My jacket is looking pretty good. It needs buttonholes, finishing of seams, hems for the sleeves, pressing… But I like it quite well. In fact, I cut out another in a very dark blue linen. I also finished a top, a woven T-shirt in a nice soft rayon/cotton. I have another top from the same pattern to sew up, in a slate blue linen. I also have beige linen pants cut and ready to sew up.

I was successful in having now just one, but two PSDs this weekend, with a Numb3rs marathon to accompany a nice balance of pinning, cutting, machine sewing, and handwork.

I think it very likely that I will, between now and the beginning of summer school, get my new working wardrobe in order. I think I may also have a new textbook, though, so I will have to prep a new class and write a new syllabus. Plus of course I’m working. But I’m also hiking and sewing and stuff like that. There are signs of normalcy in my life.

There was church on Sunday, and #1 son made lunch and cleaned the kitchen with his dad, and all my other kids called or emailed or tweeted, so it was a fine Mother’s Day.

I have presents for my own mother, but haven’t seen her to hand them over. At some point we’ll do that. #2 son is expected home in the next couple of days, so I’m thinking we may go out to visit his grandparents and on to a nearby tourist town we used to visit frequently but haven’t recently. By the time he gets home, I should have my grades done and be ready to celebrate the end of the semester.

Yesterday I gave a final. I do nothing during a final exam except hang out with the students and try to be encouraging while preventing any cheating from taking place. Therefore, I can read. I was reading The Edge of Physics,  which has quite a nice explanation of dark matter, if you are in need of one. It also has really fascinating descriptions of some of the places where research in physics takes place, including an abandoned iron mine which is really sticking in my mind.

I think that from now on, anyone who complains about his or her job will get one question from me: “Are you a 19th century iron miner?” If not, they don’t get to complain.

That’s unreasonable, of course. The existence, or former existence, of really horrible jobs doesn’t make slightly less horrible jobs better. It’s just hard to imagine people working under those conditions.

I am happy to say that when I graded the papers (without looking at the names first, for fairness’s sake), there was a clear difference between the quality of papers turned in by people who had attended class and done their work, and papers turned in by slackers.

One of the papers included the phrase, “A Slacker by trade, he…” I love that. The idea that someone could think of Slacker as a career choice worth distinguishing by a capital letter says something about Generation Y, doesn’t it?

At least they’re not going to be iron miners.