The Other I

About the Author

Since early childhood, I have had double vision.  Each eye focuses just a little differently from the other, so I have two built-in views of everything.  There is always the other eye to suggest there might be another way of looking at things.

It might be one reason why I have found other points of view and cultures so fascinating.  When I was six, my father told me some people in China ate bird nests, and I immediately wanted to go there.  Not that I was searching for an alternative culinary experience, but I wanted to meet the people who seemed so different. 

By the time I was seven, I’d decided how I was going to escape from the farm in Ohio where I was born and go to live in New York City where people were unconventional and came from all over the world.  At eighteen, I did go to New York, but it was to join Maryknoll, a group of American Catholic missionary nuns who worked primarily in underdeveloped countries.  After nine years, I realized I was too independent to be a nun.  I left the convent and returned to New York City where I earned a Ph.D, became a cognitive psychologist, and married Peter, an English academic born in Yorkshire. 

I never did go to China, but one might think I’d had enough cultural adaptation for a lifetime.  Not only does Peter look at the world from the sometimes inscrutable perspective of a man, he looks at it from the perspective of an English man.  We lived in New York for twenty years where we were both university professors, and where I reached the erroneous conclusion that I understood people better than he did.  Then we moved to Spain where Peter understood the English expatriate community with significantly greater accuracy than I did, but where I read Spain with the insights of my Catholic upbringing.

We returned to Yorkshire to care for Peter’s parents, then moved to the Lake District.  That was when I discovered I really didn’t understand the English.  I’ve been married to an English person for some 35 years, and I’m still surprised.  I’m even surprised when I’m surprised, which happens on a regular basis.

Today, my husband Peter and I are both retired academics and are living in a little village five minutes outside Cambridge, England and an hour out of London.  As an American it feels culturally akin to living with the way my eyes work.  Looking at things as an American, they are in a slightly different focus than the view seen from the English perspective. 

Since coming here, I wrote my latest book, The Big Bang to Now,  which is a brief look at all of time.  It’s written for the reader who wants, as I did, to learn the difference between 100 thousand, 50 million, and 13 billion years.  It’s available on Amazon.com.  My “serious blog,” http://www.TheBigBangtoNow.wordpress.com keeps the logical part of my brain working.

This blog, on the other hand, is a possibly fuzzier look at the world through my double vision.  It’s not always logical.  But it’s mostly how I think when I’m not being strictly rational and organized.  In other words, “the other I.”


17 Comments »

  1. Hello, I’m from Cambridge – Ontario, Canada however… anyways I was reading a lot of your posts on depression, and recently I’ve been realizing that I myself might be a victim of depression. I’ve lost interest in friends, though I feel betrayed more than anything. I’m going to college next year for Radio and hopefully I get a girlfriend there. I appreciate your posts and interest in depressive people and the relationship you’re in with Peter. Momentarily I had to stop from crying while reading your well-written and detailed posts about the subject of depression. However, as I continued reading I began to love your character, and your care. I appreciate your work in a way as if you were by my side literally, caring for me… It’s hard to explain, anyways, I thank you and I love your posts!
    As an additional thing, personally, I love to write poetry and soon, I will start working on my novel(s) – eventually… anyways, my poems have been coming quick to me and they relate to my feelings/observation of reality as something else that most imagine it to be. Recently; however, as I have mentioned before about depression, my poems are beginning to adopt some depressive characteristics – that I realize – the same with my behaviour; the depression I cannot take hold of and bury away :( Thank You again – keep up the good work!

    Comment by Mike — June 11, 2008 @ 10:22 pm | Reply

  2. “and soon, I will start working on my novel(s) – eventually…”

    Ah! The wonderful Peter Cook and Barry Fantoni cartoon. Two men in conversation. Man 1-“I’m writing a book”. Man 2 – “Neither am I”.

    Good luck with it!

    Comment by Junker Barlow — June 13, 2008 @ 3:19 pm | Reply

  3. Well, I do have plenty of ideas and whenever I have the spare time I can start actually writing the book. I’m turning 18 later this year so I’ve got a lot of time to work on my writing skills, and the detail/story of the book itself.

    Anyways, I’m feeling better today. It’s weird how much can change in a few days. Variable emotions constantly swayed that make myself think about yesterdays and the bad days, though today it’s not so bad; however, a better day.

