November 15, 2006

Mary Tyler Moore Gets Personal With Maria Montessori, and Explores the Origins of Life

I can't believe I've forgotten to mention that I had the pleasure of being MTM'd. Yes, I reached out to the delightful Coaster Punchman, and he left a beautiful, custom rendition of the Mary Tyler Moore theme song on my voicemail while I was recuperating from surgery. I played it on speaker phone for my mom. And cried. Twice. It was really sweet and touching. Thank you, CP. You truly are bestowed with awesome powers.

What else is new? I'm toying with the idea of snagging comedy dates by way of online personal ads. Yeah. I can't believe it either. But it's hard to meet people, and several friends have had good luck meeting some pretty cool people this way. I spent some time last night perusing the local matches on one site, and had my interest peaked by several interesting candidates. I also noticed a lot of cliches - suspiciously heavy photoshopping (what are you trying to hide?), conspicuous "look, I have black friends" pictures, fuzzy, long-range photos taken from what must be LandSat geosynchronous satellites, and more. Wish me luck.

Why does it not surprise me to read in a recent New Yorker profile that Sims and Spore mastermind Will Wright was a Montessori-educated child? Everyone I've ever known (including my darling niece and creative cohort Sloan) who grew up with the influence of Montessori educational principles has been a fantastically imaginative and problem-solving human being. From that article: “Montessori taught me the joy of discovery...It showed you can become interested in pretty complex theories, like Pythagorean theory, say, by playing with blocks. It’s all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. SimCity comes right out of Montessori—if you give people this model for building cities, they will abstract from it principles of urban design.”

I have lost countless hours of my life to Sims and Sims 2 (and wisely decided not to reinstall the game the last time my laptop crashed) and am scared at the thought of trying Wright's latest opus, Spore. It sounds absolutely fascinating. "The game draws on the theory of natural selection. It seeks to replicate algorithmically the conditions by which evolution works, and render the process as a game." A game designed by someone as brilliant as Will Wright, who's equally as enchanted by Powers of Ten and Drake's Equation as I am, is a danger to my personal productivity.


Coaster Punchman said...

I am upset that I was not Montessori educated. I could have been so much more imaginative and a much better problem solver. Damn!

Thanks for the props re: MTM. I was panicked for a second, thinking you had somehow posted a soundbyte! :)


Dale said...

I'm upset by not being Montessori schooled either, I'd be running the world further into the ground by now but in the most wonderful ways.

What a touching and lovely thing. When I read about CP's MTM offer I wondered if someone would take him up on it and I'm so glad you did. Sweet.

Bella Rossa said...

CP's MTM was a seriously beautiful thing to hear. Honestly. The internet is made of people, and some of them call and sing to you when you're feeling a little down.