Okay, we’re back, and trying to catch up.
My experience from this trip: my sister-in-law’s house is a lot cleaner than mine is. I attribute this to the fact that she works outside the house part-time, giving her at least one day at home (and probably more) which she can (and I think does) use to maintain some order. My sister’s house, and my friend L’s house are as messy as mine is. No one can possibly care about this, but I would like to get the house at least vacuumed before N comes home. When I will do this is the big question which remains, at present, unanswered.
I read a lot. I finished the YA trilogy by Cassandra Clare: City of Bones, City of [?Ash?], City of Glass. Which I liked. Still, I can’t quite put out of my mind the fact that the author started out writing Harry Potter fan fiction, and that there was a huge scandal because some of her, essentially, novels written on-line involved some amount of plagiarism. I think she was learning how to write, and obviously not planning to publish those books, and the whole thing is sort of based on plagiarism anyway. But I can’t help thinking of her characters as people borrowed from Rowling, to some extent. Which is all a little bit too bad, since they are good books.
I also am reading American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld, which is really good. It’s a sort of imagined autobiography of Laura Bush, and she actually does a great job of sort of explaining, psychologically, how Laura and George might make sense. Especially Laura. It’s very good, and I was never able to get through her earlier book, Prep.
I tried to read Lauren Groff’s Delicate Edible Birds, and did not really like it enough to finish, although I loved Templeton.
That may be it —
Further thoughts involve M and college. The reason I think N’s college works so well for her is that it is a small college, and the students are quite bright, but it’s not overwhelming. N is solidly in the middle, maybe even toward the high end, brain-wise, which for her is a good thing. My kids are not the shining lights in the classroom, I think. We are all really more the type to hide our lights under barrels whenever possible. It’s not a good thing, but it’s a thing, and a thing worth considering, I think. For M, too, we need to find a place that will challenge but also support her, just like N is being challenged, and working very hard, and learning tons, but also where opportunities are open to her. She can be on the club hockey team, she can go to Russia, she knows the professors and they know her. I’m impressed. She probably writes a paper or two a week. I compare that to my experience, where I probably wrote 6-8 papers a semester and knew none of my professors. It was my fault — I was shy and happy to hide in the crowd and also easily intimidated. But given the fact that that was (and is) my personality (and something I fear I have passed on, to some extent), I think N’s choice of college was better than mine, and I think we need to be careful to find something like that for M.
I’m not sure the college she’s picked out is exactly that place. I’m not sure she could get in there, either. I guess I’m hesitant to send her to a place where she’s the last one picked. I think I’d rather send her to a place where they’re happy to have her — but not the place where they’re desperate to have her, either. Hmmm.
Gosh — look at the time!