I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, on a small farm with no plumbing. It was a fairly arduous existence during the winter, because we had stock that had to be taken care of. It all sounds very pastoral. It was hard work, but it was also educationally challenging in a good way, because my father was a Ph.D. in English, and my mother a very talented playwright. My mother decided that the county schools were not a place where a young person would learn to love learning. And so she kept my brother and me at home and taught us there until the sixth grade. And that was I think probably a very important part of my life’s experience, because I really did learn how to love acquiring new information.