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No regrets over errors gone by

Column/Arthur Lee

I have no regrets.

No. None whatsoever. Life is too short to dwell on past mistakes. I will just try to not make them again. That's all. I have done what I could here. Won some. Lost some.

I have learned some things about chemical engineering here, but I have also learned many other things that can only be categorized as "Life's Experience." Writing was another thing that I picked up here. Not picked up too well, mind you, just reasonably well. In fact, I have come to enjoy putting words together on paper. Among other things, they have the power to amuse, to sadden, to create, to destroy, and, also, to bore. Like right now.

So let me get to the point.

Where do we go from here? What do you want to do with your life? (I want to rock!) Recently, my good buddies Mr. Foo, Mr. Lam, Horlo, and I had just such a discussion. We came to one general conclusion. For most people, the short term goals are always pretty much set. But the exact long term plans are, by their very nature, never clear. I know what I will be doing next year. My friends know what they will be doing. You and your friends do, too. But do you know what will make you happy ten years from now? Twenty years?

I have no answer to that myself. But I do know the following Bob Seger song. Read some of the lyrics:

Stood alone on a mountain top

Staring out at the Great Divide.

I could go East. I could go West.

It was all up to me to decide.

Just then I saw a young hawk flyin'

And my soul began to rise.

And pretty soon

My heart was singin'

Roll me away. I wanna roll me away.

Roll me away into the night.

Gotta keep searchin', gotta keep ridin'

Till I find what is right...

The open-road imagery may be too romantic; the Harley-Davidson idealism is perhaps too easy. But with proper caution, they can be words to live by. Keep looking until you find that which is right for you. Keep searching for that elusive truth in your specialty and in people. Remember this plagiarized saying that the other InstituteCaltech? has printed on their T-shirts: "The truth shall set you free." Go and be free.

Finally, I would like to admit one regret that I have. I wished that this Big A had been able to take the other Big A out to dinner. Even just once. But oh well, that's the way the cookie crumbled.-Your move on this, Ben. Big A?

Congratulations and perhaps we will meet again in Pasadena.