Sometimes, when I am

March 9, 2010

in bed at the end of the day, drifting between awake and asleep, I have amazing ideas I can’t wait to write about on the blog.

Usually however, one of two things happens the next morning. Sometimes, I remember the idea, and when I subject it to the bright light of day, I realize how stupid that idea really is. Other times, I just don’t remember. Who knows. Maybe the second situation is a blessing in disguise. Those could be the thought trains that would take the blog to crazy town.*

Last night, I fell asleep thinking about logarithmic curves. One semester when I was first in college eons ago, I had to take a bunch of prerequisite classes all at the same time. That’s because I was slow to make a decision on what I would pursue as a major, so the first few years of dawdling ended up filling in every single one of the “elective” spots in my required class curriculum. Fly fishing, weight lifting, logic and astronomy may be the components of a well-rounded education; but, they don’t do much as far as fulfilling degree requirements. At least not any degree I could find in the course catalog.

So, to graduate under a somewhat normal timeline with my late-to-be-elected forestry degree, I had to take botany, biology, ecology and chemistry all at the same time. On the negative side, one hell of a lot of studying had to go on that semester. On the positive side, these classes fit together like a glove. Everything supported everything. There were recurring patterns and themes as I moved from one lecture hall to another over the course of the day — themes I may have never picked up on had I taken these classes in a more rational manner.

One of those themes was a shape. A sigmoid curve to be precise. Every single professor drew this curve on the blackboard at least once, if not several times over the course of the semester.

The rate of chemical reactions. The pace of discovery of new species. The dispersal distances of seeds from the parent plant. And just to be fancy, double logarithmic curves traced population densities of insects and birds and rabbits and coyotes.

Yep, I lay there last night thinking about logarithmic curves, and Mendocino and progress and sleeve completion and how I’m somewhere on the far right side of that graph.

*This might have been one of those pre-sleep ideas that I should have just walked away from.

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One Response to “Sometimes, when I am”

  1. Chrissie Says:

    LOL about the nighttime epiphanies that turn out to be smoke and mirrors in the morning. I once read a book about a woman who had this great revelation in the middle of the night (maybe while being on dope, I don’t know about that part anymore). She finally had the answer to all her questions, she knew the exact purpose of her life and how everything was working out and making sense. She immediately sat there and wrote the essence of it down. When she looked at her note the next morning it read: “I am sitting here writing.”


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