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,


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