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10th Snow

Yesterday I rode my bike to work and the wind was howling. It blew me up the hill, all the way to the warehouse. Going home was somewhat more difficult, but the wind had died down some from the frenzy it reached midday. Instead the challenge was little pellets of snow on my gloveless hands. On my way home I went to visit Ingrid and Gunther. It had been a very stressful day at work and I was brittle, and almost called on the cell phone to tell them I wouldn't be coming. But they are so eager for me to visit that I calmed myself and went anyway. Between the two of them they have but one car (a new yellow VW bug), and Ingrid is the one who drives. She doesn't drive in the dark, and she doesn't know her way around Flagstaff very well. I wonder if she'd let me drive and take them out to a play or other event. It's sad for me to hear them talk about staying home all they time. They'd both benefit from getting out to some cultural events.

The last time I visited them I had left a copy of the intro to my book for them to read. In the intervening weeks, they both had read it, and Gunther had marked it all up with comments, and underlined things in all colors of crayons. His was the deepest and most insightful read of any proofreader yet, and I will make several changes based on his observations. He was offended by one thing---I mentioned the German denigration of Jewish jargon which preceded the genocide, and being German, he didn't think it was fair that I hadn't mentioned any other nation's embarassment. So I'll make some more current comments, even though I haven't found any more current sociolinguistic studies to back me up. The German treatment of Jews before WWII has been exhaustively studied, but nobody is publishing anything about the many euphemisms used by Shrub et al for invasion and occupation in the mideast...yet.

I stayed for a dinner of homemade soup and we talked endlessly about philosophy, religion and politics. One of Gunther's favorite sayings is "There's no ism that ain't no good". The triple negative is funny in his native tongue. Gunther's memory is failing and Ingrid reminds him of names and words that he can't bring up. After having spent only a few hours with them, I am beginning to serve in the same way, remembering what he told me the last time we talked. His mental decline is hard on Ingrid, and on him. One time when Gunther went to his study to get a book, she confessed her pain and difficulty to me. She spoke of how brilliant he used to be. She is resigned to her lot, and smiles remembering things past that her husband of 51 years cannot any longer bring to mind.

A couple weeks ago I heard a weather report saying that we'd not get any more precipitation until Monsoon season (July). The SW region is already in a desperate drought, so any moisture at all is welcome. The trees are frantic for some rain. This morning I awoke to about an inch covering the ground, and it is half melted already. There are still clouds and a few flurries are still floating about. The kitten is snuggled against my left hip, watching me type. She and me and the trees are all glad for any little bit of precip that comes...

Now I'm headed out for biochemistry class. We're started on enzyme kinetics, which involves some simple calculus to figure the rates and capacities of different enzymes. The professor gave us back another test on Monday which again he had not graded very well at all. There were at least two errors in his key. I wish that he would put more of his considerable smarts and energy into the class that he teaches. I am irritated that I spent $800 to take a class that he doesn't invest himself in. And I am glad that I will be taking biochemistry again with a different teacher in the fall.

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