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June 17, 2002
a year ago
three years ago
four years ago

My First Day of the Technical Writing Class

So, while Jet went to sleep well last night, I didn't. John had reminded me that I was in class all of today and I started to worry. Not for any good reason and it took me just a little while before deciding it was silly and I might as well sleep while I could.

One great thing about having a baby, with enough sleep deprivation it's never a problem to get to sleep.

So I got up bright and early, having set an alarm for the first time in a very long time, and I went out into the livingroom in a skirt and sweater and Jet ran over to me and hugged my legs. I nursed him and then made myself a smoothie. When everything was done, I hugged Jet good-bye and Isabel had to hold him while I walked out the door. That was hard. It made me even more glad that I'm not a full-time working mom, because I don't think I could take that every morning.

Class began at 8:30, and I got there early. I brought along my Lands End briefcase filled with all my note taking paraphernalia and then some. I admit it. I love my Levenger tools. I love my gold fountain pen, my Circa notebooks, my dry hilighter with the steel grip, my liquid purple hilighter, my graph paper, and my ruler. I love drawing and making notes all over everything. I find joy when I highlight the things I want to remember. I am content when I futz with my many things to get a thought right. I'm weird. *grin*

I arrived early, left all my stuff and used the restroom and came back and moved to a position in the middle of the single arc they'd made for all the students to sit in. I wanted to be close enough to see. This is the true reason geeks sit up front, with their nearsighted eyes, it's, therefore, possible to see. Even with correction it's a emotional comfort. Of course, the one seat dead middle in front was left open, and the last person to arrive was my ex-boss Bill and he settled into that seat, next to me.

Amusingly enough, Bill sitting next to me and one other rule made it probably one of the most enjoyable classes I've been in in a long time.

The one other rule showed up five minutes into the class when Kathleen asked, "What happened to the shuttle?" And someone called out "The O-rings." "What about the O-rings?" Several people called out various things about them just failing, when I shrugged and raised my hand and said, "They got too stiff when they were put in an extremely cold environment." Kathleen went, "Ha!" and reached over and threw me a Hershey's nugget, which I promptly dropped. From under the table I heard, "Okay, guys and gals, whenever you answer a question above and beyond the call of duty, you'll get a candy. Save the wrappers. When you get six, you get one of these..."

I popped up from under the table to see a little, butt-ugly, rubber finger puppet in primary colors. I knew what I wanted from that moment on.

I rarely participate in classes. I am usually the quiet one, watching, learning, listening, and only acting when no one else leaps into the fray or only when it really looks like the goal is at risk. It's exactly like my gaming style, which drives some people nuts, but it's just the way I work, usually. Unless a GM can encourage me to the point where I toss caution to the winds and just do stuff. It helps to have a character whose impulse is to just do things. Carl brings out a lot of the 'try shit and see what happens' in me, and I really enjoy it when I can do it and know that people are enjoying it.

Huh. I guess that ties in, deeply, with a very old, deep-rooted, desire to not be a show-off, to not make people resent me or my abilities, what I have of them. I am far more interested in keeping people happy than in participating.

With the candy incentive, and with both of my neighbors, Bill and Abid, showing deeply competitive streaks, I started speaking up. It was like a game, since the goal was the candy and the tiny rubber puppet, I had a reason to participate and it got to be fun. It's always been easy for me to regurgitate what I've been given, and when the teacher's good about answering questions, I often was able to get enough of the WHY out of her to remember things in depth.

So I got to be teacher's pet, and get rewarded for it. Bill ended up with the most candies and started giving more joke answers and being a mite more sarcastic, which suited his mood and his character. It was interesting to watch the change when he did get his little finger puppet. He turned in all his candy for it as he didn't want to eat it.

At noon, I raced home in the Passat, got in the door, and Jet came running for me. I nursed him while Isabel toasted a Lean Pocket for me, and as soon as he was done, I put him in Isabel's arms and ran for the door. Jet, the moment I let go of him, started crying inconsolably. I nearly turned back to just hold him for a while, but I knew that I'd be late and Isabel could take care of him. More than likely, he'd be just fine the moment I walked out the door, but it really was heart wrenching enough that on the way back to work I decided that I wasn't going to go home for lunch tomorrow.

It was just too hard.

Isabel was well organized and gave me a grocery list of things to get on the way home from class. We got out of class early, at 4, so I called Isabel and got one last minute item from her, and then hit the Safeway on the way back to home. I managed to get everything and get home before John did. Normally, he gets to leave at 4; but lately he's been coming home around 5 or 5:30 instead, and today's lateness was so easily marked by me, that I finally said something about it as I've been disappointed when he doesn't get home on time. I often have an hour or two of work that I need to do, and it makes dinner really late when he gets home late.

I guess it's why he's been doing a lot of the dinner cooking before all the parents came to visit.

When John did get home, Isabel had a gorgeous whole wheat noodle lasagna on the table. It was wonderful, thick and creamy and redolent with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. Yum. It was so very nice to just relax at home and eat and watch a little soccer.

Isabel said that she'd never have seen so much soccer at home, and that she was getting quite an education in it and enjoying it. I was very glad of that, as she could have been tremendously bored by this sport she knew little about. I was very impressed by her willingness to learn and ask questions about this thing that interested us so greatly.

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