Growing ideas

It’s good to recall, on semester’s eve, what we collegians are supposed to be up to: discovery, creativity, new ideas and the novel application of good old ones. So it was nice to stumble upon a symbol of that, while strolling Vanderbilt’s campus on their first day of class.

That’s an alleged descendant of Sir Isaac’s own tree of knowledge, planted in front of Vandy’s library in honor of Murfreesboro’s retired Congressman Gordon. He was a good friend of science and technology. There are few enough of those, in Washington, from Tennessee. He deserved at least a clipping.

So the kids are here now, with the class of ’16 all moved in and ready for a new idea.

And so I’m reminded of Fred Rogers’ good question: “Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind?” I’m trying. I’ll be trying again this semester, in collaboration with a hundred or so young apple-polishers at our school. We’ll see how close we can land to Sir Isaac’s tree. It really is good to be curious about many things.


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