It's back-to-school time -- 09/06/04

School starts on Tuesday for everybody here except me -- It's the first day of classes at the school where Nancy teaches and it's the first day of classes at the college that Gillian and Jeremy are both attending.

Nancy even packed herself a lunch for tomorrow (or today, if you are reading this on Tuesday, but I'm writing it on Monday night, so it's tomorrow for me.) That is an unusual situation -- for the past seven years that she's been teaching I've been making her lunches, but she decided that she wanted to make her own lunch according to some book she's read about putting together different combinations of ingredients for peak nutrition. So she has made a romaine lettuce salad (with turkey) and has a little container of dressing and an apple and a container of nuts and raisins, etc. This lunch is in the refrigerator right now, in a pink and white stripped Victoria's Secret bag.

Jill asked me a little while ago "Why is there a Victoria's Secret bag in the refrigerator?" and I simply replied "That's Mom's lunch."

I struggled not to ask, but I finally gave in -- "How come your lunch is in a Victoria's Secret bag?" Her response: "Because it is." I assume it is some faculty in-joke -- both 8th grade teams in her school are all female -- but I'm not going to ask again, I'll just wait until she tells me. I am strong. I can hold out.

So both kids are attending the same college (as commuter students) but their schedules do not match at all, so there is no day when they could car pool with each other.

Jeremy has classes two (early) evenings a week , but he likes that. He hates getting up at noon, let alone seven or eight a.m. Unfortunately, partly because he put off selecting courses, he has a class that meets three days a week at ten a.m. For him, that is practically pre-dawn. In order to find a parking space and get to class on time, he should leave home at nine a.m. (but I can hear him already, claiming he really doesn't have to leave until 9:14). Other than that -- and a three hour gap between classes on Thursdays and a five hour gap on Wednesdays (Parental advice: "You don't have to come back home, you know. You could go to the library and study and get all of your work done." Yeah, I know, pointless but, like Polonius, we have to say such things.) -- his schedule isn't bad. On Tuesdays he doesn't start until four o'clock -- and he has no classes on Fridays at all. (I can remember a semester -- fall of '63 -- when I had no Friday classes. That was sweet.)

Jill starts at nine o'clock three days a week and has a pretty heavy schedule on those days (Mondays she has classes nonstop from nine a.m. until quarter past two. But on Tuesday her only class is at night, from six to ten (that's a drawing class we had talked about taking together last year, but got closed out -- this year she got in, but when I tried it was already full).

Jeremy started his freshman year declaring a major in electrical engineering -- and discovered that a talent for installing car stereos, etc., does not mean he wants to be an engineer. He has switched to a business major (hence, he is taking courses like small business administration, marketing communication, and macro-economics), saying that he wants to be an entrepreneur. Okay, whatever.

I had thought that Jill was returning to her former computer science major, but she is enrolled in courses like oceanography and cellular biology, so... I dunno... Once you get a few years past college and nobody really cares what your major was anyway; everything becomes a question of experience.

And my big accomplishment today was to climb out on the porch roof and put a primer coat on some siding we had replaced a while ago -- the kind of very humid weather we had this summer is not good for exterior painting. This was not a chore I was looking forward to -- our porch roof has a steep slope and I am not crazy about heights and I'm also trying to keep my self aware that I'm reaching the age group where we break more easily than we did when younger -- but now this part is done. (The easier part was doing an area that was below a first floor window, no problem with that one.) Next task will be to put the finishing coat on in a week or two (depending on weather, etc.) -- the can of exterior paint we had in the basement had corroded and it was almost impossible to get the lid off and when I finally did, I discovered flakes from the corroded can floating in the paint -- and so decided that I no longer trusted the paint to be good, but fortunately we have the mix number for that shade so it should be no problem to get an exact match.

And it's around ten o'clock -- I think I'm going to go read in bed for a while. Last night I fell asleep a little before midnight -- about an hour later Tiger woke me up by climbing over me (he had been sleeping on our bed) or at least I assume that's what happened because I was already awake when I heard the gentle sound of fifteen pounds of cat thumping on the floor -- the next sound was him pawing at Jill's door -- and after a couple of minutes she woke up and opened her door to let him in. A few minutes later I heard her door open again and then close (which I correctly interpreted that he was trying to wake her up so she opened her door so he could leave but he didn't so she closed it again. Maybe ten minutes later, her door opened again, followed by the pitter-pat sound of a cat going down the stairs. Jill's door closed. I haven't gone back to sleep. I am awake, wide awake. For almost an hour I try to sink back into sleep, but no luck... Finally I give up and turn on my light and start reading. Somewhere past three I realized I was hungry enough that even if I turned off the light, my stomach would keep me awake -- so I went downstairs and had a bowl of cereal -- came back to bed -- by now it was almost four a.m. -- and eventually fell asleep. Naturally, when morning came, I slapped my snooze alarm a few times before I finally crawled out of bed. So... not having had a good night's sleep, and having done a bit of work around the house and gone grocery shopping and put in forty-some minutes on the exercise bike (I twisted my ankle in Washington and when I start out for a run, it hurts enough that I decide to do something else instead) plus did a little workout with weights and cooked dinner, etc., etc.... I'm tired.

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