The Last Letter From Richard To Arline

I’ve been slowly working my way through a collection of personal correspondences centered around Richard Feynman, and I just can’t forget his final, heartbreaking love letter to his first, departed wife Arline. You can read the full text online at Letters of Note; an excerpt is below. It was written several years after Arline Feynman passed away after a long battle with TB.

I adore you, sweetheart.

I know how much you like to hear that — but I don’t only write it because you like it — I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you.

It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you — almost two years but I know you’ll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; and I thought there was no sense to writing.

But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you.

For an even bigger punch to the heart, you can also watch Oscar Isaac read this letter live on stage. It seems to be part of a series of videos of actors reading famous and well-know correspondences live.

My last blog post was about communication as well, but this is the kind of communication that just knocks me out.every time. What a privilege to read these words and what a tragedy that they had to be written at all.

Talk Jargon To Me, Or Not

I just love Big Think’s YouTube channel, and I especially love when they talk to actor/writer Alan Alda, who is a personal favorite of mine. So I was especially pleased to watch his brief video on good communication and jargon, which you can find below.

Other than the fact that Alan is just a wonderful storyteller, I found a lot to think about from his discussion of the importance and also the drawbacks of jargon, especially for people in very niche and specialized fields.

Alda knows that jargon can be both a tool of precision and a weapon of confusion, and it’s definitely something worth talking about in certain circles, like academia and the professional world. He uses the world of cinema as his touchstone example, and I would probably use library science, as that is my specific personal field. It’s a very easily adaptable scenario.

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