Life Is Not Always Explained

Life is not always explained. When I used to teach summer classes at Columbia, I would often take my students to the Hungarian Pastry Shop on the Upper West Side. I would ask them to bring a notebook and to surreptitiously document, word for word, all the conversations they overheard. When we came back to the classroom we read these aloud. What we heard was fascinating. People never talk directly at one another. They seem to always talk in circles.