IMR: 1998: March: 11 -- Wednesday, 8:49 a.m.
Crawford Hall 210, Univ. of Hawai`i-Manoa, Hawai`i
Borg's class again.

While we waited for "the usual stragglers," we started off this morning with a science quiz from the back of a recent National Geographic magazine. Did you know that the point opposite another on the globe is called its antipode? And that the antipode of Hawai`i is Botswana?

Well. You learn something new every day.

Like last class, we're again taking turns bringing our classmates up to speed on the progress of our profiles. We've got local musician Arthur Lyman, marine biologist Jim Maragos, plant pathologist Harry Yamamoto, UH lab school principal Loretta Krauss...

Fortunately, I finally chose my subject: Keali`i Reichel. Now to get an interview...

(Borg, shocked to hear of how close I was cutting it, said, "You can tell this guy has daily paper deadlines in his blood.")

Hey. Sharon just made a surprise visit, poking her head into the room to give Borg a message. When she surveyed the excess of empty chairs (the number of students attending class has dropped consistently since day one), she asked, "Where is everyone?"

"This is it," Borg answered. "The creme de la creme."

"Hmph," Sharon responded. "Give them all As and send them home."

There were titters of approval from the class.

"You got here just in time," Borg remarked to Gen, who arrived shortly before 9 a.m.

"Everyone except her," Sharon chuckled, disappearing.

Borg seems to pretty much have a set style in mind for this assignment, one that involves opening the article with a humorous, attention-grabbing tale, putting the meat of the thing in the middle and closing by returning to the introduction.

("I have an opening antidote," reported Gen.)

Tres formula, but I'm not complaining. At least in this class the students know pretty well what the teacher wants -- something that can't be said for most writing-intensive courses.

Wednesday, 9:17 p.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i

Katie graduated from sponge baths to tub baths last night. (Thank god we have an actual tub to graduate to.) Jen just got in and held Katie on her lap while we lathered up her thick but fine hair and scrubbed off a day's worth of spilled milk.

Unlike the last time we tried bathing her in the tub (which led to a screaming fit of never-before-seen proportions), she didn't mind at all. Having mom in there with her was probably the key factor. She seemed totally fascinated by the sensation of water around her feet and arms... no doubt she'll take to the ocean well, too.

She's getting more vocal, adding squeaks and cooes to her formerly limited repertoire of cries. She's also moving her head around a lot more, and will probably be holding it up all the time soon. Meanwhile, Jen and I have pulled a couple of little shirts that no longer fit.

As Jen is fond of saying, "She's growing up so fast!" Here we are, entering her seventh week of life, and it won't belong before she's two months. Then two years. It's enough to make me dizzy.

We went WIC shopping tonight, driving all the way to the Kapahulu Foodland instead of the Safeway just a few blocks away. Convenience be damned, I just don't like Safeway. From the store layout to the customers, it just doesn't feel right. The fact that you need a quarter to get a shopping cart doesn't help.

I was surprised to see several other families with WIC folders wandering the aisles. We recognized each other, surreptitiously scanned the contents of each other's carts, but didn't say anything.

Despite the stigma of WIC coupons that Jen feels so strongly, I don't really feel embarassed. Especially seeing the other shoppers, many of whom seemed a lot better off than us.

In fact, I think WIC is offered to everyone with an infant these days, which I think is a neat idea. It's hard to argue with an effort to make sure children are well fed during the most important developmental years. Even if it's just a block of cheese or a can of tuna or a gallon of milk, every little bit helps.

Much as the cost of living sucks in Hawai`i, I guess it's not so bad if you know what additional benefits are available to you. And if you are really, truly in need, it's hard to find a more supportive state than this.

I cooked dinner all by my lonesome tonight, Hawaiian seasoned steak with rice and corn. It came out pretty good, but -- like once before when I was head chef -- Jen was briefly ill.

She says it was because she took her "baby vitamin" on an empty stomach, but... It doesn't exactly help my self esteem to have her run off to the bathroom after her third bite.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 11 March 1998 · Last Modified: 12 March 1998