could

TAWN3: Oh wait, that goes over the bed…..

AGplusone: under the bed sometimes

NuclearWasteUSN: *rimshot*

TAWN3: πŸ˜›

AGplusone: And by God, some of ’em were flowered that I’ve seen

AGplusone: grandma had them in all the kid’s rooms when I visited as a small boy

NuclearWasteUSN: http://moshkow.mslu.unibel.by/Library/koi/BESTER/vase.txt

NuclearWasteUSN: seems to have the text there

AGplusone: And she had indoor plumbing … ten bedrooms and one bathroom

NuclearWasteUSN: Did you have sisters?

rjjusu has entered the room.

NuclearWasteUSN: Hello RJ

rjjusu: Howdy, I got here just in time to see everyone leave

AGplusone: omigod, a Kallikak-Jukes story!

AGplusone: Hi, Randy, how goes it. We’re talking about thundermugs

NuclearWasteUSN: LOL Great, isn’t it?

rjjusu: Well, I just got back in from my office at the University, then spent the last 20 minutes getting a recalcitrant laptop to work with me.

rjjusu: I could really use a thundering mug of something!

NuclearWasteUSN: Did you have to offer it a better benefits package?

jcgsmtop1 has entered the room.

AGplusone: I may have read it, years and years ago

rjjusu: I threatened it with a denial of tenure recommendation. That did the trick.

NuclearWasteUSN: Hello JC

jcgsmtop1: Wow – I found you folks! I’m Joanne, from Chicago

rjjusu: Welcome, Joanne!

NuclearWasteUSN: Good evening Joanne, I am Jim.

TAWN3: I have to leave and get some work done. Nice seeing everybody.

jcgsmtop1: Hi, Jim. I’ve been trying to use the link Bill Patterson gave me, and it didn’t work. I’ve been playing detective for awhile!

jcgsmtop1: Was it something I said, Tawn?

jcgsmtop1: Grin


TAWN3: Wish I had more time.

TAWN3: Next time.

rjjusu: Some people just feel like they have to be responsible

NuclearWasteUSN: Good night

TAWN3: Bye

TAWN3 has left the room.

AGplusone has left the room.

NuclearWasteUSN: http://readinggroupsonline.com/group/robertaheinlein.html is the link I use

rjjusu: Dropping like flies!

AGplusone has entered the room.

jcgsmtop1: I almost said that, RJ!

NuclearWasteUSN: Just hit the chat button

AGplusone: Is it working now?

NuclearWasteUSN: Welcome back David

rjjusu: Yep!

jcgsmtop1: OK – thanks … I’ll try that …

AGplusone: I got booted for four minutes

AGplusone: from “LOL Great, isn’t it?”

rjjusu: You’ll have to watch where you park

NuclearWasteUSN: It was your apparent pleasure over a Jukes’ Kallikak story

AGplusone: So if somebody e mails me the gap I can patch it in to what I’ll send Dave Wright

rjjusu: How are you doing these days, Jim?

AGplusone: I think so!

NuclearWasteUSN: Not bad at all thank, how are things out your way?

NuclearWasteUSN: I can paste it all to you in an email David?

rjjusu: Pretty good, now that the sun has thawed out from the winter chill…

jcgsmtop1: Jim – thanks – I just checked your link and bookmarked the page.

NuclearWasteUSN: Grrr

NuclearWasteUSN: That one works for me every time. πŸ™‚

jcgsmtop1: Consistency!

rjjusu: How was the chat? Did you use up all the topics or is there still something to discuss on Saturday?

NuclearWasteUSN: Something I am not noted for, that is why I sent you to that site instead of mine πŸ˜‰

NuclearWasteUSN: There is more on Sat

jcgsmtop1: What’s your site, Jim?

NuclearWasteUSN: Does society shape teachers, or do teachers shape society…

rjjusu: yes

rjjusu: next question

NuclearWasteUSN: Oi, just a moment.

