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Tomorrow

Thursday, 26 Apr 2018, 19:42 UTC

Hi Folks.

Some of you might have heard this, some maybe not. Tomorrow is my last day at the company.

It has been a great six years working here, and all of you have been a big, big part of that. Thank you for the camaraderie, the stimulation, and the friendship. What an incredible place this has been. You guys rock!

Starting Saturday, I will be fully unemployed. This is the kind of I-don’t-know-where-I’m-going-to-land jump that I have explicitly counseled my son not to take! But I have a plan: with any luck, starting in August, I will be a high school Math/Physics teacher. It’s what you call a “big jump”.

It has been a privilege and a joy working with all of you. I hope our paths cross again, every one of you. 

Cheers.

That Giddy Feeling

Tuesday, 24 Apr 2018, 20:15 UTC

Do you remember what if felt like then? As the days got warmer. As the trees got green. As summer was just around the corner.

As school began to wind down. As the smell of cut grass filled the air. As days became long again. Do you remember how your heart wanted to burst with winter finally gone and endless summer awaiting?

So here I am. The grass is green. Spring flowers are in blossom. Even the Pecans and Walnuts have long since pushed out their leaves. And with Friday as my last day of work, a kind of endless summer does indeed await. So where is that giddy feeling? Where is that wanna-burst heart?

Squeezed from both ends. On the one hand, a final project due in a matter of days — something to leave behind, it better be good. And on the other hand, the certification test next week and that minor detail about finding a teaching job — that big next thing that isn’t quite a thing, yet.

I’m telling you, I don’t even smell the cut grass.

Enough Special Relativity

Sunday, 22 Apr 2018, 21:04 UTC

“You want to come with me and the dogs?” she asked me from the doorway. “It’s beautiful out there.”

I had been inside most of the day, struggling to figure out what I need to absorb about Special Relativity that they’re likely to ask on the test.

“No,” I mumbled. “I can’t.”

It was late in the day. The lavender blossoms of the Verbena where glowing in the slanting light. The sun was warm. The fair and industrious Trudy left on a long walk. Izzy and Charlie were certainly relieved that there was someone other than that man to take them out. Because that boring man had been in that chair all day.

Now the day is done. I’m afraid to say that if the questions aren’t relatively straightforward problems about length contraction or time dilation, … well I’ll just have to move to the next question. Because a full day of Special Relativity is frankly enough.

Fair and Fierce

Saturday, 21 Apr 2018, 19:39 UTC

An SUV pulled up in front of the house. There were two women in it. Trudy could see this, because she happened to be at the front door at that very moment.

They pulled up beside the purple-blooming Verbena and various Salvias and the yellow-blooming Englemann Daisy and Xexmenia. One of the woman had a cigarette in her hand that she held out the curbside window. She periodically flicked her ashes into the yard. Trudy could see this, and she was not impressed.

The women talked, and the woman flicked. And Trudy opened the door and began walking out to the curb where the women were taking their smoking break. She held up a wagging finger. She was sure that her genetic predisposition to scowling was in full force. She took long strides toward the curb.

The women saw her coming, and the driver let off the brake, and her SUV began to roll slowly forward.

“No, no, no,” Trudy said, shaking her head, pointing at the cigarette. “Not here, you don’t.”

She told me this later that evening. She held up a hand, and we high fived.

Fair and industrious, yes. But on that day: Fair and Fierce.

Smiling

Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018, 21:25 UTC

This place has been good to me. Six years of good, although there were days when “good” might not have been how I would have characterized it then. Ask the Fair and Industrious Trudy, who was always there. Still: good.

Harish sends me a message. He quotes Asad, who observes, “David seems to be smiling a lot, these days.”

Then Asad walks by on his way to the coffee machine. He looks over at me. I look back at him, pulling back the corners of my mouth, exaggerating my smile.

“What?” he says.

“I’m smiling,” I say.

Seven days of smiling left.

What They Think

Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018, 19:50 UTC

Russ did a double take. 

“Russ,” I said to him our our weekly video chat, “I’m giving my two week notice.”

He did a physical double take — the kind where his head swings to the camera with eyes wide open.

He was gracious and kind and curious about what I was planning to do.

“I’m going to be a teacher,” I said. “High school math and physics.”

In the time that’s passed since then, I’ve said this a few times. I’m not quite sure what people think, especially when they hear that I have no job yet or that I won’t be certified until later this spring (if the test goes well).

Just not sure what they think. Not that it matters. I find myself in a calm place with no remorse — no remorse other than working for Russ could have well been one of the best experiences of my professional life.

Oh well. A new profession is on its way.

Titmouse

Thursday, 29 Mar 2018, 19:01 UTC

When I got to work the other morning, besides piles of oak pollen lying in the lot, and besides low gray clouds skirting above the treetops, there was a Titmouse singing in a Live Oak tree. I took out my phone and recorded its song. And then I turned up my phone volume and played the song back. The Titmouse was intrigued. It listened for a moment and hopped one branch closer. And then it listened again and hopped yet closer. Until it was just above my head on the lowest hanging branch over me.

It listened and cocked its head, looking down in my general direction. It did this several times. And then, thoroughly flummoxed, the Titmouse flew off in the direction of some other, more distant, Titmouse song.

At The Window

Thursday, 29 Mar 2018, 18:50 UTC

The dogs have been at the window again.

It must be quite some operation — jump onto the chair at the desk (which certainly spins with them aboard), step onto the desk, clamber onto the flatbed scanner that sits near the window, and finally gaze out the window as they wait for the return of the mommy.

I know this happened from this evidence: the power button was glowing blue, and my tower of books was knocked askew. It is a fact that I never leave the blue button on. And I do not knock my books askew, least of all Foundations of Theoretical Mechanics, which was particularly misplaced.

From this evidence I know this to be true: the dogs have been at the window again.

Did You

Tuesday, 27 Mar 2018, 16:35 UTC

Did you see the fallen pollen on the stones on the ground? Did you see the two herons flying in formation over the limestone cut thru the hills? Did you?

I saw it. I saw them.  And I think that qualifies this as a good day — even with black storm clouds approaching.

Still Life

Saturday, 03 Mar 2018, 17:20 UTC

At the end of the race…