Talking To Myself....

15 February 2002

Good morning. Still no FTP. Sigh.

Jessie said, in yesterday's journal entry, "I've spent all this time trying to think it's legitimate to call myself a writer, but I am obviously not ready to stop being an engineer." Yes. I do know this feeling quite well. I've had it myself, this week. One of my physics profs from Gustavus is up for promotion to full professorship, and his department head solicited letters of support from former students. I'm going to write one, of course. (The e-mail subject line says, "Steve Up For Promotion," and I keep glancing at it and wondering how, exactly, one goes about steving up.)

And it is an "of course." I spent four years making this particular group of people an "us" in my world, not a "them." You can take the girl out of the lab, but I don't really think you can take the lab out of the girl. And there was a distinct siege mentality (a shock for any of you who have been exposed to physics departments). So when we were talking about GAC Physics and the subject of Physics of Sound and Music came up, I defended "my" department a lot more vehemently than I expected to.

Physics of Sound and Music is the Physics For Poets class at Gustavus, and Timprov and I perpetually disagree on it. His roommate Jake took the class their freshman year, and it was pretty darn tough. I'm totally okay with that. Classes for the non-major shouldn't necessarily be easier classes. They should just have a different focus.

I believe that, but it's also nearly exactly a position statement that my advisor and the other physics profs would have made on the same subject. And that's odd. It's unusual for me to identify with an active structure of people. "Even" SFFWA has (several) positions with which I disagree, that it has taken institutionally. But I signed on pretty thoroughly with the physics department. I believe that a C should be an average grade. I believe that it's important to start good habits early. I feel like I'm about to go into a Costner "Bull Durham"-esque rant about Susan Sontag being self-indulgent crap here, because I really do believe this stuff.

But it's institutionalized there. How odd. I suppose an institution of six or so is doable.

One of the Russian ice dancing coaches (from Russia, not coaching a Russian team) has me quite steamed. He said, of Sale and Pelletier's world championship win, "Mayube the Canadian federation worked harder than the Russian federation that time. They probably were talking to judges trying to find votes." Okay, that, right there? That's an admission of guilt, in my book. (It's also a slap to Sale and Pelletier, but that much is obvious.) The minute you result to, "But everybody is doing it!", you're admitting that you, also, are doing it. He's coaching an American team. Frankly, that team is looking pretty suspect right now. I'd be replacing judges like mad, if it were up to me, and sequestering the new ones, just to avoid similar allegations later.

We've already seen pretty clearly that it's not up to me. But! Timprov turned the TV on, and we just heard that they're giving a duplicate gold to Sale and Pelletier. That's Good. I really hope they award the medal in the awards plaza all official-like, because a packed crowd roaring along with "Oh Canada" -- well, that's just good theatre. I do feel like Pelletier was telling the press, in his Canadian way, to cover the Olympics, dammit, when he says that other athletes aren't getting the spotlight they deserve.

Well. I finished "Grandma Disappears" and sent it out to Spellbound on time, so I just have one article to finish before Mark gets home. I mean, I can do more work, of course. I just don't have to today. I've got projects I'd like to work on, but it's going to be a social whirl of a weekend, and next week is just as busy. I also finished reading The Best of Judith Merril and started BOBOS in Paradise at Evan's recommendation. (See? You all should recommend books. I read them when you do.) Scott Heath just told me (via e-mail) to go take a nap. I wish I could....

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