monique

Woolgathering
2006-07-02 02:44:50 (UTC)

Homesick

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
sound.

Tomrrow I'm going home right after class ends. I miss
John, I miss my cats, I miss my garden. Did I mention I
miss John?

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
introduction:

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, “Fire, Women and Dangerous Things,” 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
well.

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!