    Comment by Mike — June 14, 2008 @ 12:12 am | Reply

  4. hi–i dont know your name and i wont take the time right now to look back—i have medical appointments today and am rushing.

    but i am most certainly taking this time to say a huge resounding thank you.

    just looked up osteopenia, found the book you reviewed. it appeared full of clear info: and written in the seductive, repetitive fear-targeted language of infomercial pimping. so i googled a book review and got yours.
    my very best regards,
    Susan Parker
    boston, ma

    Comment by Susan Parker — June 26, 2008 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

  5. Thanks too for the great review and info on osteopenia. As mentioned by Susan Parker, I loathe the infomercial pimping so common on the web, so finding your blog was a godsend. The acid/alkaline balance subject can be very confusing and frustrating. The food lists vary considerably and I think individual metabolism plays a part too. Will just have to keep trying. Best regards, Norma Baltimore, MD

    Comment by baltimoreusa — January 2, 2009 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

    • Thank you to you and Susan Parker too for your encouraging comments. I am hugely gratified that so many people seem to have found my blog postings helpful. (Maybe it’s because I really am not trying to sell anything.)
      The more I learn, the more I realize how complex the problem of osteoporosis is. Add that to the fact that individuals themselves run the gamut of preferences and personal discipline when it comes to treatment, and it seems to me almost impossible to do anything but learn as much as one can, and then take responsibility for whatever decisions one makes for oneself. The Other I

      Comment by theotheri — January 2, 2009 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  6. I’ve been reading your blog today and can’t wait to finish reading your all your entries. Thank you so much for blogging about your life and all the things that you blog about. My experience in a religious order only lasted for a few months into my novitiate. However, it is such a wonderful feeling to find someone who’s gone through the whole religious/ex-religious phase. It’s not like there is a support group for women who must leave their religious habit behind and step into the reality of the world again outside the convent walls. I’m so grateful that you are looking back and writing about your story with an academic mind. It helps me sort out the confusion in my own head, which only four years ago was even more confused as a Franciscan novice. My goodness what a journey! Thank you again for writing about yours.

    Comment by jooliedee — March 24, 2009 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it hugely. It sounds as if your own story, although at this point a little shorter than mine, would also be deeply interesting. I entered the convent in an age that was different from today’s in many significant ways. I often think that the voyage in and out of the convent must be different today too.

      Comment by theotheri — March 24, 2009 @ 8:26 pm | Reply

  7. theotheri —

    I was reading over some of your blogs, trying to get some sense of the range of subjects in which you have an interest, and I found “Blog of the Lost Bagpiper.” I blew a gasket laughing. That’s one of the funniest stories I have heard in a very long time. Thanks for sharing it. I may be an American by birth, but I’m a Scotsman in my heart.

    — Graham

    Comment by Graham — November 15, 2009 @ 7:51 am | Reply

    • Thank you for letting me know you think it’s as funny as I do. I still find myself walking around chuckling. Your comment also inspired my post for today as I began to remember some of my experiences of the Scots. My memories are inevitably warm. They are tough, they are generous. And they stick to their guns. Terry

      Comment by theotheri — November 15, 2009 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  8. I got to say, I love your biography; it’s truly lovely and really captures something about who you are. I must confess that I had taken you for a man this whole time. I love surprises. On another note: I tried to respond to your comment on Does Theology Have a Place for Philosophy…and for some odd reason my blog wouldn’t let me post it, indicating there was some problem I couldn’t figure out. In any case, I decided that I would post our conversation as a new blog entry, which would also allow us to continue the discussion.

    I don’t have a problem relating to you. Two of my best friends are psychologists; one has a PH.D and the other is going for his Masters. They are really interesting people, and we’ve found that our areas of interest really complement each other. That said, I don’t think I’d have a problem intellectually relating to you.

    I was also surprised to learn that you almost became a Catholic nun. The man who really lit my fire for philosophy was a Franciscan monk. He passed away last year. I grew up Catholic (partly in Chile until I was 12); then when I came to the US, my mother pushed me towards the Protestant religion. When I was fifteen I decided that God did not exist. And I became a dogmatist about science: if the laws of physics could not explain something, it was nonsense. The ironic thing was that I didn’t truly understand what I was saying, but I used it to put people down, especially religious people.

    When I met Philip (the Franciscan), my world was turned upside down. I was not so sure about what I believed anymore. But he introduced me to a world I had never imagined. He was a scholar of the world’s religions. A whole world opened up before me that I’d not suspected. I have been exploring it ever since.

