#2 son is safely ensconced at the university. He caught up with old friends, including the staff, and met his roommate, who did not actually speak to him while we were there. However, #2 son has excellent social skills, and we are confident that they will get along. In fact, since #2 son went last year, it will be an advantage for the new roomie if he is shy. It may be that he is not shy, though, but was merely inhibited by the presence of adults.

I don’t generally mention names, but the roomie has such a cool and unusual one, I have to: Jamarcus. He is from a town a bit south of us. The kids at the institute are from all over the state. We are a small state, but fairly diverse. We have six very distinct geographic regions, so the economic bases of the communities, the weather, the ethnic makeup, and even to some extent the history are rather different. The town we live in is one of the largest in the state, though it is still a small town. The university is our largest employer. We have a large international population, by our state’s standards, and the second largest Asian-American population in our state, but nonetheless, 88% of our people are European-American.  10% of our families qualify as poor, and 9% are in single-parent households. #2 son’s best friend from last year, a kid he has kept up with all year, lives in the next county over but one. In that hilly county, there are still many people who do not have running water. Few roads are paved. Logging is the major industry, and it is not much of an industry. 98% of the residents are European-American. 21% of families live below the poverty level, and 7% are single parent families. Jamarcus’s town is in the Delta. It is a bit smaller than ours, and also has a university. Agriculture and weapons manufacture are the major industries. 70% of the people are African-American. 25% live in poverty, and 38% are single-parent families. It is good, I think, for these kids to have the chance to meet people from different parts of the state. The thing they all have in common is academic excellence.

We have all seen the movies where a group of kids from different backgrounds are thrown together and learn from their differences. I don’t think this is going to be a dramatic experience, since the differences are not that big — alluvial plain versus pine forest is not the stuff of drama. Although I am sure that, had Molly Ringwald been included in the group, they could have come up with some.

Following church and lunch and the trip to the campus, and preceding a tussle with the rose bushes and a nice salad nicoise, I began a second bawk. I intended to use the first pattern I had found, which actually uses the name “bawk.” It seemed more masculine and tailored than the one I ended up making first, and I will need four or five masculine bawks. But within just a few rounds I could tell that the ribbing of the Rebecca home pattern was a huge improvement over the plain stockinette. This is an item that really needs to be stretchy and clingy. So I am going to make bawk #2 with the more plain design of the online pattern, but I am adding ribbing.

I am still contemplating what to make next. Prayer Shawls and bawks will be a regular feature of my knitting for the foreseeable future, and it is too hot to begin my planned sweater, so I need something new. I have been scoping out the knitting blogs and looking through knitting books, enjoying the process. A shawl? The bed jacket from Rebecca home? It is charming, but who would actually wear a bed jacket? If you had a bed jacket, would you also automatically get a box of chocolates and a romance novel — or possibly a bad cold?

The quilt is on hold because my sewing machine has the collywobbles. My husband will doubtless be able to fix it, because he is very like McGyvor, but he has been busy repairing the shopping carts from the store. He also has several household appliances on his list, and a couple of things with his car. His repairing stuff is sort of like my knitting stuff. And the other quilt? #1 son’s quilt? We will not speak of it.