Failure to pursue a degree in a real subject is apparently not the only mistake I might have avoided were I better read. Here is Robert Hass on Mary Hunter Austin in What Light Can Do:

In her autobiography she remarks on her reason for taking the science curriculum: ‘English I can study myself; for science I have to have laboratories and a teacher.’ She had already acquired a passion for the outdoors, though her mother had cautioned her to ‘not talk appreciatively about landscapes and flowers and the habits of little animals and birds to boys; they didn’t like it.’


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