Napping, calculator, fancy cake.

There were 2 half days at school this week and Edda’s aftercare, which used to provide camp until 4 pm on those days, has decided not to have aftercare on half days, so Jeremy picked her up on one day and I picked her up the other day. Edda and I hung around together Tuesday afternoon. I mainly quilted, she mainly napped.

Vince went to school today as emo/goth person to advertise for the play this weekend – Addams Family the Musical, remember? Two more shows, Friday and Sat night. Get your tickets now! He is holding the third $100 calculator that I’ve purchased for him. He lost the other two. I made him repeat after me: if I lose this calculator, I will have to replace it myself with my own money. And then Vince said – or I’ll ask Gong Gong for it for Christmas. omg. Vince was trying to tell me how awesome this calculator was, but I’m ok boomering him and saying when I was in high school, we used slide rules and abacuses. You don’t need no fancy calculator to learn calculus. But it does derivatives!, he insisted. Whatever. lol. And then Jeremy looked up our fondest calculators on the internet and we reminisced over them.

This is the last calculator I will ever buy Vince.

Edda, who has been eating infuriatingly slowly for the past few weeks, seems to have reverted back to her old self eating wise.

I made my fancy cake tonight. It doesn’t look fancy, but it is fancy because I had to grind almonds and use whole cloves and everything.

I’m doing a good job releasing my anxieties about Vince’s college stuff. I do every once in a while, for a few moments, start to get wound up like – what if he gets in nowhere? what if he gets in one place and doesn’t want to go to that place? what happens if he gets in one place and I don’t want him to go to that place? what are we doing paying a gajillion dollars for a non-ivy-league school? what crazy person would do that? he’s not ready to go because he is constantly losing $100 calculators! And then I walk back from the ledge and reframe the whole thing and then try to immediately forget about it. Another application went in today (U. Wash Seattle) with almost no fuss. Rutgers is almost ready to go. And my Senior House email list continues reminding me that what I think I want really isn’t what I want. This is from a contemporary of mine who was the same year as I was at MIT. I was not her pal, but I admired her from afar when I lived at Senior House for many reasons and then I admired her even more when she came back and became a prof at MIT and then I was heartbroken for her when I heard she didn’t get tenure. She wrote on the email distribution:

Watching the closing of SH was terrible, but unfortunately not very surprising. As faculty I got to see the other side of how students are viewed, and it was incredibly frustrating and disappointing. At grades meetings students were often written off as "not being able to cut it" and zero consideration was given to students who had major life issues going on, or were suffering from depression, or just struggling with being at MIT because they were the first in their family to go to college. Other faculty told me not to have UROPs because they were "charity cases" and not to waste my time being nice to undergrads. Faculty who do make the effort to be good educators are written off as second class citizens. There are so many MIT students who need help, but they are overwhelmingly expected to not show any weakness and just suck it up. I struggled with this because it goes against the mission of the institution, which is to educate students. As for harassment at Senior Haus, I did not witness very much, but as a faculty I saw that it was rampant--not just sexual harassment but bullying, manipulation, exploitation...it is deeply ingrained in the culture of MIT and it was exhausting just trying to survive. So, I am all the more grateful for having been part of the unique environment at SH, which, sadly, the administration really does not understand. I have a list of about 15 reasons as to why I don't donate to MIT, but closing SH tops the list (even above not getting tenure). Still can't believe that the administration would choose to alienate decades of alumni instead of trying to actually solve a problem.

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