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Self Editing
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It's true, about self-editing. I'm aware that while my mother is dead, my father also, my daughter, friends and coworkers are very much alive and nosy. There are times when there are things I'll say in e-mail (private one-to-one) to a trusted friend, that I'd never say here publicly.

Not only personal stuff, but sometimes social views, as well. My husband accuses me of being a Berkeley liberal like my mother, but he doesn't know my real views, either. Seldom do I find someone with whom I can share ideas and concepts freely, who understands that ideas are the heart and soul of civilized discourse. Most of my friends and acquaintances are satisfied with comments on USC's football performance and the vagaries of the people next door, with an occasional blast of opprobrium for the current administration.

Of course, I do enjoy using words in this blog that mark me as a sesquipedalian. Check 'em out in your Funk and Wagnalls. I discover, however, that I don't always know how to spell them. Ah, my kingdom for spell check!

And I wrote a short story recently that I wanted to title DEATH AND TRANSFIGURATION, but I realized that it was far too obstruse--how many people would recognize the reference to a tone poem by Richard Strauss? So I just made the title the name of the main character. How boring.

I am by no means belittling anything written or spoken by other people. They do their thing; I do mine. I had a really bizarre education--I stayed home sick from school for most of a year and read every volume of the Encyclopedia from A to Z--and I devoured everything else in print I could lay hands on.

Dragged around from pillar to post, I went to 21 schools from Kindergarten through 7th grade (skipped 8th), so my classroom education was fairly unique. For instance, I never learned the order of the letters of the alphabet because I could read by the age of 3 and my first teacher assumed that, if I could read, I could say the alphabet. Not. Other skills were hit-or-miss as well. Long division, for instance. Not until high school.

And so it went. Each school I attended had a different curriculum and mostly I was self-educated. The big words come from a lifetime of reading and writing. It wasn't until I got to high school that we settled down and I actually spent 3 years in a row in the same school. I learned a lot about poetry, music, science, medicine, literature, animal husbandry, and research techniques along the way and nearly nothing about art and architecture until I went to Stanford in Italy.

It's been quite a ride. What's next? There's always an adventure around the corner.

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