square eyes

January 9. 2001

experiments with a broken mirror:






I feel like I've been sitting in front of the computer screen for most of the past week. Which is pretty much what I've been doing - until my legs are cramped, until I have a headache, until my eyes are crossing. For a good eight or ten hours a day. I'm beginning to have doubts about my would-be career as a computer nerd.

But some of the fruits of my labor are up at LEBYfencing.org, the page I designed for my Dad's fencing club. It was also my first experience registering a domain name and securing a host, but that ended up being fairly painless. I went home to Lebanon on Sunday night to deliver the website on disk, have my Dad look it over, and then help him get it online. He really likes the site, and I'm very proud of it, too.

Anyway, work continues on the redesign of this page. It's taking quite a while, mostly because I'm being so anal about it. Like this page is my great masterwork or something. It's looking good so far, though. Visually, it's a complete departure from what this site looks like now.

The other reason I went home to Lebanon was to do a pottery demonstration for my Mom's classes on Monday. I was actually dreading it in a way, because I was nervous about talking in front of the kids, as I usually am. But once I got into it, it was okay. It's a little tricky to adjust yourself for the different ages of the kids - for example, I went from a 6th grade to a 5th grade to a Kindergarden to a 4th grade. I obviously couldn't use words like "centrifugal force" with 5 and 6 year olds.

The Kindergardeners were the most fun. "They don't get jaded until 2nd or 3rd grade," my mother observed. They watched with wide-eyed fascination, shouting out enthusiatic comments as I threw a pot. "It looks like a tornado!" "It looks like a doughnut!" "Is it muddy?" "What's that sponge for?" And at the end of the demonstration, they were falling over each other asking questions, their voices getting louder and louder as they tried to be heard. Their enthusiasm was refreshing and I couldn't help but smile.

The 5th and 6th graders were somewhat more sedate. They still seemed interested, though they were less vocal about it. I looked around at them as I talked, some were afriad to meet my eyes. I could tell by just looking around at the group who was who in the class - the popular, older looking sophisicated girls were seated front and center, the rejects and losers seated more on the fringes. I mentioned this observation to my mother over lunch. By the time you get to 2nd or 3rd grade, you can already tell who's going to be on top of everything and popular and who's not, who's going to be the social outcast, who's going to be the jock, who's going to be the nerd. And once you're locked into those roles, you can't ever get out of them, at least not until you graduate.

I remember 4th and 5th grade especially vividly, for some reason. Although I spent those two years with a tight knit group of 3 or 4 really good friends, I still felt somewhat alone and dissatisfied. I spent most of those years wishing to be like this really popular girl in my class, Jodi. To be thin and fashionable and cool. I spent way too much time trying to be like her, trying to look for the magic formula. It was painful then, but kind of funny now.

One Year Ago:
"My Mom likes to say that my Dad is Grandma diluted. I guess that would make me my Father diluted."