Monday, April 09, 2007

Visiting home

My girlfriend and I spent the past weekend visiting home, which happens to also be where I went to grad school. We spent Friday visiting my old school, where we had lunch with former classmates, and I spent the rest of the time walking up and down the department talking to faculty and staff. Everyone is excited because this is real life application. Several of the faculty asked if I can give a seminar talk when I get back (every academic department in the country is constantly looking for people to give seminar talks). One staff guy who is prior service (Army) and I traded stories. And a couple of the other administrative staff had motherly type reactions (see FAQ).

This was the visit-family-before-deploying visit. Spent time with parents over dinners. Ditto sisters and family friends. My cousin's daughter was a lot of fun. She is going through the stage where she focuses on one thing at a time for about 15 minutes at a time. At one point she was coloring and I wanted to look and she got mad. When her mother asked if I could watch her color she said, "no, because it is not good." I did not think I was that harsh a critic.

Did not really dwell to much on Afghanistan when I was with my parents. This was more for spending time together.

Lots of time spent telling friends what I was going to be doing. One of the deacons from my home church made the observation that after all these years of war, noone from there had gone in the service (well, there was a son of a member in the marines, and one person was in the marines before he started coming to this church. And there actually was one guy who went out of high school, but not many people knew him.) So this was something new for many of them.

Funny story of the weekend. At church, the deacon who was moderator of the service was going to announce that I was deploying. There was a part of the service where they greet newcomers and visitors, so as part of this he says "and L and (girlfriend) are here visiting, raise your hands. They have a special announcement that I'll tell you later." Now, if you do not find this amusing, you need to find a female friend above the age of 21 to read this and explain this too you. What made it worse, was, well, this deacon was planning on explaining this when announcements came, at the very end of service. But the guy who was before him jumped the gun, and closed out the service. Without the promised announcement. So everyone who was paying attention came to me asking about the "special announcement" after service.
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