AGplusone: Hi, jcgsmtop1 ….

jcgsmtop1: Interesting question – I was just on the phone with a good friend who’s a teacher in a small village in Alaska

jcgsmtop1: Hi, AG – I’m Joanne, from Chicago

AGplusone: A pleasure!

NuclearWasteUSN: ddavitt: Few thoughts to leave you with; does the society govern the teachers? Or do they make their own rules? Would Centrevuille be possible in the ST universe for instance?

AGplusone: Librarian?

jcgsmtop1: Me?

AGplusone:trying to remember where I saw a post I think of yours

NuclearWasteUSN:And would solo survival a la Tunnel be acceptable in other RAH timelines?

rjjusu:Not sure I follow the essence of that last question, Jim.

AGplusone:Chicago’s a nice town. Grandma lived right up the road in Kenosha

jcgsmtop1:I didn’t quite follow that question either, Jim

jcgsmtop1:Yes, it is AG – I love everything about it but the weather!


AGplusone:I’m David

rjjusu:Are you implying that solo survival is less desirable than group survival?

jcgsmtop1:Hi, David

NuclearWasteUSN:The Solo Survival course Rod et al took from Matson, and were lost on, would that type of course work be acceptable in say Red Planet?

jcgsmtop1:Group survival is kinda critical to solo survival, isn’t it?

NuclearWasteUSN:Sure it is, and you might bring that up Saturday, but the course RAH wrote about was Solo Survival.

rjjusu:I think a more fundamental question might be are there certain things that shouldn’t be taught/learned? That broadens the question considerably.

NuclearWasteUSN:It wasn’t MY idea

rjjusu:Think of Mike and his approach to teaching.

AGplusone:tell us more … still got 50 minutes

NuclearWasteUSN:Good question Randy, I can’t even agree with myself enough to formulate a response.

CHASGRAFT:Who determines what should or should not be taught or learned? Censorship is too much power for anybody (else).

AGplusone:Mike was teaching heresy

jcgsmtop1:We each decide what we want to learn, and pursue it as we choose

AGplusone:almost hemlock time

rjjusu:He operated on the principle that to learn something implied a certain level of commeasurate responsibility being acquired in the learning process. Of course, maybe that only works with martian subjects ….

jcgsmtop1:It’ll take me a bit to understand everyone’s shorthand! Hemlock time?

CHASGRAFT:Good for him. And the Alexandria library was burned because it might not totally support the current religion.

AGplusone:reference to what they gave Socrates for corrupting the young

NuclearWasteUSN:I would not like some of my neighbors to know how the best method for cooking me, but I am dead set against censorship.

jcgsmtop1:Got it. (and I knew that … groan!)

rjjusu:With Crisco and capers?


jcgsmtop1:I like teriyaki sauce …

NuclearWasteUSN:I would think a pit BBQ, I am a big guy

CHASGRAFT:Slow cooked in a large smoker.

AGplusone:Just a pit with large hot stones, covered with bannana leaves

jcgsmtop1:Hawaiian luau?

jcgsmtop1:I’m getting hungry …

AGplusone:I did a baby pig that way once … great fun and great eating

jcgsmtop1:For everyone but the pig … grin

NuclearWasteUSN:I keep flashing on Jubal saying Mike always did need salt…


CHASGRAFT:Unfortunately, you can’t supress knowledge of cooking people without also supressing knowledge of cooking.

rjjusu:Also, I suppose we should throw in some concepts from a couple of other stories. For instance, in Methusaleh’s children, the short-timers wanted to “learn” the secret of the long-lifers, and were bound to do it, no matter what. Funny thing is, they learned what wasn’t there, but was.

NuclearWasteUSN:Had a pastor friend from Tonga, he did a nice Luau each Spring

AGplusone:covered with sand about two feet deep … could poke your finger through the piggie

NuclearWasteUSN:With enough research anything is possible?

CHASGRAFT:Maybe not the results you wanted, but results.

AGplusone:Stop by the beach next time you’re out here, Jim. We’ll do a long pig.

