Tuesday, March 11, 2008

minor editorial notes and an interesting story

Okay, so here's why I need to quit teaching and make teacher man my full-time job (although, would I then need to change the name?): I could spend much more time editing to make sure that I don't make silly errors. Yesterday's entry was a perfect example.

1) My long-lost friend Claire and the Jason and Amy Erickson family are among my most dedicated readers, yet I somehow overlooked them in my Google searches. Had I been more vigilant, I would have learned that a) Claire joins Becky as one of my two most important friends because the first link that pops up for her is also actually about her--the Goodreads page of someone named Emily Ann, and b) Jason Erickson has brain cancer and needs our help; Amy Erickson is a professor in the geography department at Cambridge; Mike Erickson is running for Congress; and Sam Erickson directs videos for country superstars Brooks and Dunn. So there you go.

2) Also, Kelly Smith is a friend with whom Sara went to grad school. At the time, her name was Kelly Sanders. That hasn't been the case for some time, but I'm evidently still living in 2002. This slip-up actually isn't surprising--this week I emailed my dad to see if I could borrow the truck this weekend to move some of our stuff into a storage unit, which would be a perfectly reasonable question if it weren't for the fact that they traded that truck in months ago. I'm nothing if not underinformed. Anyway, my apologies Mrs. Smith. Your entry should have identified you as a blogger who describes herself as a "web slave since 1994."

Now, our friend Kelly's doppelganger raises an interesting question. Has she really been a web slave since 1994? How could that be? Who was that devoted to the Internet in 1994? I didn't even know how to email when I went to college in the fall of 1998. In fact, I distinctly recall the first time I was introduced to the Internet. Here's the story:

During my freshman year of high school, I took biology with Dennis Esch. We had three essay tests that were insanely difficult. (Incidentally, the two lowest grades I've ever earned were in geometry with Michael Manghera and this biology course.) One asked us to explain cellular respiration, one asked us to explain photosynthesis, and I don't remember what the other one was about. Anyway, I didn't understand any of these processes, so I asked the librarian--Mr. Waters--if there were any books that I could use to study. He took me over to his computer and logged on to something called the "web." Half an hour later, I was looking at a 2-page explanation of cellular respiration. It was perfect. So he printed it off for me and I took it home. Now, the purpose of these tests was probably to understand something like cellular respiration well enough to be able to explain it back to him, but I didn't think that seemed like something I was capable of, so I memorized the 2 pages that Mr. Waters had printed for me, word for word. It took me like 2 hours, but I had it down. It was pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.

So I went into class the next day, I regurgitated all of the stuff I'd memorized onto a couple pages of notebook paper, and 2 days later Mr. Esch returned the paper with a 96 on the top. Outstanding. Immediately below the 96, it said, "See me after class." So I did--with some apprehension--and he just said, "This was pretty impressive. There's stuff in there that we didn't even talk about. I was just wondering where you got all that information." So I told him about this amazing "program" on Mr. Waters's computer, and he said, "That's great. Nice job." I walked out of the room feeling good.

Flash forward 7 years. I'm sitting in an education class at Ripon College, and some kid asks Professor Williams, "What if we think a kid cheated but we can't prove it?" Her answer: "I'd just write something like, 'See me after class,' on his paper, then tell him something like, 'This is really good, and I was just wondering where you got your information.'" Wait one damn minute. Seven years later, I realized that Mr. Esch thought I cheated, which I absolutely, positively did not. So if you're reading this, Mr. Esch, I earned that 96. And I also probably earned the CD you gave me for the term. Now, as for the geometry grade, Mike...

Later gators.


The Smith's said...

Wow. After googling myself it just confirms that Kelly Smith is the most generic name of all time!

panykattack said...

I haven't been "August" since 2004 but I didn't expect you to know that. :)

Claire said...

Your mention of Goodreads reminds me that my mom hasn't accepted my friend request yet. Do you think I should be offended and/or worried that she's planning on cutting me out of the will? Hmm.

And you have a good point about 1994, but when I did the math, I'm fairly certain that I became a web slave in 1995 and had used it sporadically before that. Which I definitely think contributes to my addiction to it now.

I am very impressed with your cellular respiration story.