Posts Tagged ‘Educational’

Why I wrote The Monkeybars of Life

November 18, 2009

I’m often asked why I wrote The Monkeybars of Life and why it has so many pages.  I felt it was time to tell the story of some of the extraordinary people I’ve known and some of the unbelievable situations we’ve encountered. There are three themes explored in the book (1) innate creativity, (2) creativity in the workplace, and (3) estranged fatherhood. 

In chapter-3  Nate LaChae says:   “Some friends came over and they brought an African student with them. I asked him whether he felt there would ever be an African space program. When he said he didn’t think so, I asked why not. then I went OFF when he said he felt the White Man had something special in his head that allowed him to invent things and go to the moon.

The reason I was so upset is that I believe the greatness of our race will not be in the USA. It will be in Africa one day. And to hear that African student say what he said just set me off. I got up and said “Anybody that fills a thirty-five story rocket with liquid oxygen and hydrogen can go to the moon.” I told him the laws of physics work the same for everybody. Then I told him not to ever think or say what he said again. Even I was surprised at how I went off. But we’ll never even try things with the kind of thinking he had. I just want to show that God doesn’t play favorites.”

At another point, in chapter-3, Nate relates a High School  experience: “I remember how I made my first science fair rocket by soldering tin cans together. And I’ll never forget there was a kid named Rob Strom who exhibited right next to me at the fair. He had gotten permission to run his experiment at a real nuclear reactor lab. I won a third prize that year and he won a first prize. I never got over the fact that he had access to such equipment to compete with.”

In chapter-4 Nate struggles with being separated from his family and attempts to have an alternate family. “Maybe this is the way life really is, Nate thought as he sipped his wine. I had a stepfather and my mother and father didn’t know their real Dads either. I guess, we’re suppose to take care of the kids under our roof – wherever we are. I hope my kids’ stepfather is doing his job like I am.”

In chapter-5   Nate takes on more mundane projects at work and still encounters  resistance and disbelief. He is told by the IT department manager: “Who the hell do you think you’re fooling with all this talk about AI? Even at Carnige-Mellon, it took us two years to get our Expert System running and we had the resources. You can’t possibly accomplish even half the goals in that contract using HP-Basic. That’s why I’m not wasting my time with your silly project.”