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schencka
Letter to Grandma Schenck
I love the new use of my blog I've discovered: as a documentary machine for notes, anything and all that I write (like the below), and eventually, pictures. It's really nice how Mindsay holds on to all of this material I otherwise would lose or not know where to put. I get a kick out of seeing how would respond to notes about Leslie Fiedler, too.

Hello Grandma Schenck,

How are things going in Iowa? It was a real pleasure to have been there this winter. Thanks again for your gift! Hopefully, when I am aged enough, there will still be Social Security for me.

Well, I am getting used to the week-to-week schedule that I am in this semester. I've got nothing to do on Fridays! On Mondays, I have a graduate seminar in the afternoon, on Tuesdays and Thursdays I teach composition at 8 a.m., and another seminar on Wednesday mornings. Teaching at 8 a.m. is interesting. Some of the students seem like they'd rather not be there (obviously), but I try to be entertaining and make things entertaining. I've been bringing about a decent amount of discussion, and to my surprise, things got a little out of hand last time. We were discussing these "stylish" boots that some young women around here (and California) wear called "Ugg boots." They look like snow shoes, but apparently they're comfortable; the boots are certainly a status symbol: they're made out of sheepskin. Anyway, the students discussed whether the boots were Bad or Good. Since the class is at 8 a.m., I think the students getting carried away is okay. They need to wake up, many of them. It's funny--the class is supposed to be 75 minutes long, but once it gets to 9 a.m., they're really thinking about getting in line and getting some food--before everybody else on campus (many students have their next class at 10 a.m.).

Yes, so it turns out that I'm getting up early Tues/Wednes/Thurs, and not the other days. It's different, but I like that just-woke-up-energy. It's fresh, sort of like when I got up at 5:25 a.m. to work with hogs.

So today I paid some bills. I am getting a new cell phone; I splurged a bit. The phone will have a camera and an MP3 player. The MP3 player (which plays songs that you, not a radio, control) I had used for four years finally quit working. I bet I listened to it for 1,500 hours.

But, I'll have you know, I did not splurge worse than my yon wife. She bought a new furniture set--why I do not know: a sofa, love seat, and chair. All of them are leather. My new cell phone will cost $150, no small amount, but Jess's furniture, which I'm not paying a cent for, will cost more than ten times that. She's not economical, and I ceased to worry about her anti-Scandinavian (despite her last name) way of spending money. With a little luck, she'll be able to pay off her most immediate, high-interest debts before November, when her current job will be over. I doubt it, but then again, I've checked my worries at the door regarding Jess and money. She's obviously not worried about getting a decent-paying job after this campaign, but the most rudimentary Schenck logic would offer that *the job she wants* will not be there waiting for her on November 7, 2006. And the fact that her family is in transition is another perilous aspect: since her parents are getting divorced, borrowing money in an emergency from them is different now for Jess--neither parents really have money. Linda and Stacy may, in fact, move to Minneapolis--Linda would be getting a promotion at the company she works for, and relocate to the central office--but this would be costly. And Jack is preparing for having his funds seized for the divorce by more or less hiding his money, probably overseas, and claiming to have $30,000 in credit card debt. Granted, this is not all normal for the Knutson family, but it has grown into a sort of normalcy, and Jess reacted to a bare-looking, denuded large living room by filling it with material goods, as is her wont. Thus this is the life I lead.

On a lighter note, I am happy and healthy. I've been working out a lot at the student recreation center and eating well. I made $70 working two nights at BJ's Restaurant. I have grad student friends that I go out with every so often. I write on my weblog (blog), on which I converse sometimes with Stephen. I still love to read books. I'm reading _Moby Dick_--the very edition that my father Rich read when he was a freshman at Drake! It's Melville--precisely what Robert was reading so much of in his grad school days. Another good thing: despite the best efforts of Jess, I still have an old-fashioned typewriter with which I can write actual letters to people! (She doesn't like how much unnecessary space it eats up.) And, as you may know, I get to go skiing with my dad and brother Paul (maybe Evan) this Spring Break! I am very excited for that. I'm going to ask my dad about glaciers and geology when we're at the top of a mountain snow bowl. He just loves that stuff.

Boy, is it cold riding my bike to class at 7:45 a.m. here in Tucson! Coldest time of the day--it's about 45 degrees, which feels really cold to me. I may need to invest in some gloves!

Much love. Hope Evelyn is in decent shape.
[Evelyn is a friend of my G-ma's that probably has Alzheimer's but lives on her own. It worries G-ma Schenck; my wife's money idiocy probably does the same, but that at least I can get off my chest by expressing it to someone. Love that blog!]
No profanes - sacred
 
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