Attending CSUS in the fall of 1998, my economic circumstances landing me sleeping in my vehicle, in between demanding engineering classes. One day, after a particularly trying exam, I took a walk down the railroad tracks that flank the campus on its western front. The birds and the wind helped me to decompress.
Then I heard something else. Something exotic, though slightly out of context. It was a symphony. So I walked towards it. It was coming from a hobo camp. As I neared, several life-stricken faces greeted me with hard-earned smiles. I sat on an empty crate and they offered me a pull of wine. I accepted. And we listened to the classical music stream from the teeny boom box.
Over the remaining two years of my education, I stayed nearly full time in that encampment, forging life-long friendships with unlikely characters; all the while the faithful boom box delivered to us the work of masters.
Thus my academic education was complemented with a study in real-life anthropology, and what I call a minor in the arts.