NuclearWasteUSN:I would agree with that, Charlie.

jcgsmtop1:RJ, that makes me think of “One Tin Soldier” – a song from years ago about one tribe or village that kept trying to find the secret/buried treasure of another village … and after they killed everyone, they found the treasure: “Peace on Earth”

NuclearWasteUSN:Thanks, David, but I think I will stick to beef…

rjjusu:Another thing to consider is the information that Lazarus passed on to the “group” when he visited his original family. Lazarus was “teaching” important things – future history, but apparently only Maureen was smart enough, or more correctly, a good enough student, to learn.


rjjusu: And in the doorway to tomorrow, we have someone teaching themselves. Lots of things to consider.

NuclearWasteUSN: Door Into Summer, I think you mean.

rjjusu: Right. I’ll blame it on the rented fingers….

NuclearWasteUSN: Does Dan actually teach himself, or just run into enough brick walls at full speed that he finally figures things out?

NuclearWasteUSN: Is operant conditioning really learning?

CHASGRAFT: It is the most complete kind of learning.

NuclearWasteUSN: It’s ok Randy, I read what you mean, not what you type

NuclearWasteUSN: Good point, Charlie. LOL

AGplusone has left the room.

AGplusone has entered the room.

AGplusone: another boot

NuclearWasteUSN: Welcome back


NuclearWasteUSN: How far back this time?

rjjusu: Not sure, but if you consider the growth/maturation process to be learning, conscious or otherwise, then most of his characters were students, and a good student also teaches his teacher.

CHASGRAFT: “if your parents/teachers don’t teach you, the universe will. And not gently.) OWTTE, John W. Cambell

AGplusone: jcgsmtop1:Right

AGplusone:Just three minutes, this


CHASGRAFT:Or words to that effect.

jcgsmtop1:Thank you!

CHASGRAFT: Used when making “quoted” from memory.

jcgsmtop1:Ah – OK. Agplusone:At least it’s not shutting down the room when it boots me.

rjjusu:Yes, the essence of engineering is trying to build an idiot proof system, while the universe tries to build a better idiot. So far, the universe is winning the race….

NuclearWasteUSN: Both should be in your Loop inbox

CHASGRAFT:Hands down.

AGplusone: thank you sir

NuclearWasteUSN:or in notebooks where it notes stupidity as the only universal capital crime

rjjusu:I suppose in the Heinlein universe (and ours too, really) learning is like being the shark – if you don’t keep going forward, you die.

AGplusone:That’s one of the points in Owenby’s book Forthcoming

NuclearWasteUSN:Well I hate to leave, but the wife is hear whispering sweet somethings in my ear…

rjjusu:The real issue is, how many sharks are there, and how many remora?

jcgsmtop1:Nice meeting you, Jim. Thanks again for the bookmark.

NuclearWasteUSN:Must bid you all good night.

rjjusu:Take care, Jim – stay healthy

jcgsmtop1:Bye, Jim.

AGplusone:ah, she’s going to let you whisper back, is she? Our regards to her.

NuclearWasteUSN:No problem, I will return on Saturday!

AGplusone:Great to see you

jcgsmtop1:Rats – I’ll have to miss Saturday

NuclearWasteUSN has left the room.

CHASGRAFT:I think it is about that time myself. Later.

jcgsmtop1:This happens every two weeks, right?

AGplusone:Night Charlie

AGplusone:Sure does

jcgsmtop1:Thurs and Sat?

CHASGRAFT has left the room.

jcgsmtop1:Dropping like flies, again …

AGplusone:Do we have your e mail for mailing list of announcements?

rjjusu:and with real live authors, too!

jcgsmtop1:Oooh oooh . grin!

rjjusu:You don’t want to miss the upcoming special event…..

jcgsmtop1:I don’t think so … where do I submit it?

AGplusone:send it to , or , or right here. Dave Wright will copy it for his list when I send him log


jcgsmtop1:OK – hmmm – decisions … which e-mail address to use!

