I’ve been out of touch a long time and I have a lot to catch you up on. I am listing events in order of chronology rather than importance, and as always, not using anyone else’s names in case they don’t want to be google-able.
October: I started a Masters Program at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. The degree is Cultural Astronomy and Astrology. Cultural Astronomy is a newish term for the fields of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. In plain English, the exploration of all the ways mankind relates to the sky. The program site says, “We define Cultural Astronomy as the ‘study of the application of beliefs about the stars to all aspects of human culture, from religion and science to the arts and literature. It includes the new discipline of archaeoastronomy – the study of astronomical alignments, orientation and symbolism in architecture, ancient and modern”.
My study buddy from Kepler started with me and I met lots of new people through our meetings online. Then, my dad had a medical procedure and I was able to use it as an excuse to see him for his birthday. He came through the ordeal in fantastic shape and it was great to see the St Louis contingent, especially while the weather was nice. We went to one of my favorite sites, Daniel Boone’s home. The house and land are just beautiful and the tour is always good.
November: By the time I came home from St Louis, Mom was feeling really poorly so I flew down to Orlando. She decided not to undertake more invasive chemotherapy and had been referred to hospice. We had a really good week and thanks to our great petsitter, Scott was able to spend some quality time with her as well. Her condition declined rapidly after that. The hospice nurse came by every few days and mom’s friends stopped by to sit with her, bring me coffee and give me breaks. She passed comfortably the evening before Thanksgiving. Many friends came by that evening and we ended up having an impromptu memorial for her and with her. She had an extensive network of friends and it was great hearing all of their stories. Scott collected some great pictures of her and put them on Facebook. I can’t link to them here so I’ll make a separate page for them later on.
Scott flew down again to help me with her affairs and two of her friends insisted we take some time off. One gave us a pass to Disney and we had a wonderful time at Epcot. Mom always enjoyed Disney. She was a serious a roller coaster fan. In fact, the first time she and I went, we rode every roller coaster in the park and the runaway mine car twice. Another of her friends knew that she had wanted to see Harry Potter at Universal with us, so he made sure we were able to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was fantastic! We both agreed that the Hogwarts castle ride was the best either of us had ever been on! Mom would have loved it.
December: Scott and I flew home to Seattle and spent some time trying to adjust to life at home and without mom, and of course, work on my paper for the semester. I think Robby thought I was never coming home because he would not leave my side for days. My professor gave me an extension until the day after Christmas. Ironically, he was also my professor at Kepler College in ’07 when Mom was first diagnosed as terminal. There were six topics to choose from and I chose “Is Myth a Primitive Superstition?” Somehow, Word and Endnote, my citation software, disagreed over who had more control of my document. Word won and actually disabled the link between them. This resulted in Word deleting my current paper and “recovering” a previous version of it. It took Scott a day and a half to get the problem tracked down and software reinstalled and a more correct version of the paper recovered, proving, once again, that in-home IT is essential. I checked in with my Kepler study buddy to find out how her paper was going and found out she had dropped out! ACK! Shock, betrayal, all that stuff… I didn’t even call her back for 2 weeks! Sorry, babe, I’ve recovered now. I am happy with how the paper turned out and although I am not posting it here, if you’d like to read it, just email me!
Well, that is my report for the last quarter of 2010. I am looking forward to 2011 and to the start of next term in February, Research Methods: Ethnography and Fieldwork, and I have found a new study buddy who actually lives nearby. I just hope Research methods doesn’t overlap too much with BA level statistics because I barely survived all that math.