Sunday, April 10, 2011

road trip 3

Today we get to head back home.

I suppose that if you're ever going to drive the length of the state of California, the month of April is the time to do it.

So, back to my golf story. So, on my first night here, this place was totally empty and quiet. I decided to have some tea and sit for a while in the hotel lounge, where they had this big flat-screen television that was showing the Masters Golf Championship.

That's pretty much how uneventful the first night was. But I noticed something about the televised program: on every break, there was a commercial -- sponsored by one of these huge oil companies (I think it was Mobil -- and how nice of Mobil to sponsor such encouraging commercials as a means of lessening the burden of taxation on an entity that makes more money that most countries in the world). The commercials all pretty much showed the same things: nice looking, optimistic young students, whose lives were completely transformed by taking AP (Advance Placement) Math and Science classes in high school.

Awww... thanks for telling our kids what they need to do, Mobil.

This is going to guarantee a shiny, happy future.

Now, let me admit, I am not a Math/Science basher. As a matter of fact, my son (remember, I'm up here in Berkeley because he's an incoming freshman at Cal) got 5s (perfect scores) on every one of his math and science AP exams. He even got a 5 on AP Biology when he was 13 years old.

Conversation, yesterday:

ME: How many kids were in your program at Cal?

SON: About a hundred.

ME: Did you meet any other English majors?

SON: There weren't any English majors. They were all engineering or science.

The thing is, lots of kids do well in Math and Science. I personally know hundreds of them, and a lot of them end up getting denied entrance into overcrowded universities -- or they can't afford to go. And universities, like Berkeley, are completely filled to the rafters with kids pursuing math and science-related degrees. They can't possibly take any more kids.

Yesterday, we had coffee with one of our favorite Berkeley authors, Yvonne Prinz, whose novel All You Get Is Me is up for a Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Book Award today. I gave her my only extra ARC copy of Stick. Then, we went in to San Francisco and had dinner with Josh, another life-long friend and San Franciscan.

All in all, it's been a very nice three days.

Back to decision-making time.

And, remember... the video trailer for Stick will be posted here tomorrow.