AGplusone:or me:

rjjusu:Dave, is L. Neil Smith the next chat or the one after?

jcgsmtop1:Sounds like you know everything!

AGplusone:Neil is second week in May

AGplusone:so I think so

rjjusu:Don’t want to miss that one, Joanne.

jcgsmtop1:I’ll do my best!

AGplusone:And you post afh?


AGplusone:usenet newsgroup alt.fan.heinlein

jcgsmtop1:no – I’ve never “done” newsgroups

AGplusone:or at least lurk there?


AGplusone:On a Mac or an IBM clone?


AGplusone:Tell her, please, Randy

jcgsmtop1:Do, tell, Randy … please!


jcgsmtop1:Where do you need me? I have a lot of flexibility – home on medical disability … I just don’t do well with hard and fast deadlines

AGplusone:Just send me your $35.00 …. PO Box 1254, Venice, CA 90294

AGplusone: The Heinlein Society payee c/o David M. Silver, Secretary works fine

jcgsmtop1:Will do – I printed out the page and it’s in my bill stack – and just got my paycheck yesterday …


jcgsmtop1:What comes with membership? (fries?)

AGplusone:Okay … background, education, interests … ketchup

rjjusu:a home correspondence course in Martian.

jcgsmtop1:Just knowing the Society is here is worth $35!!!

jcgsmtop1:Cool! I’ve always wanted to learn Martian … it will help in communicating with men! Grin

AGplusone:Actually I may decide to send out a CD rom with a Heinlein speech or interview on it

AGplusone:we’re thinking on that

rjjusu:No, Martian is a language of knowledge. You want Low Venusian….

jcgsmtop1:Wow. Giving me chills, Dave!

AGplusone:for charter Members

jcgsmtop1:How many members are there so far?

AGplusone:Ginny sent me her collection. Some haven’t been published, ever …

AGplusone:over 30 now … moving slowly up

jcgsmtop1:SERIOUS CHILLS!!!!

jcgsmtop1:I want … I want … Give me more RAH!!!

jcgsmtop1:I think some of us would read his grocery lists!

jcgsmtop1:One of my most prized possessions is a first edition hardcover of Time Enough for Love – my favorite book

jcgsmtop1:I always wanted to send it to him and ask for his autograph … but I never wanted to bother him …

AGplusone:Could use some help in membership maybe with a cross over to another committee … any teaching experience?

rjjusu:Actually, I’m going to soon have a chance to read one of his stories that I haven’t read before.

AGplusone:Which one?

jcgsmtop1:Which one?

jcgsmtop1:(great minds)


jcgsmtop1:No “formal” teaching training – but I’ve led workshops and such things.

jcgsmtop1:And membership would be fine.

rjjusu:One of the three that has never been reprinted…. One of the so-called stinkaroos… Let me see if I can find the specific title….

jcgsmtop1:I writes really kinda like good

AGplusone:me two


jcgsmtop1:(words is fine – just don’t ask me to add numbers without a spreadsheet!)

jcgsmtop1:(computer spreadsheet that is!)

AGplusone:speaking of which I gotta get a copy of Office Suite

AGplusone:and learn to use Excel (cringe)

rjjusu:It’s not that bad, Dave

jcgsmtop1:I started to say I had that sort of thing … but it’s for IBM, not Mac …

jcgsmtop1:It’s easy …

AGplusone:I know … used it many years ago back around system 6

AGplusone:’90 or so

AGplusone:so no matter what I say about the Evil Empire, or the Dark Side, take it with a grain of salt. Never been without a copy of Word

AGplusone:I just have to learn it anew this time

jcgsmtop1:Yes – After years of DOS-based Word Perfect, it took me about a week to fall in love with a mouse and MS Word! After that I had to learn Word Perfect for Windows – UGH!

