So, Strattera! As it turns out, being able to focus more easily is nice, but I also like being able to sleep and eat, so... I am rapidly becoming not-a-fan (even I need more than 3 hours of sleep, and after 5 days the insomnia is wearing thin). We'll see what ADHD meds I get next.
Had dinner with Jaqi's family last week, and ended that evening building a rocket ship out of legos with her tiniest son (it was a very good evening). I was trading website-making lessons for cooking lessons, and now I can make homemade pita bread, which is the greatest thing since... okay, I know that sliced bread postdates pita bread in human history, but it predates it in my history, so the analogy still holds.
I will be making homemade pita bread on Tuesday night before I go to the Gerndt's, because it is delicious. Jennifer is a doctoral student in German Linguistics whose dissertation focuses on teaching pronunciation, and whose datasets have grown to the point where it is difficult to manually analyze them. I am a deaf language learner with (consequently) big German pronunciation struggles who has a background teaching programming and math. We are therefore spending weekday evenings this Maymester in a glorious knowledge-swap (started last Wednesday) which I must write in more detail about in a separate post, because we are trying to log our adventures.
To make life even better, Jennifer and her husband Seb (yeah, it's confusing - and both Sebastians are from Germany - but her husband goes by the nickname whereas my boyfriend refuses all abbreviations, so I'll use that to distinguish) have two huge, friendly dogs that I adore completely. The last few weeknight evenings have been spent scratching a very contented dog's belly while alternately playing with Python and listening to Jen and Seb speak German and attempting to isolate my tricky sounds, which is leading to the acquisition of an amusing vocabulary set: for instance, I must have said "Scheiße!" ("Shit!") several dozen times while trying to figure out the "s" sound. (You have to admit that it is a good word for practicing the "s" sound.) Now there's a double-bonus -- I'll practice hard sounds every time I curse in frustration (and trust me, learning how to say sounds you can't hear is no walk in the park.) But anyhow, more notes on that later.
I love being in academia. Friday lunch was with Zachery Koppelmann, an English doctoral student who's doing his dissertation on teaching composition to engineering undergraduates; the man clearly has more patience than I ever will. Pondering the same topic from two very different disciplinary perspectives (engineering and english) illuminated a lot of both perspectives for both of us -- for instance, I'd taken Conway's Law combined with the stated (but illusory) desire for meritocracy (and its consequence of topical expertise trumping titlular hierarchy) to be the way all meetings and organizations worked, but when I started illustrating meeting dynamics by drawing system block diagrams, Zachery assured me that was not the case in liberal arts. He (a military veteran) had not considered the impact of the GI bill on engineering education before our lunch -- all of a sudden, a far more diverse group of people came into the field, at the same time as engineering professors began coming from research rather than industry backgrounds. Yeah, that might all have something to do with how engineers write. Deep geekery is fun, and if that's a conversation between two grad students, how much better are these discussions going to get when we're all professors decades and decades along in our field? Yesssss.
Watched Nunsense! peformed in ASL last night with my dad and my cousin Mark; my old interpreter Christine was the director, and it was fantastic to see her again for the first time in over a decade. The show was hilarious. I have no idea how they got deaf actresses to tap-dance (then again, I couldn't hear if it was in unison -- though Mark said the tap dancing was "pretty good.") They cut some songs from the original script and reassigned others, but "Sister Julia, Child of God" never fails to crack me up, and the Reverend Mother unknowingly eating pot brownies and giggling all across the stage for the first act's final number was... wow. The most interesting adaptation was to Sister Amnesia's puppet show -- in the original (non-ASL) production, the actress does ventriloquism with a hand puppet, which won't work for an ASL version -- not only can the puppet not sign, Sister Amnesia loses a signing hand. Instead, another actress dressed up as a puppet and signed the puppet's part, leaving Sister Amnesia free to sign herself.
Breakfast with dad (perhaps) now, and then driving back to Indiana to do work. Mmm, work! First day of summer classes is tomorrow; I'm doing 6 credits (advanced qualitative research methods in education, plus modern dance 101 and an independent study teaching my blogging class) so I'd best get ready.