Day 115: In Which the Semester Rolls to a Close

I’ve given the last presentation, turned in the last paper, gone to a couple holiday parties, and very nearly eaten down the fridge. I have not, however, started packing. Ya win some, ya lose some.

Maritime Anthropology was indeed a fun class, with maybe one of the most distractable professors I’ve ever had. We barely got through half her slides on a good day, but the class discussions were really interesting. One of the annoying pitfalls of a lot of softer science classes I’ve had in the past has been a distinct ”and now here is the Right way to think about this”, which is guaranteed to be unnuanced at best and flat up wrong at worst, but that didn’t happen at all in this class. Both the professor and the class were more interested in pulling apart what pressures and attitudes were present and why than in litigating whether or not any view should be present. I also got to write a little essay about the history of diving suits, and they made some Wild diving suits back in the day. I love researching niche technological developments.

This one was built by a pair of French brothers in the 1870s. I genuinely have no idea what they were going for but I love it so much. what is Happening with that helmet

I also went to a small holiday potluck party of Thursday, which was great fun. I nearly forgot to bring something, panicked, and then chopped an apple and a half into the biscuit recipe with a wack of cinnamon and threw the whole thing in a bunt pan. It turned out half mutant scone and half apple cake, but entirely edible and reasonably tasty. That biscuit recipe is magic, and I still don’t understand the way this oven heats things, but maybe that’s none of my business.

The school threw us a tiny end-of-semester party after class got out, with homemade hot chocolate and ginger snaps. It was lovely to stand and chit chat with everyone and revel in the Doneness of the semester as the sun peeked over the mountains at noon. There was also a gingerbread house that a couple of other people and I haphazardly assembled.

A distinctly flat gingerbread house

It ultimately succumbed to structural difficulties; it started to crack when I tried to lift it to reach the bottom edge for decorating, and then fully dissembled when someone bumped the table. Alas, it failed the shake-table test, which means it is not up to California building codes is not fit for an earthquake prone zone. We were going to eat more of it, but it was very dry gingerbread and didn’t taste very good. It looks very nearly cubist all flat like that, doesn’t it?

I also got dragged out to the pool this afternoon by one of my classmates who was Horrified I hadn’t gone yet; we took a quick detour by the beach so she and one of the other kids could dunk themselves in the ocean and I will never Never understand this impulse. Cold! So I spent a chunk of this afternoon sitting in a very hot hot tub outside, and I did indeed have a good time, despite my glasses constantly fogging up. It was nice watching the slightly blurry terminator creep up the mountains.

Theoretically I’m going to be flying to Reykjavik tomorrow, but the weather forecast doesn’t look deeply promising (roughly a small craft advisory, but airplanes don’t get rated the same way boats do, even the little ones, so who knows), and I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do if that happens. We shall see, but fingers crossed for fair winds tomorrow.

Here’s to a semester finished, and being homeward bound tomorrow.

One response to “Day 115: In Which the Semester Rolls to a Close”

  1. Grandmother Loving Grump Avatar
    Grandmother Loving Grump

    Remind me to tell you abou your uncle Tom and the driving suit he invented, and used in senator Saltostall’s swimming pool. Good luck with weather and planes!!


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