(And if anyone feels moved to ask me five more questions, go ahead.)
Questions from helloheather:
1. I wouldn't say that we knew each other very well in college days, but I certainly knew OF you and knew who you were. What do you remember about me from college days?
And here's where my steel-trap-bated-with-swiss-cheese memory rears its ugly head. Without much of a chance to reminisce about this stuff over the years, my memories from that time period are rapidly vanishing into the other mental filing cabinet; the one with the rusty, jammed lock and the suspicious stain underneath.
You're the only person I know with that particular shade of red hair. I remember having gobs of fun VMS TALKing with you & Katie Duerringer at 3 in the morning on a few occasions. You always had a smile ready for any occasion, at least those occasions I was around to see. You were one of a small group of women (and an even smaller group of pretty women) at Valpo who would hang out & chat with me on occasion, such as at random parties at the Phi Mu Alpha house; and I remember on those occasions wishing I could break through my wall of shyness and lack of social graces to really be a friend rather than just an acquaintance. I also remember that you were sitting next to me in The Swamp's study (or was it already its own bedroom by that point?) the one and only night I drank enough to throw up, though at least I had the good sense to manage to wobble the ten feet to the bathroom first. (I've still touched neither Zima nor peach schnapps since that night, and it took nearly ten years for me to even be able to eat fresh peaches again without being sick to my stomach at the thought.) I remember how happy you were to join SAI (and how happy the SAIs were to have more good-quality pledges joining up). And then there's this little bit of doggerel:
And I *think* you may have been around for the frequent repeats of the "Asthmatic Cow" joke, too, but I'm pretty sure that was kateshort's joke.
2. Which of kateshort's qualities make her excellent wife material?
Most important, over everything else, is her general ability and willingness to put up with (or work with me to undo) my quirks, mental tics, and bad habits on a long-term basis.
3. I have always thought being a librarian would be pretty cool, but it never actually occurred to me to pursue it as a career. What attracted you to being a librarian?
Ah, finally an easy one...
The less obvious answer is that my father is a librarian, and when I was growing up, what I always wanted to be was what my father was, or a reasonably close facsimile thereof. I've never had any more ambition than that.
The long answer is that when I graduated from Valpo, I had a degree in history, and thus was exactly qualified to be the part-time assistant to the #3 fry cook at McDonalds. Since paying for Valpo completely tapped out my savings and most of my parents', and with no prospect for a well-paying career that would enable me to handle more school loans than I already had, the original plan was to work for long enough to build up some savings again, and then go back to school to get a master's degree in some field. General shyness and anxiety didn't help the job search any, and my father helped me out by telling me how to get at the want ads for the area libraries. There was an opening at a library that simply required a bachelor's degree, the ability to type, and the ability to follow directions, and they hired me on the spot. I soon found that I liked--or at least didn't mind--what I was doing, and the other people there were good people. One thing led to another, and I've now been there for twelve years, and have no plans to leave. After seven years of that, soaking up as much on-the-job knowledge as I could, and gaining a wife who was ready, willing, and able to light a fire under me to get me to move on with life once in a while, I finally did go back to school, got my master's degree, and officially became a "librarian." (Before that, I was just a "library technical assistant", also known as a "clerk.")
What I didn't consciously know when I started out there is that my analytical reasoning skills, habit of organizing things, and love of trivia/information (and thus knowing a little bit about a lot of things) are excellent job skills for a cataloger.
4. Let's say you could barter household chores. What would you gladly do for someone else, and what would you try to get them to do for you?
A. Shovel snow. (It's not good for the old back injuries, nor the ol' ticker, but I've never minded doing it--though not always right away.)
B. Take out the trash.
5. Did you ever take extracurricular lessons as a kid (piano, karate, pottery, etc.)? If so, did you enjoy them? If not, do you think you would have liked to do something like that?
• Piano lessons from age 4 through age 13 or thereabouts. Started with my father as teacher, and hated it. (I don't remember those lessons at all, but that's what my parents told me.) Soon moved on to become one of my mother's students, and did okay for a while, but eventually that didn't work out either. (Liked being able to play, didn't like being forced to practice.) Eventually moved on to another piano teacher, and did okay for a while, but eventually didn't like that, either. (Still liked being able to play, had no desire whatsoever to ever, ever be in a recital, and still hated practicing. I didn't pay enough attention to what she was doing to be able to comment fairly on the piano teacher herself.) Was finally allowed to quit somewhere around the time I graduated from 8th grade--by that point, I was often getting physical pain, whose cause stymied doctors, at the thought of practicing for and going to (and while at, lasting through) the next lesson. (Though there likely were other--still technically undiagnosed--things going on of which that was but one symptom.) I still enjoy being able to play, am happy that it enabled me to be able to read music as well as I do, and wish I had a full-size keyboard to practice on when the whim strikes, though. I still don't have the discipline or desire to practice every day or even every week, but it's now been long enough since I played regularly that I can feel the keyboard skills and finger strength draining away to nothing, and I don't like that feeling.
• Trumpet lessons through the school from 5th through 8th grades, switching first to valve trombone then to euphonium (baritone) when I got braces in 8th grade. Didn't like having to practice for that either, but enjoyed the music we'd play as an ensemble. We couldn't afford private lessons when I got to high school, so that was that for lessons, but I kept playing in the band all through high school and college. I got to be very good at sight-reading music, as well as at learning relatively difficult music by playing it (and then in the Phi Mu Alpha chorus, singing it) once or twice a week with the ensemble.
• Oh man, I'd almost forgotten this one: One art class through the park district; I don't remember exactly when that was or even how long it lasted. My Great-Uncle Martin died while or shortly before I was in that class, so that would make it... <checks family tree> during my 4th grade year. I don't remember much about the class, but I do remember enjoying it.
• If there were any others, my memories of them have long since been eaten by mental dust bunnies.
Feudalism: Serf & Turf