Mack cleared his throat. “Friends, on behalf of I and the boys it gives me pleasure to present Doc with this here.”
Doc looked at the gift—a telescope strong enough to bring the moon to his lap. His mouth fell open. Then he smothered the laughter that rose in him.
“Like it?” said Mack.
“Biggest one in the whole goddam catalogue,” said Mack.
Doc's voice was choked. “Thanks,” he said. He paused. “After all, I guess it doesn't matter whether you look down or up—as long as you look.”
John Steinbeck, Sweet Thursday, Penguin Classics, 2008, paperback edition, p. 224
We need more telescopes in biology.
We keep magnifying and magnifying, driving deeper towards molecules, creating new worlds, and that is all fine and good.
But we could use a telescope, or at least a pair of binoculars. I could spend a period or two out in front of the school, just letting the kids stare at squirrels and pigeons.
Until a child has a rudimentary idea what a squirrel is, won't matter to him how close his DNA sequence is to that critter.***
A year ago late May, I was busy rattling on about something when my eye caught a few bees buzzing near hour 4th story window. I stopped, and walked over to the window.
The class, a small but gregarious one (13 girls, 1 boy, all sophomores, enough said) suddenly hushed. They knew something was up, but not quite what.
Outside the window, just across the street, honeybees were swarming.
We just watched. And watched.
The bell eventually interrupted our reverie.
We lost half a period, gained a lifetime memory.***
We need to keep sight of the bigger picture."After all, I guess it doesn't matter whether you look down or up—as long as you look"
4 years ago