Monday, August 04, 2008

mistress of education

Factor #1 -- university nearby

Why is having a university close by so important to me? At 59, the chances are not very high that I will be taking Western Civilization 201 -- in Spanish. (But I would not rule out the possibility of other courses.)

The issue is not the university itself, but what a university attracts. Symphony orchestras. Chamber orchestras. Art exhibits. Film festivals. Plays. Lectures. Libraries. Discussions over coffee. And that is the high brow stuff. Universities also attract popular culture performers.

Wherever a university exists, it will be the hub for the culture of that community. All of the things that add layers to life.

I have read a series of studies that are unanimous in their conclusions: whenever humans stop learning, they accelerate the death process -- mentally and physically. Anyone who has ever spent any time near a nursing home could have saved the academics a lot of time and grant money.

Is this factor still important to me?

Yes. In fact, I would say that it is very important.

Grade for Melaque:


I can hear the protests now. Anyone who knows anything about Melaque knows that it does not have a university. The closest university of any size is located in Guadalajara -- a day's travel away. And that would be a good substitute, but only now and then.

I was ready to give Melaque an F on this factor until I remembered the underlying reason for wanting to be near a university. I wanted a guarantee of some intellectual stimulation. And I can get some of that in Melaque.

If you recall, I told you that I had met a retired French archaeologist who lives in Melaque. I also found an English literature professor nearby. I suspect I will find other interesting people in or near Melaque.

It is not a university, but it is better than spending the rest of my life talking with people of my age about various illnesses.

Next: archaeology.


Nancy said...

Colima is a very nice city with several universities. It is about 45 minutes inland from Manzanillo. (Not sure how far from Melaque)

If you haven't visited Colima, it is really worth a trip. My son and his wife graduated from Tec de Monterrey there and lived there for many years. Not many gringos but nice museums and a couple archaeological sites.


John W said...

When I lived in Silicon Valley, I was surrounded by universities and the kind of people they attract. I was surrounded by interesting neighbors. I chose San Miguel de Allende, not because it has a university (although it has two art academies and a branch of the University of Leon), but because so many of that same kind of people chose to retire here. My life is full of concerts, plays, art openings and cafe society--very important to me.

1st Mate said...

Steve - I agree on the proximity to a university. We apparently have some tech schools here in the Guaymas area, but no full-blown university. Closest I guess is Hermosillo, but that's too far inland for us, an hour's drive. Colima sounds like a good bet. If you had a class, say, a couple of days a week, it might not be a bad commute. Anyway, you're not going to be ready for a class conducted in Spanish for a little while...

Steve Cotton said...

Nancy -- I have not yet visited Colima. I understand that the university there probably does not have the ability to pull some of the cultural events that might interest me. However, its archaeological site does have some appeal. More on that tomorrow.

John -- You are correct that community does make a difference.

Bliss -- My major reason for being near a university is not classes (though that does interest me), but the events attracted by a university. Colima and Guadalajara are too far away for classes, but they may be interesting event magnets.

Calypso said...

Steve Xalapa has a University and the best orchestra in Mexico - lots of interesting folks to feed your need.

Many wonderful concerts when they are not performing in other parts of Mexico.

Steve Cotton said...

John -- I see that people are still willing to have me widen the list. Melaque gets graded first. If I decide not to stay there, I will gladly give tyhe same treatment to our other illustrious nominees.

Calypso said...

Steve - no problem - just saying...

Bragging maybe ;-)

islagringo said...

I agree with Calypso about Yalapa. A great town. But if you don't get to his neck of the woods to see the waterfalls AND Las Pozas, you will probably die a sad man without even knowing it!

Steve Cotton said...

The finger has not yet written all.