AGplusone:Word was a great Mac application, back around version 3

AGplusone:and stayed that way, even if it did get bloated beyond belief

jcgsmtop1:”Back in MY day, sonny …” grin

AGplusone:my day was IBM 1401s

AGplusone:Learned to program Them

jcgsmtop1:I think I read that MS Word for Windows takes more memory than the computers that run the space shuttle

AGplusone:48 k computer

jcgsmtop1:I’ve always been on the word processing side – legal secretary, then various high-level admin/low level managerial stuff

AGplusone:really … what kind of firm?

jcgsmtop1:I was incarcerated as a legal secretary in a huge Chicago firm, released on parole to be Dir of Admin at the regional HQ of an int’l travel agency franchisor …

jcgsmtop1:then reincarcerated at another huge Chgo law firm, then released for time served

jcgsmtop1:Then I spent the last four years working for CNA Insurance, an affiliate, back to CNA, then to a wholly owned subsidiary, then back to CNA … and on disability from them for the last 2 years

AGplusone:That’s good … sla it doesn’t turn out to be one of my fav mgmt labor relations outfits like Taft Stetinus or somebody

jcgsmtop1:Dave, I’m looking at the form Tawn sent – I should check the membership committee? Anything else?

rjjusu:Got it. The story is “Beyond Doubt” one of the three not reprinted elsewhere. Written as Lyle Monroe, with Elma Wentz

AGplusone:You may enjoy it … that’s not the Easter Island one, is it?

AGplusone:anything else you think you’d enjoy

jcgsmtop1:Wow. Unreprinted RAH. I’m whimpering …

rjjusu:Not sure – haven’t read it yet.

rjjusu:You too could have this story, if you want to get a copy of the book.

jcgsmtop1:What are each of your favorite RAH books/stories, Dave and Randy?

jcgsmtop1:What book?

AGplusone:See if you can spot the rewrite by RAH … I understand the collaboration with her was simply a Rewrite

AGplusone:She didn’t sell it, he rewrote it, and it sold.

AGplusone:I love them all. the last one usually when I’m asked for favorites

AGplusone:To Sail Beyond the Sunset … aka Go, Odyseus, Go …

jcgsmtop1:I love the 10 Commandments in that one

jcgsmtop1:Randy, how about you?

jcgsmtop1:And what’s the book??

jcgsmtop1:(that the story is in)

rjjusu:Do a web search for the Frederik Pohl anthology “Beyond the End of Time”, published in 1952, by Perma (Doubleday). I’ll let you know how it is after I receive my copy.

jcgsmtop1:Frederik Pohl – he’s cool. I met him at a lecture by Harlan Ellison at a local college a few years back.

jcgsmtop1:And he’s due to sign books at a local SF bookstore

AGplusone:I’d have loved to have met Maureen at eighteen

AGplusone:or thirty-five

AGplusone:or sixty

jcgsmtop1:Me, too – although I’d prefer Lazarus … or maybe Galahad

jcgsmtop1:Or even Justin

jcgsmtop1:I’ve always aspired to RAH’s definition of Tamara (Sperling?) in Time Enough for Love

AGplusone:We’ve been trying out an idea … tie in blooddrive to bookstore gatherings

jcgsmtop1:That’s a great idea.

rjjusu:It’s hard to pick a favorite, though I am pretty partial to Starship Trooper, since I’ve been in the military most my life, after that, it’s a tossup between Citizen of the Galaxy, Stranger in a Strange Land and Double Star. Of course, all the juveniles, and anything else he has written.

AGplusone:I’m going to try something with Connie Willis out here in a couple weeks and talk to Joe Haldeman at UCLA this weekend

jcgsmtop1:And will she slap your hand for what you’re going to try? Grin …

rjjusu:Not her, but …..

AGplusone:I sincerely hope not. I also want to get her to visit as Joe did, the chats.

jcgsmtop1:Have Spacesuit, Will Travel was the first one I read. Back a few lifetimes ago … grin

jcgsmtop1:Time Enough for Love is my hands-down favorite

jcgsmtop1:Followed by everything he’s written … followed by Spider Robinson’s books

AGplusone:Have you ever met Spider?

jcgsmtop1:What branch of the military, Randy?

rjjusu:Yes, it’s hard to believe that I read my first Heinlein when I was but a little trooper, over 35 years ago…..

jcgsmtop1:No – I’d be totally speechless.

