I think I'm finally over the bug. It got progressively worse Friday and Saturday, then yesterday it started to fade. The good news is that I got a ton of reading done, which is always nice. I finished The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morten, which I enjoyed very much, and read a moving memoir about parenting a special needs child, The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown.
I also spent time with The Wind and the Willows, which has been visiting me on its tour around the States. As far as I can tell, it's a book of poetry masquerading as a novel. Strangely, I think the playfulness of the language is one of the reasons Jack and I didn't love it as a read-aloud. There's all sorts of lovely bits that, reading by yourself, you go over several times just for the pleasure of it. But I remember reading it aloud at bedtime, how slow it all felt, and I remember that sensation from childhood as well--not enough was happening. As an adult, I'm fine with the slowness--better to savor the language, my dear--but as a child it made me feel impatient, and I recall Jack being impatient as well.
Old Jack. He's in the throes of it again, cranky, grumpy, no fun to be around, holing up in his room for hours. He got a report card a couple of weeks ago that wasn't too impressive. It wasn't the grades so much, but his effort scores, four out of six of which had fallen in the six week period. He got a C+ in Science, in spite of getting an A- on the exam, because he'd missed two assignments. Turns out it's hard to recover from two zeros in the grade book.
So we've put him on probation. He has six weeks to bring up his grades to all A's and B's and bring up his effort scores to all 1's. If he doesn't, all sorts of dire things happen to his computer.
Travis and I are back in walking mode after a short break due to illness. We are enjoying spring-like weather this winter, which leaves me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it's nice as can be to take a walk in late January wearing only a jacket over a warm-up jacket and a hat. On the other hand, it's unnatural to have birds singing and crocuses blooming this early. It feels out of whack. It is out of whack.
Because I spent much of last week either tending the ill (both Jack and the Man got Will's bug after I caught it) and being ill myself, this week is going to be the Great Vacation that I was supposed to have last week. In a few minutes I'm going to comb my hair and trot off for a cup of coffee at Fosters, journal in hand. Wednesday, I'm having lunch at an art museum, and Thursday I'm off fabric-shopping with my friend Sarah in the morning, then taking a walk with another friend in the afternoon. By Friday, I'll be socially exhausted and ready to get back to work.
I read a piece in yesterday's New York Times Magazine about how our computers and smart phones act as a kind of second brain for us, storing information and memories. The author told a few horror stories about people losing their hard drives and as a result losing years of work, photographs, music, etc. In a sense, losing their memories. She herself lost all the photographs she'd taken of her child since birth when her hard drive crashed.
I love my computer. I find it a very handy machine. But I don't think very many people think critically about our reliance on our computers. We've just accepted the technology. Those of us with preteen children accept that they will live most of their lives totally plugged-in and shrug it off--what are you gonna do?
But what does spending 24/7--or close to it--on a computer do to our brains? How does it affect our ability to connect in real life. How does it affect our ability to think? Is gaming or surfing the Web addictive? I think it can be.
And what happens if the power goes out? As oil supplies diminish and we need to power down, how will we live? When the storms of global warming hit and the electricity is out for weeks, how will we get along? Those of us past the age of forty will do just fine, I reckon. But how about our kids? How will they live if they're forced to live unplugged?
Better, is what I think, once they get used to the idea. More alive in the world. But I know a lot of people who would disagree with me.
Okay, enough. Off for coffee, then some volunteering at Jack's school, and then errands and chores, errands and chores. So it goes. How does it go for you?