Lotus Allen
2330 Parker St
Berkeley, CA 94704
510-704-1884)

Jan 28, 2007

Dear Lotus,

I received (and shared with my partner Joanna) your beautiful card and letter.

It sounds like you and Emma are settling in comfortably at Berkeley -- I hope this continues to be the case.

Things have been busy here as teaching classes resumed last Monday for both Joanna and I. She is teaching courses she hasn't taught before, and needs to find a (hopefully math teaching) job in Salisbury next year which ironically looks like it will be challenging (usually Ithaca's job market is tougher, yet she found a plum job at high pay, while Salisbury is looking somewhat dry for next year..we'll see). For my part I've gotten a few steps forward with my sabbatical projects and one paper published but have a lot more ahead of me to accomplish half of what I set out..

Nevertheless, we are making time in our schedule tomorrow night to see Bob Moses, who is speaking here. You may have heard of him -- 1960s civil rights leader who in the 1980s founded the Algebra Project and will be speaking on QECR or Quality Education as a Civil Right.

On a sad note, we found out that the owner of the health food store in Salisbury with whom we were friends, has breast cancer, and a difficult kind which was found late. She told us herself. We sent her a care package of local healthfood items along with a long letter including both tips for health and encouragement...Our whole society is in denial about many things, not just war and global warming, not just 'perpetual exponential growth' mentality on economics, but we also don't want to face there's a silent killer that hits one in every 2 men and one in every 3 women, in our lives, cancer...

I don't have your letter in front of me but seem to recall that Emma is in a local school rather then being home-schooled. I hope she is enjoying it and hopefully found an enlightened progressive school. I think I mentioned grades 4 and 5 (or 5 and 6?) I spent at an "open" school run at the university of Haifa, which was a liberating experience to learn through curiosity rather than under mandate, as it were..

How are things jobwise for you?

I also have a request from Emma -- do you remember the poem she read in 2004 on talent night? I certainly do. If was about death (or about life and death) and would be something one could call beautiful and deep even if one did not know it was written by a child. Could you, would you, ask her for the text and email (or postal mail) it to me? I'd appreciate it. I'd encourage her to put it on the web, by the way..(Note to Emma -- yes I do mathematics and other "left brain" work but certainly enjoy "right brain" things like poems. And as Len Adleman pointed out, higher mathematics has more in common with philosophy and art than it does with accounting. Math and art are not the 'opposites' they are sometimes portrayed as being -HB)

Speaking of poems, I just sent the following out on email, I'd like to share them (I'll save a copy of this letter so I can email it to you so you can more easily Click on these urls...or you can just go to video.google.com and search for the keywords) .

Al Brenner has posted a large collection on google video, including many poems, many of which are political. Here are two of my favorite poems, they are about 2 minutes each, the first about war/peace issues, the second about environmental issues:

1. "Poem of the Land Mine Museum" by Al Brenner

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8881747522135669291

2. "How Much Does it Cost?" by Al Brenner

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5702037183286879697

And 3. probably the most powerful anti-war short film under 15 minutes I know of (it's actually only ~9 minutes) is "Don't Go" at,

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4580155855427685339

What you want a happy ending? Ok, 1:33min poem, "The Children" by Al Brenner, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8316295041587092509

My activism projects (from projects section of EconomicDemocracy.org) moved forward. Not as fast as I'd like given all the sabbatical work, but faster than on regular years. A Canadian person with a techie background has blogged about one of my proposals (google for "thresholdware") and Dan's summaries of my work were recently translated into Italian by a concerned activist in Italy..I hope year by year things move forward and that eventually some of my proposals are adopted.

I'm very sorry, again, for what happened to you at The Farm.