Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And so it begins

I finally got S.L. to read an abstract I wrote for this big conference (an abstract is like a mini-version of the paper you will present), and he said it was no good. Well actually, he said it needed to address larger theoretical issues in order to be worthy of the meetings. That’s all well and good, but the abstracts are due on September 15th, so it doesn’t give me a whole lot of time to work out a grand theory (note, this is something that I initially wrote in June, because I like to plan ahead). To say the least, last night was unpleasant. I was trying to make my case-specific report of Scooby’s death fit into some theoretical paradigm, hating it, and sobbing hysterically because I wished was a physical therapist instead of a grad student. If there’s one thing I hate (actually, there are a lot of things I hate), its trying to pull something together in the 11th hour (Amy, was it Mrs. W who always said that…”The eleventh hour..?”) I’m a planner. I plan everything, and I do it ahead of time. Its just the way I function. But 99.9% of the world prefers to fly by the seat of their pants and do everything at the last minute. S.L. is extraordinarily busy (this is the kind of life I can look forward to if I actually make it through this thing) so he doesn’t have any time to go over my stuff until it becomes absolutely necessary. Hence the 11th hour. So I spent an vomitous evening of self-doubt, but in the end I somehow managed to emphasize the theoretical issues raised by the dog predation incidents I observed on Ometepe, and S.L. gave it the thumbs up. {{Big sigh of relief}}. For the moment everything is calm.

Then this morning I had an email from Eduardo, my first in a couple of weeks. He assured me that the Hurricane had not harmed Ometepe, he said that he missed me, and he asked if I could send a photo of Rob and me with my family. He also asked if I could sell him a “little” computer to help him learn English. Well, I was willing to “sell” him my flashlight and hiking boots for a smile, but I’m not sure that a computer transaction is likely. We’ll have to see. He would look really cute working on a little iMac though.

I had asked him if he’d climbed the volcano yet (he was planning on doing this around the time I left) and in his reply he said that he could not climb the volcano because he has a problem with his kidneys and the hike would cause him too much pain. Hearing that sent me into a state for sure. I kept hoping that I misunderstood his email (it is difficult to decipher his little words, since he doesn’t know a lot of spelling or grammar rules), so I had my Spanish-speaking friend Frida look at the email, and she agreed with my interpretation. What could be wrong with the kidneys of a 12-year old little boy?! I haven’t been very productive today—I just keep pacing around thinking of poor little Eduardo and wondering what it is that is wrong and hoping that it is not serious but trying to figure out a way to get him cured if it is. Let’s everybody keep your fingers crossed on this one. Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

....... Regarding little Eduardo... I've already ask the man in charge to send some angels to watch over our favorite Nicaraguan! Let's think positive - He's going to be all right.
....... And...while you're at it, please think positive while doing your work. You have such great ideas - don't let those negative thoughts win you over. Just do what you do best - When S.L. gives you advice - take it and run with it and say, "thank God for S.L." he's going to get me through this. We already know that you're a champion, now you have to convince yourself. We'll love you and support you every time you fall down - cause we all know you'll get right back up and try harder - because that's who you are.
Mom Scho

amypfan said...

I am 100% with you on the need to pre-plan, organize, and get things done ahead of time, as well as the intense frustration and stress that ensue when the rest of the world does not adhere to this plan. I'm glad to hear you managed to pull it together though. As for Eduardo, oh dear! I am largely hoping that with the lack of doctors, he may not really know what kidneys are and thus is taking some kind of self-diagnosed guess??? At any rate, it's definitely not good that a 12-year-old boy is in pain. Can you email the English teacher and get more details?