The Write Stuff

A little while ago, this season’s edition of the USC College magazine came out, and it is available online. Notably, it is featuring writers and writing, and there are several pieces in there about both faculty and students and their writing, in various forms. There are articles about superstars such as TC Boyle and Aimee Bender, as well as pieces by excellent writers such as California Poet Laureate Carol Muske-Dukes, and M. G. Lord. I recommend having a read of it.

It is with a mixture of mild amusement and embarrassment that I mention that among all that excellent writerly material is, perhaps oddly, an article on yours truly. It is about this blog, what it is about and for, and why I do it. (The blog is, of course, not to be mistaken for great writing, and so I will apologize personally to Aimee Bender, who’s a good and forgiving friend, for the intrusion! On the other hand, if it is to be taken as a special issue featuring English Professors, as so many of the featured faculty are, then in a sense I qualify. 🙂 ) A quote from the piece, which in turn is quoting me:

“What I hope people get from my blog is a realization that scientists are just ordinary people,” Johnson said. “We’re not special people. We’re just people doing a special thing. It’s an issue of making science accessible by first making the practitioners accessible.”

(It is actually only part of what I hope people get from it. I also hope that they simply enjoy reading whatever they find here, and maybe tell their friends, and perhaps come back for more.)

The piece was written by one of the staff writers for the magazine, Pamela Johnson (no relation), and is entitled “A Quantum Leap into the Blogosphere”. As usual with the colloquial phrase a quantum leap, you can go either way with the meaning, and I’ll let you pick which you think is appropriate. Either it is a really really really tiny leap, tens of orders of magnitude smaller than your garden variety leap, which is to my mind the most literal interpretation if you take the physics at face value, or, going with the popular culture usage, it is somehow a significant leap that surpasses the everyday “classical” leaps in some manner. (I imagine the term fell into that usage because someone decided that leaps between quantized energy levels in, for example, an atom, are to be considered huge feats of derring-do by the electrons concerned. Perhaps they are.)

Or maybe it’s just a nice title she picked and you needn’t try to interpret it at all. Just read the piece.


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