I’m reading Robert Fulghum’s new book, What on Earth Have I Done? I love how he helps me see things and feelings from a new perspective and with humor. In one of the later chapters he talks about how this book is his conversation with the reader and then the very next chapter is about “conversational lifeboats” – those topics he draws from to get more acquainted with someone. So, I thought I’d answer at least some of them back.
R. Fulghum: Did you ever have a great teacher – in school or out? Tell me.
me: I have had great teachers both in school and out. I really learned a lot from my high school math teacher. I had terrible math teachers until I was a junior in high school when a new math teacher, Mrs. Gardener, came to our school. Previous teachers would give tests and quizzes and only want the answer back on a single sheet of paper. It was easy to grade, but I never understood what I did wrong. I thought math was just confusing. Mrs. Gardener wanted to see how I did the work and helped me figure out that most of the time I did understand what was going on, but made a silly error like a mis-placed decimal.
Out of school, my teachers are and were my family and friends. I learned to be strong and work hard from my mom. I learned to be generous from my high school friend J. I learned that baby boys can be sweet and gentle (not scary and violent) from my nephews C and Z.
I also have people that I call anti-role models. These are people that make me say “I don’t know what I want, but I know I don’t want to be like that.” I saw several as a post-doc, those people who had no life outside the lab. They were at work for 16 hours a day 6 and 7 days a week (notice I didn’t say they worked 16 hours a day). There are also those at work now that are into office political – trying to coerce people and get their way on some issue. Finally, there are people that just use other people to get what they want – I know this type very well. I was married to one for almost 7 years before I got up the courage to leave.
What was the first thing I knit (or crocheted)? My mom taught me how to do chains when I was small, but I really learned to crochet from my great-grandmother (Elizabeth) just after I learned to drive. My sister and I had a standing appointment on Thursdays to go visit and learn. She started us on a lace edging.
We learned how to read the crocheted item itself to replicate the item. Later on I learned how to read patterns, and just now am learning how to read diagrams. Anyway, she died only about 10 years ago. My family has always been close (literally and emotionally) and long-lived. I miss my great-grandparents still. They were spunky!
My sister and I are the only ones who crochet in this whole extended family, so naturally we got her projects and her hooks, needles, and shuttles. In looking for my first project, I re-found this… her unfinished project.
It was to be a very large bedspread – currently measuring about 10 feet across and 4 1/2 feet wide. She had 3 blocks finished but not added and two more nearly done. There is also a bag of crochet cotton. I feel both blessed and sad to have it. I’m glad to come from such handy and talented folks, but I am sad that my daughter will not be as close to her grandparents because we live so far away.
Things just seem to get so busy. I’ve got a student working on writing her thesis and it needs a lot of my revision (read time). I did make some progress on the second sock (at the heel turn now), modeled by Bug.
Bug, DH, and I have been sickly these past few days and I am completely worn out. Here is poor little Bug who fell asleep(!) last night before 7:30 while watching TV. She rarely just falls asleep outside of her bedroom or her car seat. Not much progress on any craft projects… Maybe we’ll feel better over the weekend.
The good parts… Bug had lots of fun playing outside this weekend.
I caught up on paperwork, grading, etc these past 2 days. The light traffic and open parking on campus was a bonus. I went to the bookstore for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon – browsed the books and magazines and then knit on the DNA scarf before reading a student thesis.
I found the cutest knitted animals directions (Noah’s ark) in the September issue of Simply Knitting (British) and had to buy it. I will definitely be making some of these for Bug and my sister’s boys. I also bought a copy of Robert Fulghum’s new book What on Earth Have I Done?.
We went out to lunch today and then back to the bookstore for a while. I then worked some more on the student thesis before picking up Bug.
Now for the ‘not so much fun’ parts…
Saturday – we tried to go camping in the pop-up camper. First, it took forever to get everything packed up. Then, the camper had a flat tire. After that, we drove to Old Stone Fort (about 40′ away) only to find there was ‘no vacancy’ at the camp ground. We then decided to plow on to another camp ground about 45′ further only to find there was ‘no vacancy’ there, too. We turned around to head home (3 strikes, we’re out!) We stopped at a Mexican restaurant for dinner and headed home. After Bug got the bed both of us were extremely nauseous. Maybe Mexican wasn’t such a good idea….
Sunday – Despite still feeling kind of nauseated, I decided to take Bug to the park. Barfield Park has a fenced playground for small kids. We were playing in the “fish eye” part and she was running to the back of the fisheye for the umpteenth time when she smacked her little face right into the playground equipment where the rubber and wood mulch meet. She says the “park hurt me nose.” I almost took her to the ER because I thought she broke her nose.
I know the “bad” parts could have been worse … Hey, there are only 3 more days in this work week! YAY!
My wonderful secret pal sent me a package of oh so terrific goodies! BEFORE
She knitted me an illusion washcloth!!!! Do you see the candy corn, do ya, do ya? Ha ha ha ha!
There was a tremendous lot of stuff in there besides the washcloth:
caramel tootsie pops, chocolate bar, chocolate covered espresso beans, a Moosewood cookbook, a little white board, vanilla hand lotion, vanilla body bath, vanilla body lotion, and vanilla foaming wash, Dora cookies and 2 pairs of halloween socks for Bug…
I really do have a tremendously thoughtful secret pal! Thanks again!
I’ve been gathering up stuff for my pal, so I’d better get it in the box and send it out.