8.31.2014

Letter(2), February 22, 1975

Dear Jan,

How goes the work in the day care center? I’m sure you’ll enjoy the work with the kids, at least you always seemed to. I have finally gotten around to reading “East of Eden” and I have trouble tearing myself away from it. Steinbeck really hits you hard with his philosophy of life in that book. When I’m not reading I seem to be constantly trying to sort out his values concerning what constitutes a good life, etc. For the most part I agree with his view (or maybe I’m just caught up in it beyond the point of thinking independently of it).

I have been moved to a different town named San Isidro, and am going to do a study of the small landowners there who will be relocated as part of the irrigation project. I don’t like the idea that they will be forced to move, but the objective (giving everybody enough land to make a decent living on) is good. At least I now feel I am doing something along the lines they had in mind when they requested a sociologist.

I haven’t told anyone back home as yet, but I had brought two physics books & my calculus book down here with me & am studying physics in my spare time. I have about 5 chapters to go in the first physics book now. I plan to go back to school in physics after I leave Peace Corps. As I had kept it a deep dark secret from when I bought the books before I left, it seems almost like a confession now. Reading Steinbeck seems to have prompted me to dispense with this silly little secret. I guess the protection the secret offered was that if I changed my mind again, I wouldn’t have to tell anyone about the interim period! I have (at least for now) settled on physics as my means to seek my answers to the basic questions about the what & why of life.

I am also planning to take up guitar to give me something expressive I can do myself. I can buy a guitar pretty cheap here to learn on. However, it is nearly impossible to get learner’s books or song books here. I was wondering if you could try to get me a learner’s book and a song book marked for guitar (only if it isn’t expensive). I am going to try to send you 4 bucks to help defray expenses! It’s all the American money I have in small bills.

I hate to cut it off right here but I want to get it mailed before the Post Office closes at noon.

Crazy and confused as ever,

Dean

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