Why does going on a trip so quickly morph into a Herculean endeavor or at least the grown up version of the book, If you give a moose a muffin….. This week’s trip prep began by attempting obsessively to listen to manic Mondays and finding that itunes 9 had gotten itself onto my computer; the new version took 15 minutes to figure out. Then the babysitter innocently emailed a picture of Eli. But since my phone serves as the official communication mechanism of the geriatric technological challenged short sighted people it can not get pictures. This led to a ridiculous amount of time attempting to view the photo on the Verizon site which proved almost impossible because they still think we live in Long Island. While on hold I learned that the person who is slowly sabotaging my research program by recalling now TWENTY ONE books added three more this week which resulted in an office clean. The office clean turned up info about an upcoming trip to Rome. So I tried to make the plane reservation late at night but managed enough type-o’s to make it for utterly random dates. I promptly called United Airlines and explained that I’m visually limited and made a mistake resulting in a need to change my nonrefundable non changeable ticket—quaint typoes can be expensive on the airline website. The nice young man from India was not able to change the reservation but did ask if I’d thought about laser surgery--wow what a great idea..... Ultimately he cancelled the reservation and I made another one and then the credit card got put on hold because they couldn’t figure out why we were making so many plane reservations. And note to self before launching into a tantrum at the PTO be prepared to solve the problem probably the day before you go on a trip. During a dispute about whether or not we should donate raffle tickets for free to the children receiving free and reduced lunch (living below the poverty line) I suggested that it was a no-brainer and that I’m sick of buying $25 coupon books which raise exactly $2 is then quickly funneled into programs that enrich my kids who already plenty enriched by things like violin lessons, piano lessons and sabbaticals in Rome. Now I’m the parent on the committee that deals with these issues. This involves among other things helping to plan a Saturday field trip to UVa geared for children from the housing projects. (This is a great cause and I’m excited about it and UVa readers you will be hearing from me) None of this includes the regular make sure that all of the minute logistics like planning babysitters, making a handout reminding the kids to practice, ordering online groceries, and attempting to engage in scholarship ever day.
This weeks scholarly discoveries of note involved decided that contrary to popular belief Jefferson was probably not a very good violin player; none of his music was ever played and it would have been much to hard for him to play after his hand injury. And I found a nice little anecdote about a set of festivities that started to go belly up because of the rain and the cold—the thunder and firework machines didn’t work well in the cold and the soldiers were to cold to make loud noises. (the discoveries are mostly notable because they could be made in tiny snippets of time).
Meanwhile the kids have been in bed for an hour and the little one is singing This Land is Your Land at the top of his lunges and the big two keep coming out with pressing questions like, will there be music at your conference:? will you email us? Can you take a picture of the liberty bell? Did you email my kindergarten teacher and tell her I miss her? Will you show your friends the video of my piano recital? My friend Gabriella who visits once a year on the way to this conference probably thinks we're all totally crazy.