Catching Up

I am so behind on the things I have wanted to write about.

I saw the movie Arrival. If you have not yet seen it, I will say this: I agree with everyone who said not to look into it or read anything about it, just see it cold.

Rob has had another college acceptance, and also a rejection. Maybe I already wrote about this? The rejection was from one of the schools lower on his list, which seems like a very good way to get the first rejection. I can picture THINKING you are prepared for rejection, and then finding upon receipt of actual rejection that you ARE NOT IN FACT PREPARED. We are still waiting to hear from his top two choices, and both of those colleges have low acceptance rates, so this was a good rehearsal. …I feel as if I already wrote all of this. Possibly I did, or perhaps there is a draft somewhere?

Rob has a new job that means he misses dinner five days a week. I am distressed by this. Sometimes I can save him a plate for later, but sometimes we are having something that doesn’t really re-heat, and/or something that gets eaten entirely by others if he is not here to eat his share. Sometimes he makes sandwiches, sometimes he heats something up; and now I have bought some frozen meals, frozen burritos, and cans of hearty soups. I have tried to interest him in learning to make scrambled eggs, fried eggs on toast, tuna-and-Triscuits, egg salad sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, and other things I consider staples of the Single Dinner, but he doesn’t like the foods that I like. Well. We will figure this out. And in approximately six months, it will not be an issue because he will LIVE AT COLLEGE.

I remember there was something I bought and wanted to recommend. What was it? This is the trouble with waiting. Well, I’ll think of it later.

I continue to be engrossed with political stuff. I decided my first half-hour of Twitter-reading per day had to take place while walking vigorously on the treadmill. This has: (1) decreased my Twitter-reading and (2) increased my treadmill usage and (3) decreased my adrenaline while reading. If you lean liberal and you are panicking, may I recommend skimming this book? It seemed to me to be one of those books where the entire point could have been made in one single article, so most of the book is devoted to giving long, thorough examples to back up the main point and create more pages. As soon as I understood the point and skimmed a couple of examples, I felt I’d extracted the vital essence.

I completely forgot to bring two of the kids to their dentist appointments. The appointments were on the calendar. The dentist office called the day before and reminded me. And then I…didn’t bring them. I realized it about half an hour after the second appointment would have been over. I was completely mortified. This sort of thing makes me feel as if I am losing my mind. The dentist’s office was very cool about it, but I found it very difficult to shake the mortified/horrified mood. Then I accidentally rescheduled one of the appointments for a day when we can’t make it, so I will have to call BACK and reschedule AGAIN.

Edward had his MRI. The worst part was getting him to drink the stuff he has to drink beforehand. This was his third MRI so I’d thought it would be easier to get him to drink it, but this was the hardest time yet. It was bad enough, I’m not even sure it would be possible to do it ever again. Even this time they were very uncertain they’d be able to do it, based on what a small amount of liquid I was able to persuade him to drink over TWO-AND-A-HALF HOURS OF CONSTANT EXHAUSTING EFFORT. And then he threw it up. Upside: two Pokéstops within reach of the waiting room.

I have started taking online French lessons using a program available for free through our library. I feel as if almost ANY language would be more practical than French—but French is the only one that appeals to me. I took two years of it in high school and still like it. But I hate, hate, HATE the part where the program wants me to use the microphone to compare my pronunciation to theirs. Not only is it disheartening, but it’s difficult to use and I can’t figure out how to use the feedback to improve my pronunciation. It is enough to make me want to ditch the whole thing. So I think I will skip that part and pretend I don’t even HAVE a microphone. Who’s going to tell them otherwise? For all they know I DON’T have one!

15 thoughts on “Catching Up

  1. Bff

    I am learning Irish from Duolingo (And other sources) and that is MUCH LESS PRACTICAL than French. 🇨🇮😀

    1. Erin

      I was going to mention duolingo too, because they have the option to bypass the microphone parts if you don’t feel like doing those that day.

  2. Shawna

    I was wondering if Rob had a job! Do you guys drive him to work or does he have a car or take public transport? I desperately wanted a job my senior year but found it difficult without a car. Is he planning on working part-time while in college?

