As If I Needed More Proof Libraries Are Awesome

This is FOR REAL — The Palo Alto Public Library is offering classes on brewing!

Libraries are important cultural and learning centers, folks.  Members of the community can show up and without paying for private classes talk with librarians who will point them in the direction of learning materials, help organize talks and discussions, and generally assist in access to information.  Go buy a librarian a beer, everyone!

One thing that puzzled me in the article was the class title, “The Techie Side of Beer.”  At Stanford, there was a common debate about whether things were “fuzzie” (humanities) or “techie” (sciences) and where one placed oneself on the continuum.  We even had to read a book about it the summer before my freshman year at Stanford, so that we could all sit around in sharing circles  (I mean in dorm lounges) and talk about what it felt like to be considering a humanities major at a university that was massively invested in engineering.

Stanford: “Don’t worry, we love you too even though your work is less likely to subsidize us in years to come; unless you become a real estate developer, or pro athlete, or maybe an investment banker.  You can do all those things with a fuzzie degree.  Just kidding guys, some of you may actually write books that are commercially successful, or become professors here, or get MacArthur Fellowships or Pulitzers so we can feature you in our alumni magazine.”

As cynical as the above may sound, I loved Stanford, and was never made to feel unwanted or unsupported for my interests in, say, Classics.  The Classics Department newsletter is probably the one publication from Stanford I receive that I read cover to cover.  My 10th year anniversary is coming up and I’m considering attending.  Doesn’t hurt that a trip out to the Bay Area sounds like a nice vacation now that I live in the Midwest.  Problem is that many of my college friends are spread in a 2-year band on either side of me, so I would have had as many people I wanted to see at the 2003 Reunion as I would at the 2004 Reunion.  The plus side is burritos…and sushi…and micro greens…and the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.  At least it’s sunny here in Columbus today.  It makes me miss the Bay Area less when I can see the sun.  So, should I go to Reunion?

Back to beer: I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most of beer is a “techie” pursuit, in that brewing beer involves knowledge of chemistry and strict attention to procedure.  Drinking beer involves hedonistic pleasures that could be considered more fuzzie, but if it’s a class on brewing, I would think the technical elements would be emphasized.


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