Tuesday, May 13
Arabianranta mall, 18:10
This morning Naa and I got up at 7:10 and managed to catch the 7:35 bus.
I spent the morning on what proved to be the final session for the XML group. Alexandra pointed out that we had now covered the whole syllabus as I had set it out at the beginning of Period 3, and asked what else we were going to do. I gave this some thought and decided that finishing the course two days early was a morale-boosting way to end the year. They have indeed done everything I intended to do, and more.
Not everyone had quite finished and so I announced that I would hold a session tomorrow that was entirely voluntary, and which would consist of clinics in which anyone who was stuck or puzzled could ask me anything they wanted, and I would then work with them to get their projects finished. The course may have finished but my work is still ongoing.
I spent the afternoon listening to thesis presentations. They were all successful, some more than others. Robin held his own in the discussion that followed his presentation and the questioning actually forced him to demonstrate that he knew considerably more than the thesis itself might lead a reader to believe.
I then sat down and agreed to allow my laptop to install important updates. Once it had me at its mercy it told me that installing the updates might take up to two hours. However, at 18:00 Jutta told me to come to Chico’s with her to meet Camie, who is just back from two weeks in and around the Sahara desert. I left my computer churning and followed her.
It is raining and the pavement is glistening. We are walking towards Chico’s where this month’s “American style” dishes are on display in the window. Camie will be there and it will be good to see her; we have been promising to meet each other for a drink for almost two years. The conversation will range from the dullness of Moroccan food in small towns and villages to the fact that Camie and Timo are looking for a row house in the Vartiokylä area.
The three of us will chat for almost an hour, and then I will leave them to return to Arcada to finish a paper that will connect my doctoral research to the South African project.
By 21:12 this will be drafted and I will set out, through the drizzle, for home, a shower and (possibly) another episode of Criminal Minds. As it turns out only the shower will actually happen. I will arrive home to find Naa and Irma cuddling. Naa has been crying and sad all evening. Irma has been helping and holding her.
Aware that this is not a moment for me to join in, but rather something that the two of them need to share, I will retreat to the shower room to get clean, before we all go our separate ways to bed.
I will remain awake for an hour or so until I suddenly fall asleep mid-thought.