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November 15th, 2004

Another heart-warmer...

My 1:00 meeting went well today. Lots of good discussion about componentization, and ending with getting Keely help on the Open Source Education issue assigned to her.

I signed up for my IBM benefits for next year. I chose the most expensive, but best, coverage for next year, as the old bones just aren't what they used to be. I signed up for the commitment to exercise to earn a $150 rebate, which I know will be just the nudge I need to get back to it. I am so unhappy with my weight again these days. It just gnaws at me, but unfortunately not enough to keep me from gnawing at too much food. I also signed up for the insurance on the IBM TDSP contributions.

At the beginning of class, Susan, the instructor, took the seat next to me since she wasn't going to be teaching. Erin arrived shortly after, and took the seat on the other side of her. I leaned back and asked Erin if she had had a chance to read my stories from Spring semester.

"Oh my God, yes. I sent you email about them. Didn't you get it?"

"No, I'll have to check again. When did you send it?"

"Saturday, I think."

"Okay, I'll check again tonight."

Class was fun tonight. It was the first night of the students teaching (our "group projects") and Courtney, Heather, and Chris did a great job. Their topic was "International and Intercultural Concerns " and they made it fun. They started off handing out a basket of treats that had interesting translations on them, and encouraged us to open them and eat them, too. Unfortunately everything tasted like pure shit, which surprised all of us. There was a pretty good variety of stuff, but it all tasted horrible.

Toward the end of class, I shared a translation error I had shared at IBM at my Diversity Meeting back in August. It was an error made by Microsoft: A Spanish-language version of Windows XP, destined for Latin American markets, due to an unfortunate error in translation, asked users to select their gender between "Not Specified," "Male," or "Bitch." Everybody cracked up.

Chris, one of the teachers, said, "So, I think we'll end the class with that! As you can see that translations can be tricky, if not perilous!"

Once home, I checked my email for the note from Erin. This is the exchange:

From: John
To: Erin
Subject: Did you read my first semester summary?
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 14:04:12 -0500 (EST)

Hehehe.
-j-

From: Erin
To: John
Subject: re: Did you read my first semester summary?
Date: Sun, November 14, 2004 7:46 am

Dear John,

Of course I read it! I absolutely loved it. You basically put to words everything that I thought about ENG 517, Dr. Dicks, and all the weirdos. And that other class? EAC whatever? Holy shit. I actually wish I had been in it just for entertainment value.

I hope you don't mind, but I shared the paragraph on "like, you know what I'm saying?" with my dad. Not to bore you with the details of my life, but my dad has cancer and has not been doing so well lately. I go and see him for a few hours every day and I always try to make him laugh with stories about work or class. He had heard about her for a full semester, so I could not resist reading him your paragraph about the "pink, practical" wedding website. He laughed for a full hour (particularly since one of his pet peeves is when someone constantly ends a sentence with "you know what I'm saying?"). In between chuckles he confessed, "This guy should do stand up" :-). Anyway, thanks. You totally made his day.

As I said in class on Thursday, what I am most looking forward to is the SECOND semester summary since we share both classes (and their accompanying cast of characters) in common. Hope your weekend has been okay. See you tomorrow...

Erin

From: John
To: Erin
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2004 9:03 PM
Subject: RE: Did you read my first semester summary?

Hi Erin,

I DID receive this! OMG how cool is that -- that this made your dad laugh so much. That warms my heart. Thanks for sharing, and I'm particularly moved to know that you are making your dad's difficult days a priority, and bringing laughter to his life whenever you can. I truly am honored to have played a small part in it.

Please get to class earlier on Wednesday before Missy has a chance to come between us again. ;-)

xxoo
-j-

From: Erin
To: John
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2004 9:26 PM
Subject: RE: Did you read my first semester summary?

John,

If I do say so myself Missy really squeezed herself right in there.

See you tomorrow with bells on,
Erin

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