AGplusone:Randy is in the Air Scouts

jcgsmtop1:I’ve met David Brin, though – he spoke at a Mensa Annual Gathering a few years ago

rjjusu:I’ve spent a couple of years in the army, and the last 19 in the Air Force, active and reserve….

jcgsmtop1:Thank you for “serving and protecting”

jcgsmtop1:I have the greatest respect for military, police, firefighters …

jcgsmtop1:(OK, OK – I love men in uniform!!)

jcgsmtop1:I had an ex-husband in Navy (very brief marriage), and an ex-husband in the USAF – and I worked for the USAF for about 5 years in the 70s

Agplusone:Brin, Bear, and Benford have got a little reading science fiction program up that we’re tying into our education committee … I’ll send you an e group http: to look at, Joanne

rjjusu:you’re welcome. Though I come by it genetically. Both my parents were in the military, and many of my uncles, cousins, my brother and his wife, and my sister’s first husband. We’ve had a boat (tank, plane) load of family in the military over the past 50 years.

rjjusu:I think I’d like to work with the education committee, once I get settled in here at the university. seems like a natural fit.

AGplusone:Glance at this if you’ve time: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rffcon1

jcgsmtop1:Thanks, Dave – you guys are great! I’m very excited about getting involved with the Heinlein Society. Oh, and about blood drives – Mensa gatherings usually have them, too … my docs won’t let me donate blood any more (I used to donate every however many days apart you could).

rjjusu:56 days…

jcgsmtop1:I was debating between 52 and 56 …

AGplusone:We have an in lieu of donation aspect … slavery for so many hours

jcgsmtop1:Hmmm – I prefer to *have* slaves than be one … but in this case, I just might make an exception!!

AGplusone:The idea of the rffcon1 group is to introduce sf reading into classrooms, elementary, secondary, etc.

jcgsmtop1:Great! I learned more from RAH’s writing than I have from anything else

AGplusone:And they’ve used Farmer as a pilot program they’re going to report on at PhilCon over Labor Day

jcgsmtop1:As much of an SF reader as I’ve always been, I’ve never been to an SF Con

jcgsmtop1:(*hanging head in shame*)

rjjusu:Seems reasonable. The first day of class that I taught this semester, I gave my students a short quiz, and one of the questions was “Who is your favorite SF author?” Gotta keep ’em guessing! πŸ™‚

jcgsmtop1:Have you met Spider Robinson, Dave?

jcgsmtop1:What do you teach,Randy? Where?

rjjusu:Electrical and Computer Engineering – Utah State University

Agplusone:Ginny gave us Spider as a potential visitor … he had trouble using his laptop … it’s an old one … and getting it to work with AIM … trying to get a second shot at him for a Visit

jcgsmtop1:So a question about an SF author must have really had them guessing!

AGplusone:He lives in Eastern Canada

jcgsmtop1:WOWOWOWOW … I have a friend in Vancouver – where Spider is from – I bet he could arrange to let Spider use his laptop …

rjjusu:Well, they’re college students – they need to broaden their horizons…..

jcgsmtop1:He’s a computer pro

jcgsmtop1:Dont’ we all, Randy!

rjjusu:Yep, that’s why I have a minor in Russian History.

jcgsmtop1:Or has Spider moved – Vancouver is Western Canada … I know he once lived in Halifax (Eastern Canada)

jcgsmtop1:”specialization is for insects”

AGplusone:My Spousal Overlord Unit is due shortly. When I wrote him he was in or around Halifax

rjjusu:or liberal democrats…..

