IMR: 1998: February: 02 -- Monday, 3:50 p.m.
University of Hawai`i Press, Manoa Valley, Hawai`i
As I type, Katie is on her way home. Again.

I'm confident she's well, or the closest thing to it following an ordeal like that. While Jen still has her shaky moments, her face brightened last night after Katie was alert enough to play not once, but twice throughout the day.

Of course, for a week-old infant, "play" is defined as uncoordinated wiggling and flapping of limbs, and baffled stares in every which direction.

But when Jen and I were huddled close and holding her, making silly noises, stroking her hair and soft skin while she cooed and blinked and stretched... even though we were crouched in the corner of a sterile hospital room, I felt like I was flying. Katie's beautiful face, and the giggles and sighs from my long worried wife, lifted a cloud from over me that I didn't even know was there... or didn't want to acknowledge.

In retrospect, when we brought Katie home the first time, we never really had a chance to be alone with her; to pay 110 percent of our attention to her. Jen and I were exhausted and starved for sleep, and could only think about how long we'd have to nap before the next feeding.

Then I had to worry about getting back to school, and then she got sick.

I'm optimistic about this second homecoming. I can't wait to hold her tiny hand again. (Or rather, have her tiny hand hold my finger again.)

Jen just called.

They're not on their way home. Yet.

Dr. Boyens -- whom I've lately come to call "That Silly Doctor" or "That Goofy Doctor" -- breezed through to authorize Katie's discharge, and even scribbled out a prescription for vitamins to recharge Katie's tired blood.

The problem is, the prescription basically reads, "vitamins." No dosage amounts, no frequency of ingestion, no length of prescription. Yet again, the fine nurses of KMC are scrambling to find the ever elusive Dr. Boyens to get the missing information.

Even Jen, who remains loyal to the doc, started her call with, "My doctor is an idiot."

I'll admit he's good natured, compassionate and generally knowledgable, and I'm impressed with the fact that he's a "family doctor" -- an OBGYN, pediatrician and who knows what else all rolled into one. But I've always been a bit put off by his occasionally... dizzy moments and apalling lack of promptness.

Then again, he's not my doctor. What's important is that Jen's comfortable with him, and boy oh boy, is she.

Now, it bears noting that Dr. Boyens is six feet tall, thirtysomething, with long wavy blonde hair and blue eyes. Even the nurses in the birthing room giggled about how attractive he was. He's got good taste in music (he recognized "Hepcat"), a sense of humor, and he loves to surf. As doctors go, he's quite a specimen.

I asked my mom what she thought of him, and she answered, "He seems nice." Then she added, "Cute, too."

In fact, the other day, Jen fumed for hours wondering when he'd arrive to check in on Katie. I thought she'd shove his stethoscope down his throat. But when he finally came -- and stayed for only 15 minutes at that -- Jen was all smiles.

It was his day off, and she'd never seen him in shorts before.

[ Inbox: Defending Doctor Boyens ]

Today, the accreditation team checking out the UH Department of Journalism met with students to hear their perspectives on the program. I didn't leave the hospital in time for either of my classes, but I did make it to the session.

Everyone gave glowing reviews. Print, broadcast, public relations... they all love their major. There was nary a sour note in the half-hour session Micheal and I were in. Save for the facilities in aging Crawford Hall, there were no complaints.

When asked to name our favorite professors, all but one -- the esteemed Dr. Brislin -- had more than one fan. Micheal and I put in a good word for Keever. Kato, I think, got the most praise.

Nearly all of the students gave the program an A, a few a B, and nothing else. By contrast, the university as a whole averaged a low C. And when the team asked about the UH communications program, with which the J department was almost merged, there was a unanimous consensus that, compared to journalism students, COM majors don't know a press release from a ransom note.

The session went so well, in fact, one of the team members joked, "Maybe they're all PR majors."

Afterward, the students milled in the J office and chatted about how well we did.

Sharon -- who, I might add, got a heap of praise herself -- asked, "Where's Ancog?" Apparently, she was supposed to have been in our group.

Since she seems to think the first 30 minutes of Magazine Writing isn't worth her time, and since our session lasted only 30 minutes, perhaps she was still on her way.

"Tell her to come see me," Sharon told a friend.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 2 February 1998 · Last Modified: 1 July 1998