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Thursday, June 3, 2010

a non-tornado, denim skirts, and trigonometry

Am currently encamped at a homeschoolers’ hold-out in Oregon: i.e., homeschool book sale in the state capitol of Salem. 
Why do all homeschoolers dress alike? Heh...we conform just as much as public schoolers are supposed to. Just to different standards.....
 There’s always a few mothers in denim skirts...I can see a girl now who could have been me a few years ago, in denim tiered skirt [pale blue, slightly grubby] and oversized t-shirt with a horse graphic...did I mention that a majority of homeschooled girls are horse-crazy? I used to be. And long braid down the back. 

This is horrible, I sound exactly like anybody making a stereotypical statement about homeschoolers, smug in my own public-schooled psyche. 

Then there are the other homeschoolers, the ones that dress ‘hip’ in skinny jeans or black or whatever. Ergh, I used to despise them too, and now I’ve become them. 

Another van just pulled up opposite me...I am sitting in the car [mini-van], because I already browsed the books and there isn’t really anything. Workers at the sale got early access...hehe, I WORKED....brought our own books in and placed them round at the appropriate sale tables, trying to get out of much work because my wrist is almighty screwed up from The Dalles. last week’s robotics event in The Dalles, we were setting up the field and all. There was a plethora of strong burly lads, I could very well have slacked off and said ‘Phsh, let them handle the heavy stuff’. I even had a very valid excuse: I was filming the whole thing. But NO, I must needs get in there and show off the fact that even though I probably can only lift about a third of what any lad can, I nevertheless will work just as hard as them. This resulted in my getting aforementioned wicked cuts on wrists, and in my right wrist becoming rather badly screwed up. I don’t think its sprained, it just hurts a lot when I move it from side to side.  That happens a lot in my daily life. 

Or it MAY have been the wrench-turning, which I also did a lot of [on my side on the gym floor, when our robot broke]. I can usually figure out a way to injure myself pretty badly using nothing but an allen-wrench and some lock-tite [glue that is put in screws before the final installation]. 

I have a feeling that I am going to seriously injure myself some day, merely for the admirable purpose of showing off. The ironic part is that it will almost certainly be when there is no-one else around, and I am just showing myself that ‘Oh yes I can! Watch me heft this plywood!’ and then....*crunch* *agony* *Stoicism* 

Well yes. The wrist situation. It’s happened before [namely the first week of build season, when we cannibalized last year’s robot. I was eager to show my dedication and really went at those screws. They’d been lock-tited of course...] but never for this long, it’s going on two’d be amazed how much a right-handed person puts sideways pressure on her right wrist. Yesterday I tried to become ambidextrous in math class. The writing-with-left-hand part didn’t go so well. 

Oh! Today in math class I was told I resemble a rabbit. This sounds awful, but it really isn’t. It’s the wide-eyed bounding enthusiasm I usually have in math class. A sandy-haired rabbit.    You ever read Stargirl? Well one time I got called Stargirl, too. By my French teacher...I was walking past, in bright red robotics team shirt, with an immense bag over my shoulder, hair in two long braids, and trademaked jaunty walk....I was hailed with ‘Bonjour, Stargirl!’.  It seriously made my day. 

Also, trigonometry is officially awesome. Law of Cosines allows you to find the measures of all the angles and sides in a triangle, given only two sides and an angle....

Hmm. Seems to me I was talking about this-here book sale. And the mini-vans pouring into the parking lot. We had a tough time getting here, ran into a load of traffic on I-5 coming up but we wound up ahead of schedule, even. 

Last year we attended this same book sale. It is an episode that has gone down in our family folklore so to speak. The weather had been threatening for days...the day before it had been unusually warm, and a thunderstorm came up in the evening and drenched the place. By morning it had blown over but the atmosphere was still oppressive. We drove to Salem [about an hour] and attended the book sale. By 4 that afternoon we were packing up our unsold books when it got dark very fast. The sale is held in a church gym; I made a trip to the car with a load of books and I have never seen a cloud make the sky dark that fast. I think I remember a sickly sort of look to the light.  When it started hailing, very suddenly and very hard, most of the kids helping pack up raced to the gym a few minutes we went back to the tables, sorting through the unsold books. 
   Then came a moment of terror. A man, one of the dads I suppose, announced [over the pounding rain and hail] that there was a tornado coming down the street and we all needed to evacuate the building [which had a metal roof]. I have been terrified of tornadoes for as long as I can remember. As I like to state, there is a reason I do not live in the Midwest. Well we evacuated that building all right, across the street to the main church building. The street was covered with flowing water, still bucketing down rain. There was no sign of the tornado, I’m not sure if it ever actually touched down in Salem. We huddled inside away from the windows, very damp but not too cold because it was still far warmer than it ought to be in Oregon in June...

We were worried the power might go out [we later learned it did, in my hometown]...I had dreadful visions of being stranded in Salem with the grid was not a happy thought. But soon enough the storm passed and we were let back into the gym. It was still raining a bit. 

We got home and found out next day that in fact a tornado had touched down near my hometown. In a field a few miles from our house they found a spiral pattern in the grass...although as one of my friends said, if they have to ascertain it was actually a tornado from prints in the grass, it does not really count.   It is still a local legend however...or at least I like to think so, I doubt anyone in my town remembers weather events as well as I do. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought all girls were horse-crazy. Ah well, my bad, only homeschooled girls are horse-crazy. For girls in general, I shall drop the horse-.

Ambidexterity causes brain damage, or was that the other way round? Anyways a slight bit of brain damage will have you writing with your non-dominant hand in no time. Not terribly legible at first, but with time as you change the blood flow patterns to you brain, it will get better.

Rabbit, I like it. It is indubitably better than "mouse."

Let me guess, the reason you don't live in the Midwest is because...

Your parents live in Oregon? Am I right? :-)

Don't feel bad, I don't live in the Midwest, either. It took me a trip to Washington D.C. to figure it this out.