Friday, April 3, 2015

Song for Uncle Willard

Thanks so much for your kind comments and likes on the tribute post I wrote for my mentor, Uncle Willard (aka Dr. Bob Manning of Davidson College). You are wonderful and dear friends.

Many of you said you’d like to hear the song I wrote in his honor, so I have made a simple recording of it and you can hear it on Soundcloud. If you send me a direct message, I’d be glad to send you a annotated lyric sheet (PDF), since I’m not with you to tell you the stories behind the song in the traditional Jeni way :)

Last week, I spent a day, while on tour up in Chicago, reading about 17th century French scientists because Uncle Willard was writing a book on that topic when he went on up to the picnic. It seemed very fitting that such a remarkable and tireless teacher would continue to inspire me to read more and seek more. To you, Uncle Willard: how glad I am for my heart so that you can live there, always.

Song for Uncle Willard: Scientist, Philosopher, and Mentor
© Jeni Hankins 2015

If I could live in your study,
and read every book that you owned,
I might find a note in the margins –
a theorem of where you have flown.

‘Cause I’d like conjecture,
I’d like to work you into my proof,
and offer you a hypothesis
on how much I will miss you.

Add a girl who ran down the stairs
wearing two crȇpe paper wings.
Subtract any frowns, if she chanced to fall down,
‘cause we never dwelled on those things.

Add a thimble of stardust to share
to the power of three Yogi Berras.
Divide any doubts ’til the proof shakes on out.
Je pense, donc je suis and etcetera.

I hear you are mingling with stardust,
which proves that Fermat was correct.
Solutions we find are not always kind
when we wish they were magic instead.

Are you up there with tireless angels
moving the spheres all around?
I’ll be right here, sweeping sawdust and tears
’til your famous last theorem is found.

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It's so nice of you to take an interest in my blog! Thank you for considering making a comment. I will try to get your comment on my blog ASAP. Thanks for your patience as I moderate it and make sure that it's not spam. Wishing you a wonderful day. Jeni