    I don’t have a degree or anything. I have some college, but I have done lots of reading outside school. I also like literature, and have an appreciation for art, in my own fashion. My girlfriend is a comparative literature major, and together, we bring a lot to the table.

    It’s been a pleasure discoursing with you. I hope we can keep doing so.

    Comment by demian217 — April 22, 2010 @ 2:50 am | Reply

    • Your surprise upon discovering that you were not writing to a man could not be less than my surprise that you do not have a degree – even a BA if you only had “some college.” Not that academia is the only place to use such gifts, but I’m amazed that you did not complete a degree. Given what at this point seems to be unusual academic potential, I would love to know what you are doing with your life. Do you live now in the U.S.? Since you have been in Chile since the ferocious earthquake, it sounds as if at least you bi-locate, as it were.

      There seems to have been some stutter from my end posting to your blog as well. Actually, I wrote my comment to you twice (the final version was shorter as a result) because when I went to post the first version, it disappeared into cyberspace. I hope we have it straightened out.

      Off to check out your lastest blog posting. Yes, we will keep up our discourse. It will be fascinating to see where it takes us.

      Comment by theotheri — April 22, 2010 @ 4:24 pm | Reply

      • My name is Roberto. I chose “demian” as my email (demian217…), because of my fascination when I was twenty one with Hermann Hesse’s work, Demian. Hence Demian+21+7 (7 is supposed to be a mystical number).

        I have a lot of people who think I should be at the University finishing a degree. What happened was that when I started attending the Junior College, I didn’t think much of a career goal or a major. Of course I declared one (Philosophy), but I wasn’t exactly doing all the requirements. I was more interested in taking all the humanity, religious studies, and philosophy classes I could.

        At the time that meant that I wasn’t sticking to a strict academic plan from the outside. By now, I have finished most of my requirements, but what has kept me back is Math; I have such an aversion to it, that I have managed to stay away from it as much as possible, but that’s the last hurdle. I am really hoping that I can buckle down and just do it so that I can move on with my studies.

        Right now I am living in Chile with my girlfriend. She’s studying at the Universidad Catolica (very secular school actually) for the current semester. I came, first, to keep her company; and secondly, to connect with my culture. I am thirty years of age, and I went to the U.S. when I was twelve; I’d been feeling for a while that I wanted to live in Chile. All my previous trips had been for no longer than two months. So, I’ll be here in Chile until August, and then I’ll be going back to Berkeley where my girlfriend attends UC Berkeley. Before I moved to Berkeley I was from Santa Rosa.

        When I go back I’ll be resuming with school, and hopefully I can finish my requirements and move one. My girlfriend and I have talked of attending together St. John’s College, but that’s a distant possibility for now. I can’t wait until I can go to a school and study philosophy; in the meantime, I’ll do it on my own. The Franciscan monk I told about really got me deep into it, and gave me some tools to work with; I am so thankful to him for that.

        Let’s keep the dialogue going.

        Comment by demian217 — April 22, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

  9. One more question. What do you go by? What should I call you?

    Comment by demian217 — April 22, 2010 @ 2:52 am | Reply

  10. You might want to consider issuing your book The Big Bang to Now as an ebook. It’s easy enough to set up in Amazon for Kindle (all you really need, certainly to start off). I’ve had a number of my own books issued as ebooks, and the sales are much better than for the print versions. One reason is the price can be as low as .99, and you still make a 35% profit (70% for 2.99 and above). Also, people seem to impulse-buy more readily for ebooks. I know I do. From what I’ve read in the excerpt provided, TBBTN looks like a very interesting book. It would be a shame to lose all those Kindle readers, when they are there for the having, no?

    Comment by pianomusicman — October 21, 2011 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for the suggestion. It might just be the small push I need. I’ve been working on a second edition, but got way-laid by various detours, mostly small but bothersome and time-consuming. I will check out what’s involved and if possible simply put in some of the most salient discoveries which have emerged in the last five years. I’ll let you know. Again, thank you. Terry

      Comment by Terry Sissons — October 21, 2011 @ 7:23 pm | Reply

  11. Wow…it is with great sadness thae I just learned of Pat Logan death. I lost contact with Pat about four years ago…we were roommates in Pgh. and good friends in Maryknoll. I happened upon yhis blog by trying to find Pat. I’m still in academia while husband is retired. So agree with what you have written about Maryknoll. Here’s to Pat -beautiful writer and person!…..

    Comment by mary Fewkes — January 15, 2014 @ 11:42 pm | Reply


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