Mariner, Ruth L.
Ruth Latham Mariner knew she could claim an ancestor from the Mayflower; she also knew he had left his family in New England, sailed for the Caribbean, and starved to death. He left nothing for his descendants to glorify except their own hard work. And Ruth worked hard indeed to earn her 86 years. As a girl, she defeated typhoid fever, the Great Depression, and eight older siblings.
As a woman, she crusaded to save the soul of an only child who refused to worship with her on Sundays - at the altar of the New York Times crossword puzzle. Ruth finally exhausted herself by firing insults at TV images of the President, and on Friday, August 25, 2006, she thanked her physical body for long and loyal service. And she let it rest.
Ever mindful of utility costs, Ruth entered the eternal light and immediately demanded to know who had left it on. Mama, please leave it on for those of us who are missing you.
Published in The Daily Reflector on 9/3/2006. (Greenville, NC)
I got up at 6:00 today, and left the house just before 7:00 to get one of the (about 10) free parking spots on the NCSU campus on Pullen Road, where I was shocked, and disappointed, to find all of them already taken at such an ungodly hour.
I drove back up Avent Ferry to the Food Lion, and caught the #9 Fraternity Court bus back to campus. I love knowing how to negotiate the bus system now.
I arrived at Clark Hall, where I administered the DELTA Usability Test to Participant #2.
From there, I walked over to D.H. Hill, where I had about 20 minutes before having to head over to the Hillsborough Building to administer the test to Participant #3.
I had my laptop with me, of course, and connected to the Internet, while in the library for that short time. Mostly to check my e-mail, as by this time, I still hadn't had a fourth participant, and was hoping to find an e-mail form one of the four possible candidates. Nothing..
I sent an e-mail to a potential participant in the Participant #2's office, as she'd given me the name, and said the person might be able to help me out. Her calendar shows her returning to the office at 2:00, and open the rest of the afternoon. Keeping my fingers crossed.
My 10:00 participant was quite a character — an interesting mix of anal retentive, absent minded professor, and unadulterated pack rat.
The guest chair was the only thing in his office without a stack of papers on it. All areas of both of his desks, which connected in an "L" shape had papers stacked from the surface of the desk to the bottom of the cabinets above it where there were some, and where there weren't, as high as the stacks could grow without toppling.
All around the perimeter of the office were precarious stacks of papers, some from the floor up, some on top of boxes that were stacked on top of each other before the stack of papers started. Most of these stacks would have felt right at home in Pisa, Italy.
I was early, and he finished an e-mail he was in the middle of to someone "important" in the university — some lawyers.
When he was ready to start, I said, "Well, we're going to start off writing, some you'll need some place to write," I said with a smile glancing around with an "And where do you think you're going to find some desk space to write on in here?" look.
He grinned as he reached back, pulled a writing tablet off Pile #86, stuck it on his lap, and said, pen poised, "Ready."
I enjoyed working with this scholarly gentleman, and felt comfortable enough to say as I was leaving, "The folks I'm doing this test for told me you were a good guy. They didn't tell me, however, what your office would look like," I said, again glancing around the room. "I'm just glad we didn't have a fire in here in the last hour-and-a-half." We both laughed.
I took the bus back to my car at the Avent Ferry Food Lion, and drove home, where I had lunch and worked on entering the data from the sessions I'd just done with Participants 2 & 3, still waiting for an e-mail from a fourth volunteer.
At about 2:15 the person from Participant #2's office called me, and we set up to test at 3:30.
I caught the bus back to campus, and arrived at her office at 3:15, and we got started right away, finishing up at about 4:30.
I caught the bus back home, grabbed a quick bite of dinner, and drove my car back to campus for my Linguistics class from 6:00 - 8:45.
At the beginning of class, Dr. Thomas said, "I got e-mail from three people today that they're sick," he said looking around to see if most people were there before getting started.
"Spinach eaters," I said. Everyone laughed. [Note for posterity: There's an E. coli outbreak in spinach going on around the country right now.]
Turning my phone on after class, I had a message from Kevin (av8rdude), who was presently at Helios. I checked in with Joe, who, coincidentally, was also on Hillsborough Street up toward the fairgrounds.
We agreed to meet Kevin at Helios, and I returned his call to tell him, and asked him to order us each an order of their quesadillas, as it was close to 9:00, and by the time we'd get there, they'd stop serving food.
We enjoyed our snack and some convo, and the three of us headed over to Flex, where it's $1.25 Well Drinks on Monday night.
Joe and I played one game of pool against each other, and then Tracey and I played two games against Joe and Kevin. Tracey and I won both games. Not that it's about winning.
I left there at about 11:00, and worked on the usability report from 11:30 - 1:30AM.