I had a fairly good but draining weekend, during which I did little actual ruminating on the LS decision. Sometime on Sunday, after the silent, non-language half of my brain had time to send its little smoke signals across my corpus callosum, I was asked where I was going (by someone to whom I’d never given the option breakdown) and I unhesitatingly said “Georgetown.” It’s the program I’m most attracted to, it affords the greatest post-graduation opportunity for me, and (although I’ll have to scrape) I can go.
It’s amazing how the little things impact your body – I feel like some kind of dried and processed meat product this morning. Nothing particularly hedonistic happened over the weekend. Just no biking, lots of car-driving, a few donuts, a handful of beers, some fatty food, and an average night’s sleep of about 6 hours.
The themes of the weekend were travel and communication. Normally I don’t see that many people – a function of my temporary stay in my town, gearing up for LS in various ways, and my writing habits. So this weekend I saw the parents, the younger brothers (Youngest Brother graduated from his undergraduate college), a poet/lawyer friend from North of Boston (more on that in a bit), H., Rockstar J, The Guy of the Odd Forgotten Name and further chatted on the phone with 3 other people whom I don’t regularly call. If you look at the numbers my circle of actual friends is rather small, but my circle of strong acquaintances keeps growing with age. To do all this I had to forgo my usual weekend and domestic activities, which means this week will be something of a scramble of sending out papers, writing, cleaning, errands, and attending to a looming internet problem that is growing into a frustrating monster.
Overall things went very well during the weekend except that I inadvertently offended Rockstar J by stepping on a large invisible toe. I won’t go into detail, but it’s one of those things where you cast yourself as “the idiot making a stupid comment which should be obviously foolish (and hopefully funny via irony.)” Except my comment landed on one of Rockstar J’s 3 buttons (which I learned about afterward.) Personally I was fascinated to find out these buttons existed – as they lie in areas which she’s quite strong in. Apparently that wasn’t always the case though and she’s dragging some past weight around with her. I think we’ve partially made up, but I'll probably have to do something gallant in compensation.
Youngest Brother’s graduation was fun and there were no family hijinks. Youngest Brother is very happy to be done. I also talked with Younger Brother about his possible law school interest and he’s going to take it slow and gather some more information during this upcoming round. He’s very focused about what he’d like to do (educational policy + hands on activism), but is uncertain if a law degree (even a dual degree program) is the best route for him to take.
Although my weekend was filled with good points one particularly high point was meeting up with. . .it’s really tough to come up with a moniker for this guy. He’s a PI attorney who came to poetry while at Law School, and who has fashioned himself into quite an impressive young poet. He’s something of a humanist – quite intelligent, very personable. I’m at a loss - there's too much there. Hmm. I’ll call him “The Third Son” – hard to explain, but I think it fits.
Anyway, TTS and I spent an enjoyable afternoon in a seaside town, chatting about poetry, music, and the Law. I also got a packet of his recent poems, which will give me some great reading material for the week. Although we didn’t talk exclusively about poetry, it was nice to spend some face to face time with an actual poet. I do spend a fair amount of time corresponding with people about poetry, but, oddly enough, the page is a poor substitute for a nuanced voice.
A coworker of mine just had her daughter operated on – ear tubes to relieve pressure. This (and something TTS told me about isolation) had gotten me thinking about sensation and compensation. As a child, about 4 years old, I had debilitating ear-aches, which resulted in my tonsils and adenoids being removed and ear-tubes put in. This wasn’t noticed until after I had been deafened by the swelling and had learned to read lips to compensate. I had lost all of my hearing in one ear and over 80% of my hearing in the other ear. I remember the school hearing tests, which I cheated on, probably worried I’d be sent off to a camp somewhere or something. Eventually a very perceptive teacher noticed that I was lip reading and couldn’t hear a damn thing. My hearing eventually came back (I’m told it’s rather sharp now) but I started loosing my eyesight shortly after that. It’s odd for a little kid – I just didn’t understand how other kids did things. They all seemed to be able to pull their classroom answers magically out of the air (they were reading the blackboard, I was memorizing the example patterns and guessing), they always (impossibly!) seemed to know just where the soccer ball was, while I got to the ball by listening for it and following the changing direction of the shapes around me (travel and communication). After doing this for a year or so I was finally diagnosed and since then I’ve had lenses and later laser surgery to correct my eyesight. As of today I have very good eyesight and very good hearing. Go Western Medicine!
I just think it’s completely fascinating – how people adapt to things and how quickly those adaptations are lost. I very much doubt I could effectively lip read today, at least no more than your average adult could, nor am I particularly good at navigating in dim light, which suggests my nearly-blind skills are also most likely completely gone. I also wonder how many kids there are out there, who, like me, spent a good chunk of their mental energy on various “coping” strategies instead of on the schoolwork itself.