Once upon a time… just kidding; I wouldn’t start a blog that way! I’m actually at the UW right now, in the Mary Gates building (I think) watching over 30 8th and 9th graders. They’re finishing their last day of a bioengineering camp that Mom helped put together and run. I got recruited to keep people on task and hold hands if need be. The computer lab is pretty nice, although they’ve got older monitors. The machines are running the 2003 version of everything, which is kind of weird since Microsoft is always reconfiguring things just enough to be confusing but not enough to be frustrating.
I saw the Undergraduate Commons and was very impressed with how they brought these buildings together and made the atrium feel cozy, academic, and venerable using steel beams formed into Gothic arches. Then I started wishing that people didn’t confuse me with the kids—one lady I met surprisedly exclaimed, upon learning I was married, “You don’t look like you’re out of high school yet!” Is it too much to ask to at least look like I’m in college? Just a little bit? What about me screams “high school student”?!
Quick anecdote: I saw a boy taking two snacks during snack time (oh that my classes gave us snack times! -And provided juice and NutriGrain Bars, too); he thought he was being quite sneaky. So as he left, I asked him, “If everybody took two, would there be enough?” In reality, yes, there probably would have been, but an overwhelmingly guilty look crossed his face and he shook his head, returning the second snack to the box. Later Mom announced that seconds were avaliable. But frankly, it was worth it to see the poor kid suddenly realize he was caught (GUILTY!). Does that make me a mean person?
Another note: Mom asked me to see if I could find the boy who was ADHD in the group. He missed part of the class; all was quiet. Suddenly, above the quiet murmur of students working, a piercing adolescent voice echoed, explaining how he wandered campus looking for the group. Loud! Energetic! He practically had a red glowing arrow over his head that proclaimed him slightly more distractable and learning-challenged than the rest of the students. Wow.
– KF –