a pilgrimage of sorts

Greetings from Silicon Valley! This is the last place I expected to find myself. I knew that I was making this trip to California, to Santa Somewhere (Santa Clara, it turns out) to talk about the SCALE-UP pedagogy to the California State University system. However, I was busy getting my talk together and tying up loose ends at work and really did not look at a map until I was flying somewhere over Colorado.

This is a quite the out-and-back trip, two days of traveling for one day of meeting, but I did have some free time this morning and got my bearings on foot. Here is what I found:

keeping my MacBook virus-free










right across the street from my hotel and WOW! do they have a nice gym for their employees

not where I'm staying, but how cool is that for a hotel?

right behind my hotel

and they let me inside!


















Intel was the best because they have a museum that depicts the history of the development of the semiconductor chip, with great stories of the people behind the inventions and an eye toward the future. I read many inspiring quotes from Robert Noyce. Here is my favorite: “Optimism is the essential ingredient for innovation. How else can the individual welcome change over security, adventure over staying in safe places?”

And guess what else I found smack in the center of this hubbub of technology and New Media? The Shrine of Our Lady of Peace.

Our Lady of Peace

This is a bona fide shrine, the kind to which people make pilgrimages. Our Lady stands 32-feet tall and is constructed from a gleaming metal. Somewhat ironically, the metal reminded me of Rearden Metal from Atlas Shrugged, and Our Lady was so magnificent, she may have made a convert of even Ayn Rand. I found Our Lady of Peace as inspiring as Robert Noyce. Here, in the middle of Silicon Valley, I found my brand of Catholicism. Not the scary Santorum variety that probably drove Illich away, and persistently threatens my own commitment to the Church, but rather, the message of peace, and the inspiration of a strong (and VERY tall) woman. What a great morning and hopefully, I can inspire people just a little bit during my workshop this afternoon.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.