To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Monica, the Creole Princess, wonders where I am.

Well, I'll tell you.

Wednesday evening we called F to tell her that her laptop had been repaired and returned to us, and that we thought we'd run it down to her on Saturday. Found her sniffling over her chemistry homework. She was trying to do hybrid orbitals and sigma and pi bonds, and it was just not happening.

I happened to have a copy of her textbook here, because we'd originally ordered it from the Amazon used marketplace, and they sent the teacher's edition; and we threw the box away before we realized it and we couldn't seem to get the address to return it, so we kept the damn thing and ordered a student edition for her straight from Amazon. I don't know what makes it a teacher's edition, because it didn't seem to have any extra info, but because I had it here we were able to get on the same page and start gutting this stuff out. I have a degree in chemistry, by the way, so even though I don't use hybrid orbitals on my job and haven't thought about them in a long time, they don't intimidate me. As we worked, her quiet sobbing diminished and she started feeling more hopeful. I didn't know whether this was because her teacher did a poor job of explaining this stuff or because I kind of know how her mind works. For instance, she appreciates a little whimsy, so when I directed her to draw a structure I had her write her C's and dashes, and then stick her H's on like legs on a millipede. But she kept saying that things were starting to make sense and began answering my questions, so I knew she was getting it. At about 11:30 my brain went "click" and I told her I had to stop. We were partway through the last problem on her homework.

"I suppose this is due tomorrow," I said.

No, it was due Friday but she wanted to get it out of the way. I suppose F is one of the about 0.005% of the population that absolutely does not procrastinate. It gives her hives to wait till the last minute on anything, and this has stood her in good stead many times. So we agreed that I would take a look Thursday evening when I was fresher.

Took a look Thursday evening, and indeed the rest of it fell into place. A few brief explanations to her on the phone, and by George, she got it. And by the way, she told us later that on Friday her classmates complained bitterly that none of them understood the homework, so perhaps it was the teacher's explanations that were lacking.

But I had to go to bed early Thursday, because ...

... I had to be at work by 7:00 Friday morning. I used to work 6:00 - 2:30 when F was in high school, but apparently I have aged somewhat and it's hard for me to get up in the morning. I did get to work by 7:00. There was this very important 8-hour thing we were supposed to do that we thought we'd start by 8:00. We didn't start by 8:00 ... we didn't start by 10:00 ... we started at 12:10 but we had to stop ... didn't start by 2:00 ... by 4:00 ... by 6:00. Stupid little miscellaneous mechanical failures and dumb stuff. Murphy's law, I reckon. At 10:15 the CEO looked at me and said, "Laura, go home."

And let me parenthetically say that I look like hell when I am tired. I used to work with a black woman, Libby, who hadn't been around white people much and who learned a lot from me because she asked a lot of questions. She thought it was funny that my face changes colors. I have a lot of Celt in me, apparently, and we Celts have thin skin and sometimes flush for no reason. Or sometimes I get pale and maybe a bit greenish when I am very tired. One day at work Libby got sick and I took her to the emergency room. I called her mom in Kentucky and then stayed with her until her mom could get there. It was late evening when she did. They'd got Libby more or less stabilized and discharged her by then. Libby's mom had eyes for no one but her, but a day or two later at work, she told me that her mom had expressed concern about me and wanted to know if I would be all right. "Oh, yes," Libby responded confidently, "she just look like that." I DIED laughing when she told me that, but it's true that I look really bad when I'm tired.

So the CEO told me to go home, and after arranging for lab coverage the rest of the night and in the morning, I did. I was supposed to be back at 6:00 AM on Saturday but they called just after midnight and said there were electrical problems and they were telling everyone but the electricians to just not come in.

We had thought that R would take the laptop down to F at school by himself on Saturday, and I would see her later, but since I didn't have to work I went along. He had to drive the whole 6 hours, though, because I was SHOT. We didn't do much, just took the kid to lunch and to Wal-Mart and so forth, but shortly after we got home I fell into bed.

Church this morning, and then a very enjoyable lunch at Molly's with a friend I used to work with.

I still "look like that" though. Dang.

And I will close with this very funny thing that F told me: At a recent honors forum, the speaker, who was head of the English department, gave a very long talk about Eminem. F cares about as much about Eminem as she does sea slugs, so it would have been boring anyway, but she said he read his presentation, he did not look at the students or talk to them, and it was very long. It went ON and ON and ON. "I wanted to gnaw my leg off," she said, "but I couldn't think how to go about it." Isn't that funny?

And there it is, Monnie. You may be sorry you asked.


Update: My boss just called a few minutes ago (about 9:15) ... wants lab coverage starting at 6:00 AM, very important. He said to call one of my peeps but I think I need to be there ... sigh. Here we go again.


class factotum said...

At an honors forum, the head of the dept spoke about EMINEM????? For this, you are paying for (I am guessing here) TULANE??????

Laura(southernxyl) said...

No, it's not Tulane. It's a state college in Mississippi, and scholarships are paying for all but a little bit. Otherwise I would be hyperventilating.

But I told my that this was probably a valuable experience for her. She might have wasted time wondering whether she was missing out on something by not being a fan of Emeinem. Now she knows that she is not.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

That would be "But I told my daughter...".

I need more coffee.