Thursday, July 25, 2013

NorCal, Where You At?

Yesterday was a little slice of grad school in the middle of the summer. Not even the middle of the term, as we haven't even started that yet. You will recall that my trip down to the LA Times Festival of Books in April was my first time meeting up with a group from my program, off-campus. I had yet to do so with the northern California folk. Luckily, my friend Pia arranged a little get-together for us at her house in San Francisco yesterday, so we could make good on something we've been talking about doing for a long time.

The kids and I picked up my friend Dorothy at about 9:00 (Dorothy and I live within 15 minutes of each other, we discovered when we started the program) and we headed over to San Francisco.

Two things:

1) PLEASE drop everything and go read this lovely essay Dorothy just had published on The Rumpus last weekend. She describes an experience with her elderly father that still stuns me. I promise you will not be sorry you read this thing with your eyes. Homegirl can write.

I'll wait.

2) You know me, I love ANY excuse to go to San Francisco (or, anywhere, really).

It's about a two hour drive from my house to SF, but it flew by. Dorothy and I haven't seen each other since Palm Springs (just emailed... snail mailed... Facebook messaged...), and we talked writing all the way. Gah. So nice to have friends with whom I can nerd out and use the shorthand and feel understood. Just. Awesome. And Dorothy is just everything you could want in a friend, anyway. Just a pleasure. We got to SF in five minutes, it felt like.

Since we were early, I did what I love to do: I made Dorothy show me where she grew up. She lived in the city until junior high. We found her old house in the Outer Sunset (by Ocean Beach and the Zoo) and she showed me her elementary school. I love to see people in the places they used to live, hear them talk about the things they remember.

After our trip down memory lane, we headed across town to Pia's. To my great pleasure, my GPS took us through St. Francis Wood. HOLY CRAP. Beautiful.

We found Pia's, we settled in, and pretty soon everyone showed up.

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So strange (in a good way) to fall right back into conversations from breakfast at the hotel a little more than a month ago. And in an odd twist of fate, as we were sitting there, we all started to get these emails--a new thing for us this quarter in the program: progress reports.

Yes, progress reports. A paragraph-ish each from our professors about our progress in the program. Guess how long those were a secret? Yeah, not long.

Mine made my day and I'm going to post it on the fridge and show it to my mom and dad. You gotta take the good words where you can get 'em, man.

Dorothy and I drove back to town by about dinnertime, and since E had a softball game, I took the kids to Chinese food. Way too tired too cook.

But look! Some more familiar voices came in the mail yesterday to add to this growing stack... my summer of reading professor books continues. This has been a delightful reading project.

This is a fun reading project I'm doing.

1 comment:

  1. That was a beautiful essay! Thanks for linking to it! You're right, she's a wonderful writer. She made me all teary thinking about my grandfathers and the same kind of conversations that we had shortly before they each died. Bittersweet memories that I will forever hold dear.

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