Here I am in a downtown hotel in Portland, 100 miles from
home and I'm homesick. I've been here since Friday,
taking a class on Information Transfer theory.
The drive here was scary. It's 100 miles, all freeway.
I've gotten a bit of driving on the freeway, driving 45
miles to Salem and 45 miles back, three times a week, to
work at the Oregon State Library but Portland itself is a
large city and I don't know it. John marked a route for
me on a map and kept repeating "Whatever you do, DON'T
cross any bridges!" I didn't. I got here safely,
remembering last Sunday's sermon which was about the most
commonly repeated phrase in the Bible. It's "fear not".
I kept repeating that to myself and asking for Jesus' help
as I neared the end of my trip. It was the beginning of a
holiday weekend, on a freeway with five lanes of cars
zipping in and out like a terible ballet that could oh, so
easily have led to disaster but didn't. I arrived safe and
Tomrrow I'm going home right after class ends. I miss
John, I miss my cats, I miss my garden. Did I mention I
Don't misunderstand. I love the class. The professor has
a great sense of humor, makes us think and work hard, and
my classmates are a wonderful and varied bunch of folks.
One is Norma, a 60 year old woman who wrote in her
About three years ago I notice a growing interest I had in
the nature of knowledge. I wanted to do research on the
subject. I was very clumsy in my research but the search
awakened an interest I had in linguistics and
mathematics. At this time I lived in a small town in
Oregon and I took several mathematics classes and enjoyed
using the local college library for my research. This path
led me to the master of library science program. I really
needed guidance and this program seemed to be the best
for me. I have ambitions to think more clearly and to
become aware of the filter I use to perceive the world. I
am interested in categories, the boxes we put thinks in
(you know like that interesting linguistic book
title, â€œFire, Women and Dangerous Things,â€ meaning all
these things were classified as being in the same category
by native Australians). My hobby is stargazing.
She's an original. I don't think her comment about "the
boxes we put thinks in" was a typo. This is how she
talks. I'm awed and delighted. She always makes me
smile. I love her.
I'm enjoying my new adventure, venturing out into the
world and taking on new challenges.
This afternoon I had to give a presentation to the class
about a journal article I'd read and critiqued. I had
brought several other journal articles which referred to
this one and the professor asked for them and I was happy
to give them to him. When I finished my presentation--oh!
I was so nervous!-- he smiled and said "excellent!' He
made this comment to no other presenter so I think I did
It's almost 8p.m. I'm going to go take a long bath--what
a luxury!-- and then go to sleep. There's another
exciting day coming tomorrow!