I Took a Stroll down Memory Lane Today

Purely decorative image of a path in an autumnal forestI was talking (a.k.a. emailing) a friend earlier today and accidentally took a stroll down memory lane, particularly the late 1970s. It was utterly delightful. (At least in parts…)

When I was at University of Houston, I had to take a class in either computer science or philosophy to fulfill my “logic” requirement. I first tried computer science. The class was supposed to be an introductory class. It really felt like it was geared towards people who already knew computer programming, or were headed in that direction. They only had 2 exams, but I thought I was understanding reasonably well. Then I took the first test. I thought I probably did a B- or a C. Naturally I was disappointed. Then I got the results. 4, count them, 1, 2, 3, 4 answers were CORRECT. Out of 200 questions. Yes, I dropped the course. (Later on, a couple of years down the road, I took Fortran and PL-1 and enjoyed them. I don’t know why I didn’t get this class, but I didn’t.)

Next semester, I looked at the catalog under the philosophy department. There was a course with my name on it. I couldn’t believe it! I signed up immediately.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY LITERATURE

While I was not the top student in the class, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The professor was Justin Leiber, and he encouraged me to think and write beyond what I had already done. He introduced me (the class) to CS Lewis’ science-fiction trilogy. I had STACKS of books for that class and kept finding others. Check out the link about Dr. Leiber. He was quite a character.

I remember that he was a member of the “cougar guard.” I haven’t checked recently, but at the time, the mascot for U of H was a cougar. They had a live one on campus that would go to the football games and stuff. They had herd of handlers to keep her (Shasta) calm and comfortable so she wouldn’t hurt anyone. I know that they have moved to using a person in a suit as the mascot.

I remember finding Dr. Leiber on Facebook. I thanked him for a memorable class and how much delight I had learning from him. Later on, I was really glad that I had done so. Prostate cancer took him in 2016.

Yes, I Absolutely loved that class. The last day, he invited those who were interested to come up to his office and read his new novel, BEYOND REJECTION. I still remember bits and pieces and I hope to find a digital copy so I can read it again.