Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Not No-No-Normal

As we were playing a rousing game of Phase 10 on Sunday evening I started to tell Lisa about something interesting in a book I was reading.

She said to me, "Mom, you don't exactly read normal books like most people."

Maybe not, but I like them.

The book is entited "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat".

(I know you are supposed to underline book titles but I couldn't figure out how to do it on blogger. I don't know html code very well.)

This is a fascinating book written by the man who inspired the movie Awakening with Robin Williams. He is a neurologist who works with a lot of very interesting cases. This book tells about some of them.

All I can say is.....

Verrrrrryyy Innterrrreeesssting.

~A man who can't tell the difference between his wife's head and his hat, and couldn't understand what a glove might be for until he watched someone slip it on to their hand, "OHHH, it's a glove!"
~Shostokovich could hear melodies in his head when he would tilt it to the side, different tunes with different tilts, because of a piece of shrapnel that was touching parts of his brain. He refused to have it removed because he used the melodies in his composings.
~Epileptic seizures that caused a man to behave like a dog.

and on and on. Why would I want to read a book of fiction when reality can be so darn entertaining?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Things I Wish I Could Do Over

~Treated certain people better than I once did.

~Not eaten all that chocolate.

~Finished my BA degree 30 years ago.

~Become an x-ray or lab tech.

~Had my wisdom teeth out in my teens.

~Had my tonsils out as a kid.

~Been a better daughter.

~Been a better mother.

~Been a better wife.

~Been a better person.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Her Shoes Don't Fit My Feet

I survived yesterday.


Actually the day went pretty good. We had a college meeting. This was for the Dean, the Assistant Dean, and the department heads for Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Automotive, Computer Science, Math, Mechanical Engineering, and Architecture and Construction. I was in charge of getting the food, making and sorting all the handouts and stuffing them in the individual folders, taking notes during the meeting and cleaning up afterwards. It went pretty good. I don't think I detracted from the meeting, at least. And they ate all the food, so I guess it was a success.

Then I worked in Geology for 2 hours. It's a different world up there on the second floor of my building. Down in the Dean's office it is all business and quiet. As soon as I went up to Geology it was like walking into the land of the living. Hustle and bustle and students hurrying down the halls, and professors having discussions. It was vital and alive. And a very nice change from the quiet below.

My class went pretty good. On Tuesday we were given the assignment to do something to show primitive man. I came up with a Stonehenge idea and got it done on Tuesday. Yesterday while everyone else was still working on their assignments I was painting sunflowers. The professor came around and wanted to know where my primitive assignment was. I pulled it up and showed him. He looked at it, asked me if I liked it. I said, "Yes! I like this one. And then said, "Well, I think you need to change the grass. It's too scattered." Then he mumbled to himself as he walked away, "She likes it, and wants me to go away so she can go back to her sunflower." He was right, about me wanting him to go away and about the grass. The grass wasn't my favorite part either, so after he left I fixed the grass (it took me about a minute) and then went back to my sunflower.

Art Seminar proved to be quite interesting. All semester long Art Seminar has been notoriously BORING! Yesterday was anything but. The speaker was funny and engaging. His slide presentation was interesting. That by itself was a huge improvement, but to add a little extra spice to the class I noticed that a girl sitting 2 seats over from me was watching something on her laptop. There were laptops open all over the auditorium (mostly with YouTube's on), but this girl was watching something truly shocking (at least for an art seminar). I looked over just in time to see the baby's head crown. Yes she was watching a childbirth! Wow. I was getting all kinds of interesting information at this seminar.

By the time seminar ended I was blurry eyed, but stumbled over to the music building to watch a concert. I went with Lisa and Tyler and watched Abby perform with the symphony. I couldn't quit yawning and my eyes were watering. One time I looked up at the stage and could have sworn I saw the whole thing tilt to the left! It was a little unnerving. It was a very good concert, but I was very glad to go home and go to bed.

Today should be a short day. The student's are all ditching town like rats off a sinking ship. No classes next week. Yea! I can catch up a little.

I'm not sure how long I will be filling in for the Dean's secretary. We haven't heard yet whether she has cancer or not. The surgery by itself will put her out for 6 weeks. I can do this job that long, but I don't think I want it any longer. It isn't bad being here in her office, but it just isn't home. Her desk set-up is different. She is much shorter than I am and so her keyboard drawer tends to hit me in the knees. I've had to move her computer back so I can stretch my legs out, her monitor back so I can see it, and lower her chair. I just hope I remember to put everything back the way she had it before I vacate this place for good.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Long Day Today, Longer Day tomorrow

Today was the first day sitting in for the Dean's secretary. She had surgery this morning. I really really really hope everything went well. I really really really want her to come back to work as soon as she can. I feel like I'm letting down my department, but they want me to help out and I want to help out. Still......

I was there at 7:50 am. Worked straight through to 5:00.
8-1 Dean's Office
1-3 Geology Office
3-5 Dean's Office
No lunch. I ate on the run.

Tomorrow is going to be much, much worse.
8-1 Dean's Office
1-3 Geology Office
3-5:30 Art Class
6-7 Art Seminar
7:30-9:30 Symphony Concert.

I think I will be very very ready for bed.

Mike called his sister last night. I think he was holding out hope that they would change their minds and want us to come for Thanksgiving. No go. Today he finally cancelled his substitute teacher for next week.

Mike is feeling like Uncle Jack, the uncle that moved away and was never heard from again.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I’ve been sighing a lot lately
“Mom, the cat has worms.”
“Mom, Oscar just dug a hole in the seat of the couch.”
My in-laws don’t want us to come up for Thanksgiving.
My son’s car won’t start any more.
The subdivision project across the road is not widening our street as they had originally promised.
Starting next Wednesday I have to be at work 2 hours earlier than I am normally, and I’m not an early bird.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


A retired professor still comes to teach a class now and then. This semester he comes on Tuesdays and teaches an Elderhostel group. He usually stops by my office to pick up visuals, samples, and other teaching materials. Today, after picking up the materials he needed, he asked me to accompany him to the teacher resource room. He told me there was a sample in there that he had some concerns about. He said that he thought he’d better say something because none of the “new” faculty knew where this sample came from. (New to him would be the ones hired in the last 12 years.)
He took me over to a tray containing sedimentary teaching samples.
He said, “See this sandstone here?”
I touch the rock. “This one?”
“Yes. That yellow on it is probably carnetite”. (Not sure if I spelled that right. I’ve never heard of it.)
I rub my finger down the yellow part of the rock. “This stuff?”
“Yea. It’s probably uranium oxide. It’s pretty radioactive. You wouldn’t want to have your teachers pass this around the classroom and then eat a sandwich.”
My hand jerks back like it had been bitten by a rattlesnake. He has me go get our sedimentary guy who takes a look at the sample and says, “that looks like carnetite”. He then picks it up and we go off to find a geiger counter. Sure enough, it starts beating out a heavy staccato beat. I’m told that it probably emits beta waves. Beta radiation can penetrate into the body but can be blocked out by a sheet of aluminium foil.
That’s great! I’m suddenly feeling like I need a shower. After we return the rock, and I tell our Sed. Professor that I’d feel better if he went and washed his hands, I go into the bathroom.
I wash my hands extra well.