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Monday, August 31, 2009

Progress Report

Getting up at 4:30 AM is not so hard. Staying up after returning from the bus stop run is. Elle stays home -- but not alone, having our trusty dogs Lulu and Asha to keep her company -- sound asleep. I get home and occupy myself on the computer, mostly with Facebook (which I'm going to defend as a great way to communicate with Sarabelle Down Unda) and catching up on email. Today my life got a little more exciting as I was invited to join some of our neighbors on their morning dog walk. I figured a little exercise couldn't hurt. Sometimes peer pressure is a good thing.

Grice's school is challenging. And the science teacher is tough. And she has him for two classes, the second one being an elective, Research and Technology. I even suggested -- are you ready for this? -- she switch her elective to Drama so as not to overburden herself. Go ahead, I can handle the criticism. I tried to justify it by saying the public speaking experience would be beneficial but Grice emphatically expressed her desire not to alter the schedule because she has finally changed her idea of what she wants to be when she grows up from Cake Decorator to Zoologist and so will need loads of science. So I'm happy. So, so happy. This change in plans is partly inspired, I'm sure, by a visit from her Australian Grade 7 teacher Will (aka "Sir") and his partner, Sarah, a zoologist, on their second swing through North America on the final leg of a six-month tour of the Americas. They stayed with us a few days in between landing in Miami and heading up to New York City and regaled us with stories and stunning photos of their incredible experiences like monkey hunting with blowdarts in the Amazon among the Huaorani and avoiding the feared "non-contact" tribe, and camping on an active lava-flowing volcano.

Jorge will be returning soon from his trip to Australia to get Sarabelle settled in. She is happy but appreciates the distance and her family just a bit more than before. She will only be down there for three months on her own (and by that I mean boarding with a trustworthy friend and her family), and we already have our travel plans for the return trip, but it is going to be high-anxiety for this generally laid-back mum.

On the spur of the moment I ordered tickets to see Christopher Hitchens debate Dinesh D’Souza in Orlando. This happens to be the night after Jorge flies back from halfway around the world. I don't know if he will be able to take another 2.5 hours trapped in transit, but I couldn't pass up a chance to see the Hitch in the flesh. I'd really like Grice to come along, but with our Christmas travel plans she is already over the limit of allowable absences for the term (something I have to remember to bring up with the guidance counselor when I go in to discuss Grice getting credit for some of the courses she took at her Australian high school.) I may have two extra tickets if you know anybody who wants to go...

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