Week 0, Day 1

The titles of these posts seem like scores. Days are winning so far.

Click here for the cast of characters

A non-fiction six word story I omitted from yesterday: “We’re at the same airport, right?”

Note to self: If you are going to put off writing until the end of the day, get home earlier.

I’m staying in a pretty safe neighborhood. I judge this by the walk I took this morning. First, people in Chicago, at least this section, are awake fairly early. There were many people out exercising at 6:15 am. Of course, this could just be because this is a city, and there are simply a lot of people.

Back to safety. I often judge the safety of an unfamiliar neighborhood by the number of people who look more vulnerable than I am to an attack. If there are a lot of people who look like easier pickings than I am, I feel safe. I walked today to Palmisano Park which shares a corner with the Chinatown section of Chicago (it feels uncomfortable to say Chinatown, it’s almost like saying Chinaman and I wouldn’t use that term to describe any person). There were quite a few people out for their morning walks – many in their seventies and eighties, so I felt safe. OK, there was that seventy-something year old guy who was vigorously kicking his leg as high as his chest. He could probably take me, so don’t count him. Then there was that Asian woman who was walking about twice as fast as me. Don’t count her either. And that woman who was walking about ninety miles an hour backwards. Don’t count her. Other than those three, I think I was OK. Oh, wait, there was a twenty-something runner who looked like she could kick my butt. Actually, two of them. Don’t count them either. See? Safe.

In the neighborhood surrounding the park, many people had put in these teeny-tiny vegetable gardens. There was one that was in the fifteen inches between the sidewalk and the street – full of lettuce, peas and broccoli, freshly weeded and watered.

The whole area is interesting from a civil engineering point of view (Hi, Dad!), too. Many of the houses have entrances eight to ten feet below street level. Some have bridges to second story entryways. It turns out that well after the houses were established, Chicago needed to put in sewers, so they raised all the streets by about ten feet, letting gravity make the sewage flow. This was no small project – so far, I know it to be about a mile and a half square, and I haven’t headed in the other direction yet. I can’t even imagine the cost and red tape a project like that would take now.

I met with my teaching team this morning. Unfortunately, the wifi at the cafe we were at was excruciatingly slow. Still, we got a bunch of stuff done and got to know each other a bit. We divvied (there’s a good Words With Friends word when you are stuck with vees) up the material for the first week, and to my genuine surprise, both TAs volunteered for large chunks of the activities. I would not have expected a high school student to volunteer for a half hour lecture/activity on coding conditionals, but there you go.

In the evening, I took myself downtown to explore the Millennium Park/Navy Pier area a bit. I met a few interesting people. One was a woman who was taking pictures near Buckingham Fountain in the park holding a Chelsea (Barbie’s little sister – I just did a heck of a lot of research to figure that out, so you’re welcome) up in front of every picture. I figured that there had to be a good story behind it, so I asked. It turns out that she writes books to help people to know about places, and the doll is the guide. I should’ve asked if I could take the doll’s picture too, so you could see it, but I only thought of it ten minutes later.

Also at the fountain, I discovered that even if you know EXACTLY how rainbows are formed, they are still comforting and wonderful, AND you know how to position yourself with respect to the water and light to see the best ones.

I’ll leave you with this: Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me.

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5 thoughts on “Week 0, Day 1

  1. The reason everyone’s exercising at 0715 CDT is that everyone in America is on EDT. Don’t you know?

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