    1. Swistle Post author

      He drives; he doesn’t have his own car, but he can drive ours. Yes, he’s planning to get a part-time job in college. I’m hoping he can get an on-campus job, to make things easier (he won’t be bringing a car with him to college).

  3. Ruby

    I just finished up the waiting-to-hear-back period with my grad school applications, so I think I get how you and Rob are feeling right now! I only ended up getting into one school that was at the top of my list, but that was actually sort of a relief–now I don’t have the added stress of having to CHOOSE. (Not that that wouldn’t have been a great problem to have! But stressful all the same.)

    I’ve been brushing up on my French with Duolingo, which also has the microphone pronunciation thing. I hate hate hate it. I always have that feature turned off. If it means my pronunciation isn’t as good as it could be, who cares? This isn’t school, and I have not yet encountered any real-world situation in which I have to be able to speak fluent French. Nothing bad will happen if I skip the parts I don’t like.

  4. Slim

    Hee! Just this morning I was making sure I still have the facing-translation version of Dante’s Inferno because I am going to start reading it while listening to the audio version. Pretty sure Italian is less practical than French, but I just want to prod my synapses a little, so I don’t care.

    Also, my youngest’s French teacher recommends that the kids listen to something in French that isn’t about Listening to People Speak French (I think of this as Incidental French), so he and I have been watching Chef’s Table: France on Netflix. Afterwards I mutter to myself in French and think about a high school French teacher who told us that at the end of her first day as an exchange student, her face hurt because speaking French involves a lot more facial movement than mutter-y old English.

    1. Jenny

      I tell my students this! (I am a French professor.) You can speak English holding a cigarette in your mouth like Humphrey Bogart, but French MOVES.

  5. Shawna

    French is VERY practical: it’s the second official language of Canada, so when you move up here to get away from the political climate down there, it will come in very handy. :)

    I have to know French for my job. In fact, I’m looking at changing jobs and my French certification is currently expired, so being able to get the new job hinges on being able to speak it well enough to renew my certification. I am VERY nervous about this!

  6. Celeste

    Frozen pizza is a modern marvel. They go on sale and you can stockpile them if you have a big freezer.

  7. Kristin H

    I feel like I am going to need to develop some Serious Coping Mechanisms when my daughter goes to college in a few years. Perhaps that would be a good entry idea – how are you feeling about him leaving home and do you have advice for those of us who have not yet gone through it?

  8. Beth (A Mom's Life)

    My son was using Rosetta Stone to learn a language and got so disheartened by using the microphone and being told over and over that his pronunciation was wrong that he gave up on it completely. It makes me feel a little better to hear that you hate that feature as well. I thought perhaps he was just being lazy (although that’s still highly likely) and looking for any excuse to quite.

  9. Suzanne

    Oh the dentist appointment thing! So frustrating! Why, brain?

    In a related story, I was hustling my daughter out the door for swimming lessons when I saw I’d missed a bunch of texts and a call from her swimming teacher, asking if we could come later than planned (her other students had cancelled, and she wanted to come to work later). Which is the same moment that I realized I was AN HOUR LATE TO THE LESSON. As in, I hadn’t responded to her texts wanting to schedule us later… so she’d come to work early… and then I’d missed the lesson by an hour anyway. I felt HORRIBLE.

    Congrats to Rob on his additional acceptance!

  10. thefluter

    Other Single Meal ideas: DIY frozen burritos ( I make a big batch of sweet potato and black bean burritos, wrap them in foil individually, and defrost/microwave as I want them). Pasta with a homemade sauce (carbonara seems fancy but I found it pretty easy; pesto is also very easy); even learning how to jazz up a store-bought sauce is good to know. It seems he doesn’t like eggs in any form, which is too bad, since they are so versatile. Maybe omelets would be a winner?

    I appreciate the book recommendation; I am adding it to my list! I find I have to alternate between heavy/serious books and lighter books that I can devour in a week or two.

  11. allison

    I read the short story Arrival is based on before seeing the movie (multiple times – it’s amazing) and loved it, but I’m kind of jealous of anyone who got to see the movie cold. And my 16yo son has workouts or baseball many nights, but thanks to a cooking class last year he is now the best omelette-maker in the house.

  12. Alex

    I would really like to barter my services as a French pronounce-r and deeply low-key non-intimidating person with your baby naming advice.

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