AGplusone:about a year ago

jcgsmtop1:Hmm. “Spousal Overlord Unit” – groan!!

jcgsmtop1:I have Feline Overlord Units …

AGplusone:I also have one of those, and a Daughter Overlord Unit

jcgsmtop1:Computers, engineering and Russian history … good combination, Randy. And how many overlord units do you have? I have two of the feline version

jcgsmtop1:No child units

AGplusone:Just Bob …

jcgsmtop1:Just Bob?

rjjusu:I just have a multitude of Overunits, of various types, but no feline or canine units, due to severe allergies in my Spousal Overunit…

jcgsmtop1:Ouch. Life without felines …

rjjusu:Use to have a feline overunit, but it was the spouse or the feline, so not much of a contest.

jcgsmtop1:I just looked at that Yahoo e-group …. “a cat herd of things” – Great!

jcgsmtop1:I’m sure – Spousal Units generally win.

jcgsmtop1:In fact, my last live-in partner – when he left, I kept his cat along with my own!

jcgsmtop1:(The cat is the better deal!)

rjjusu:Well, did you ever try to get a cat to scramble eggs properly?

jcgsmtop1:I wouldn’t even dream of it! But then I’m appreciative that my two allow me to live here, too! (They just keep me for the opposable thumb)


AGplusone:Will show you Bob

jcgsmtop1:Hmmm – there’s just a kind of an indecipherable graphic … that’s Bob?

rjjusu:Yes, we should be glad our pets allow us to stay with them – they usually recognize the true character of individuals much quicker than people do.


rjjusu:A “Door Into Summer” sort of thing.

AGplusone:Works for me.

jcgsmtop1:Yes. I had a date over earlier … he sat on one end of the sofa, I was on the other. My two cats flanked him, kind of like the Chicago Art Institute lions … I’m not sure what they were trying to tell me!

AGplusone:Black cat in an oval?


jcgsmtop1:Ah – now I see it … grin

AGplusone:There’s also some other photos there … Jim = NW here earlier, Jane Davitt, etc.

jcgsmtop1:Cool – thank you. It’s always nice to put faces to names

AGplusone:You’ll recognize them when you visit afh after Randy’s letter comes

rjjusu:Well, I need to drop off here. I’ve got some grading to do yet tonight, and a grant proposal I need to get in tomorrow, plus tomorrow is the last day of classes, so I’ve got a bunch of labs to grade and a final to write this weekend. Sigh, a teacher’s work is never done…. fortunately.

AGplusone:See ya, Randy …

jcgsmtop1:It was a delight to meet you, Randy.

jcgsmtop1:Nice pic of you and your (I presume) Spousal OverUnit … the background is beautiful

rjjusu:Likewise, and I’ll try to get you some stuff tomorrow Dave, after I get the proposal in the mail.

AGplusone:Okay, thank you, sir

rjjusu:Take care, and I hope to see you all Saturday.

jcgsmtop1:And I understand “Bob” now … grin

AGplusone:I’m going to wrap it up too, now … Joanne, pleasure to meet you … glad you like him. He tells me he’s decended from Petronius the Arbiter in 1970

AGplusone:Somewhere along the line a black cat crept into the bloodlines.

jcgsmtop1:Grin. Pleasure to meet you, too, Dave. I’ll be sending you my $35 and sending that form back to Tawn.

AGplusone:Send it to me, please.

jcgsmtop1:The $$ and the form?

AGplusone:All to the PO box … I’ll get the form to Tawn

jcgsmtop1:Ah. OK.

jcgsmtop1:Oh, and Mensa has a saying:

AGplusone:See ya, and welcome …

jcgsmtop1:”Leading Mensans is like trying to herd cats”

AGplusone:which is …


AGplusone:herding skunks is the way we put it … grin

jcgsmtop1:I’ve really enjoyed visiting with you guys tonight

AGplusone:We did Too

jcgsmtop1:I won’t be around Sat, but I have the subsequent chats listed on my calendar

AGplusone:okay, we’ll see you then … and enjoy AFH when you find it.

jcgsmtop1:And you can find me on AIM frequently .. feel free to say hi!

jcgsmtop1:Take care.

AGplusone:I will …. bye


jcgsmtop1 has left the room.

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