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Major Appreciation Day

I met Eric my senior year of college. Senior year, fifth year, sheesh, who’s counting? Uh, Eric is. He was a graduate student in the math department, I was an English major who barely escaped Algebra 101 (and that was by writing my prof an essay supporting the premise that I would never need to understand math. That was before I had a fourth grader with homework. And I left out my standard line that there would always be a cute boy around to calculate equations for me. Which has consistently proven to be true. But I digress.)

One week, Eric and I had “Major Appreciation Day.” First I went to class with him, then he went to class with me. It was sort of a cultural bridge designed to foster appreciation of each other’s world, even if we never fully embraced it. As I took my seat in Math 900 (again, who’s counting?), I looked over at Eric and said, “This isn’t math! This is Greek 101!”

Halfway through American Lit, Eric leaned over and said, “This isn’t college! This is bookclub!” (Kerouac that day.)

Eric came to visit us this month and as we toured the Air and Space Museum downtown, I saw Greek and we had a good laugh. We saw Arlington National Cemetery and the Smithsonian’s Natural History, History of Art and the Air and Space Museum the first day, and did a four+ mile walk around the Mall the second day to see everything we missed the first day, including a tour of the U.S. Capitol.

Like true Oregonians, we started each day with Starbucks; looked on as Oregon State lost; and ended the day completely drenched in rain.

P.S. That’s my kids showing Mr. Eric the LSU Tiger at Natural History, me getting squirrelly in museum of flight in front of the Wright Brother’s bicycle and my kids getting squirrelly at the end of the day and trying to fly.


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  • Christine - whoosh! That went totally over my head.  I don’t get it. But see, what did I tell you?  There will always be a cute boy around to do the math for me. And these days, they come with iPhones, so even if they don’t know the answer, they’ll find it.
    Life is good.  🙂

  • Eric - Here is a link to an explanation about ellipses. 


    You remember the echo chamber at congress.  In these diagrams F and F’ are the two focal points.  We were standing at one of the focal points and the tour guide was at the other focal point.  If you go in any direction from the focal point towards the outer curve the line will bounce off the curve and go through the other focal point.  This is two dimensional but the chamber is the same thing but in 3-D.  Sound does the same thing as a line in the diagram. 

    The reason he can talk softly and we still here him as that the sound goes in all directions from where he is talking and hits the shell in all directions and they all converge on the same point(focal point) where we were standing.

    I hope that explains it a little.



  • Eric Maasdam - I forgot to tell you.  According to the GPS on my iPhone we walked about 6 miles on Tuesday.ReplyCancel