Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friday the 13th. Day one stranded on the raft...

Back from Virginia Tech. Nick's REU was working on an audio array to see if people can distinguish sound landscapes the way we can visually. I got to try out the testing & I must say I'm not that great at spatial listening, but it was interesting. All the students made posters of the projects they'd worked on & explained them to those in attendance. (It was fun during the poster presentation where they introduced the few parents who were there. I waved when they said "Nick's mom is here," & the guy doing the introducing said "Oh! I thought you were a new graduate student!")

What was REALLY fun, though, & possibly Nick's true mission at V-Tech, was the raft. Yes, just as you imagined: he gathered hundreds of plastic bottles (coke, gatorade, water, ice tea, etc., that his new friends drank. He drank from the drinking fountain in the hall) & bought $20 worth of duct tape. Chloe & Jose (I guess you have to imagine the accent that makes that a 2-syllable Hispanic name) & I helped him tape them all together. On Friday the 13th we had a grand launching--probably going to be on you tube--where various persons, including me, in my dress, & the director of the engineering program or somesuch, paddled around. It was awesome fun, & just the sort of thing Nick does on a regular basis.

He made lots of good new friends there, especially Miss Chloe, guru of origami. She made me the tiniest little rose out of a strip of paper that used to be around her silverware at Bogen's where the REU crew went for dinner. I was invited to tag along.

Great drive back, although there was a portion where some pretty obnoxious trucks were hard to lose. They sped up so much on the downhills & slowed down so much on the uphills that neither going slow nor going fast would get rid of them. I solved the dilemma of a particular truck that kept tailgating by pulling off to get gas. Set it to automatic & washed the windows & when I came back it had clicked off at exactly $30.00.

Blacksburg isn't exactly Asheville, but they do have a way cool art supply store downtown called Mish Mish (I think that's the name...) where I bought a new cute little watercolor set. Even littler & cuter than the one I gave Nick. And these cool brushes that hold water in the handles. I did a couple paintings at a coffee shop today. One is the outline of a human figure with the words you are here & an arrow pointing to the heart. Remember that. You are here. Right in my heart.

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