Thursday, April 27, 2006

Caring a great deal about something they hardly know

Yesterday, for my 4th semester Greek class we were supposed to recite the first seven lines of the Iliad from memory. It was on the schedule for weeks, everyone knew about it. There were only two people in the class that were remotely prepared two days prior. On the day of the blessed event, about 10 minutes before class, one of the aforementioned prepared students walked in. I gave her a hard time, told her we all hated her because she was ready and we were not. She smiled, laughed really, just did it silently. I said something else and then she walked over and handed me a note.

"I am observing the National day of Silence."

Oh, OK. I've heard of it. Sort of a vague memory, but couldn''t tell you anything about it. So I ask "For what organization?" She is quiet (of course she's quiet, she has a cause!), looks a little fuddled, then writes "PRIDE, I think". So she can't even tell me for whom she is doing this.

Well, class time comes and she shows the note to our professor. He's not impressed. After everyone else has recited, he calls upon our intrepid mime. She shakes her head "No". He tells her she must. She clenches her fists, and rapidly shakes her head "No". She looks like a toddler being told to eat her broccoli, but I'm sure she believed herself to look noble and courageous. And she doesn't know who she is doing it for! But she must care an awful lot, right?

I think Yeats applies:
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Finals aren't even here yet and I'm already toast.

I had to take a brain break. Every day I check one or two major shool projects off my list, but the list is long and I am starting to crack. One week from today finals officially start, even though I have one tonight.
I still have two software projets that are way behind and they are my main concern. The tests will take care of themselves - good or bad, they will be over soon. The software won't write itself (yet).
On top of that, my in-laws are coming, which alone would be a good thing, but in tandem with finals, it feels like competition for my time.
OK, that was a waste of your time, but I needed the break. Hopefully next time will be more worthwhile for you (whoever you are).

Friday, April 14, 2006

Country road, take me home

We decided to take a last minute, but much needed, three day holiday for Easter. We decided to head for the mountains of North Carolina. It was Monday night when we started looking for a place, assuming we would board our dog. When we found that some places allowed pets, we redirected our search in that direction. I found a bed & breakfast called the Dog House Inn that caters to dog owners, with free pet sitting and a small private dog park.
The Morrigan liked the link I emailed her, so she called on Tuesday - we were in Thursday night. I got out of class at 3:15, drove home like a madman, grabbed the wonder dog to get her to the vet for a two month overdue shot and a bath. The plan was to be on the road by 6:30, but it was 8:00 before we finally got underway.
For a couple of city dwelling devils, the road was a bit harrowing. When the pavement ended and the dirt road ran for half a mile beside a river, I was wishing we had driven the 4WD and/or arrived before dark. But we arrived with no mishaps, and the place is pretty nice, emphasis on pretty, but in a deliberately rustic sort of way. It was far too dark to see the view, but I could hear the river from our private terrace. Nice.
We slept with our balcony door open (the heat had been left on and the room was stifling, but the cool air balanced it perfectly) and the morning was beautiful.The sky was overcast (just the way I like it) and morning came slow, not in a blaze of glory but instead slowly brightening until you could see all the neighboring mountaintops. I can see one other house, three hills away, and on a smooth patch of ground in the distance two black dots move slowly. They are either horses or cows, but it is too far away to tell. As dawn broke, I thought there was a vineyard a couple of hills away, but more light revealed that it is a Christmas tree farm. The river is still flowing, as I can hear it below, but can't see it, only the gap in the trees that defines its path.
We may stay here all day, we may go for a hike (yea right!!). But we will soak up all of this that we can store, and take it back with us.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Why I've been reluctant to write anything here.

I really started this blog with a specific purpose in mind. My father died in June of 2005 and I waqs going to write about my feelings, sort of a therapy. So I created a blog and couldn't bring myself to write. Then I moved over to Livejournal and sat on my hands some more. Then I moved back here and decided I was going to keep this up. But every time I've logged on, I've been reminded of why I started this.
So here it is. I loved my dad and wish he hadn't died, but he was surrounded by a family that loves him. He was able to make the final decisions about his life, and we didn't have to wonder what he would have wanted, he told us what he wanted. So in that respect, we were lucky. He wasn't afraid to die and was a great example of courage to me. There are things I wish I'd said, things I wish we could have done together.
That's it. I don't want to say anymore here, I just felt that I needed to at least acknowledge him and the reason I am here.

I love you Dad.