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2005-03-10 - 8:35 p.m.

--preparing to meet elgan and an intellectual breakthrough --

Many important events today. But I am entering a phase of rejecting the irritating and depressing news and so I will stick with only two good points.

I had an educational breakthrough today. Normally I try to keep my political leanings out of the lectures, even when my soul screams at their naive love of genetically modified foods.

Today I could not. Today we talked about oil, natural gas, and coal reserves. I told them that I couldn't help myself, but I experience a sense-of-humor failure everytime the facts about drilling on the Alaskan shelf comes up on the political agenda. I presented them with the numbers:

The oil reserve on the Alaskan shelf is estimated at 3.2 million barrels. The United States imports 9.2 million barrels of oil DAILY. The prospect of wasting so much effort and destroying a unique ecosystem for less than a half a day's worth of oil is RIDICULOUS. Especially when our congress rejected a fuel efficiency bill that would have recovered more oil than this in less than ONE MONTH. It is OUTRAGEOUS.

A group of students applauded! And a few others asked me later, "so why are we even bothering??" and I replied, "Because people don't know the numbers. That's the entire reason why I'm trying to teach you to think with numbers."

It felt soooooo goood.


This evening I called elgan on her cellphone, and was greeted with such and cheerful and enthusiastic hello! I didn't actually imagine that I had a preconception of how Elgan would sound. But her supportive electronic demeanor always made me imagine a slower, deeper voice (not a negative thing, just different!). Hers in reality was light, cheerful, and bubbly. And in fact, it reminded me completely of our beloved prodical daughter Ilonina (who I hope will return someday to Diaryland, in typical, prodical fashion.).

Anyway, Elgan had dashed away from her dinner to speak with me for fifteen minutes from the ladies' room. Finally we arranged to meet tomorrow on the corner of Central Park. I am already certain that it will be a good time.

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