Жанр книги: Научная Фантастика
Robert A Heinlein To Sail Beyond The Sunset

‘No, sir. ' (Of course I know! Father would be ashamed of me if I failed to scout the territory. )

‘I taught Latin and Greek. .. and the Hellenic philosophers. Then the years moved along, and Latin was no longer required and Greek no longer offered, and Greek philosophers were ignored in favor of "modern" ideas, such as Freud and Marx and Dewey and Skinner. So I was faced with a need to find something else to do on campus. .. or go look for a job somewhere in the busy marts of trade. ' He smiled ruefully. ‘Difficult. A professor from the physical sciences can find work with Dow Chemical or with D. D. Harriman. But a teacher of Greek? Never mind. You say you plan to take this summer session:

‘Yes, sir. '

‘Suppose we call you a senior now. .. and graduate you at the end of the first semester, January ‘47, as a bachelor of arts, uh, major subject, modern languages; minor in - oh, what you will. Classical languages. History. But you can use the summer session and the first semester to support your real purpose, metaphysics. Um. I'm a grandfather myself, Mrs Johnson, and an obsolete teacher of forgotten subjects. But would it suit you to have me as your faculty adviser? '

‘Oh, would you? '

‘I find an interest in your purpose. .. and I feel sure that we can assemble a committee sympathetic to that purpose. Hmm -

‘ "Old age hath yet hls honour and his toil.

Death doses all; but something ere the end

Some work of noble note, may yet be done,

Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. " ‘

I picked it up:

‘"The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;

The long day wanes, the slow moon climbs; the deep

Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,

‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. " ‘

He smiled widely, and answered:

‘"Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die. " ‘

He stood up. ‘Tennyson wears well, does he not? And if Odysseus can challenge age, so can we. Come in tomorrow and let's start planning a course of study toward your doctorate. Most of it will have to be independent study but we will look over the prospectus and see what courses could be useful to you. '

In June 1950 I was awarded the degree of doctor of philosophy in metaphysics, my dissertation being tided ‘A Comparison of the World Pictures of Aristocles, Arouet, and Dzhugashvili considered through interaction of epistemology, teleology, and eschatology. ' The actual content was zero, as honest metaphysics must be, but I loaded it with Boolean algebra, which (if solved) proved that Dzhugashvili was a murdering scoundrel. .. as the kulaks of the Ukraine knew too well.

I gave a copy of my dissertation to Father McCaw and invited him to my convocation. He accepted, then glanced at the dissertation and smiled. ‘I think Plato would be pleased to be in the company of Voltaire. .. but each of them would shun the company of Stalin. '

Over the course of many years the only person to translate correctly at first glance all three of those names was Father MeCaw. .. except Dr Bannister, who thought up the joke.

The dissertation was not important. But the rides required that I submit enough pounds of scholarly manuscript to justify the degree. And for four years I had a wonderfully good time, both there and across the boulevard.

The same week I got my Ph. D. I registered at KU Medical School and at Kansas City School of Law - little conflict as most lectures at the Law School were at night, whereas the courses I took at the Medical School were during the day. I was not a candidate for MD but for a master's degree in biochemistry. I had to register for a couple of upper division courses, but was allowed to do so while being accepted as a candidate for MS (I think I would have been turned down had I not walked in with a still-damp doctorate). I did not really care whether or not I received the master's degree; I simply wanted to treat an excellent applied-science school as an intellectual smorgasbord. Father would have loved it.

I could have had that degree in one year; I stayed longer because there were still more courses I wanted to attend. In the meantime the KC School of Law was supposed to require four years. .. but I had been there before, having attended several of their courses while Brian was getting his law degree, 1934-38. The dean was willing to credit me with courses simply by examination as long as I paid full-fees for each course - it was a proprietary school; fees were a prime consideration.

I took the bar examinations in the spring of 1952 - and passed, to the surprise of my classmates and professors. It may have helped that my papers read: ‘M. J. Johnson' rather than ‘Maureen Johnson'. Once I was admitted to the bar there was no fuss about my law degree; the school boasted about the percentage of its students that made it all the way into the bar - a much tougher hurdle than the degree.

That is how I legitimately got four academic degrees in six years. But I honestly think that I learned the most at the tiny little Catholic college at which I was only a listener, never a candidate for a degree.

Especially from a Japanese-American Jesuit priest, Father Tezuka.

For the first time in my life had an opportunity to learn an oriental language and I jumped at the chance. This class was for prospective missionaries to replace those liquidated in the war; it had both priests and seminarians. I was welcome for just one reason, I think: Japanese language structure and idiom and Japanese culture make even greater differences between male and female than does American culture and American language. I was an instructional tool'.

In 194=, the summer we spent in Chicago, I took advantage of the opportunity to study semantics under Count Alfred Korzybski and Dr S. I. Hayakawa, as the Institute for General Semantics was dose to where we lived - across the Mall and east a couple of blocks at 1234 East 56th. One thing that stuck in my mind was the emphasis both scholars placed on the fact that a culture was reflected in its language, that indeed the two were so interwoven that another language of a different structure (a ‘metalanguage') was needed to discuss the matter adequately.

Now consider the dates. President Patton was elected in November 1948 and succeeded President Barkley in January 1949.

The Osaka Incident took place in December 1948, Between President Patton's election and his inauguration. So President Patton was faced with what amounted to open rebellion in the Far Eastern Possessions formerly known as the Japanese Empire. The secret society, The Divine Wind, seemed willing to exchange ten of their number for one of ours indefinitely.

In his inauguration address President Patton informed the Japanese and the world that this exchange was not acceptable. Starting at once, it was one American dead, one Shintoist shrine destroyed and defiled, with the price going up with each incident.