Okay, so I finished chemo a week ago. But unlike other painful life accomplishments, say like defending a dissertation, you can’t just go out an celebrate after it’s over. You’ve still had chemo. You’ll still feel queasy, even with great drugs. You’ll have little appetitite. You get exhausted. And there’s still that surgery and radiation stuff to deal with.

As I was teaching yesterday, that horrid 6th day after chemo, I was reminded of an old wives tale from my undergraduate days. How long do you wait for an instructor who is late to class? When I was a student, we talked about how rank applied…you’d wait 10 minutes for an instructor, 15 for an assistant professor, etc.

Of course, when I was an undergrad, I only remember using this once. We were sitting around in the gym, waiting for “Golf Instruction” to begin. The professor didn’t show up and finally one student said we should leave. “But it’s only 10 minutes late and he’s an emeritus professor.” “Yes, but he’s dead.” Seems someone was reading the student newspaper. And you don’t have wait all that long for dead faculty.

Now, I wasn’t planning on dying yesterday. Instead, I was wondering how many times an instructor could wander to the back of the room and throw up before cancelling class. Does it make a difference if it’s an instructor or associate professor? Fortunately, I didn’t have to make that decision.

And now, after being that sick and tired, I’m packing to fly to Houston tomorrow. It’s the big annual computer science education meeting. And right after it is the meeting of the AP Test Development Committee, those patient folks who (thank the Lord) expect me to be something other than a cancer patient.

When Charlie’s in a good mood, he says this trip is pigheaded. (Don’t ask what he calls it when he’s in a bad mood!) But I haven’t needed medical care after any of my chemotherapy treatments and I can sleep 12 hours in Houston as easily as in Macon. And given that Ike is big enough to take on Linus and Linus knows it even though Ike doesn’t and they sometimes play out their dominance games while I’m trying to sleep, well, maybe I can even sleep better in Houston.

We went to a local Thai restaurant for lunch today. I stuck to a mild dish and couldn’t eat most of it (but it had such wonderful vegetables!). But I did get a fortune cookie. (I can still taste sweet.) It even had two fortunes, both of which I interpretted as singing the praises of bullheadedness: Oppotunities will multiply as they are seized. and Get your mind set, confidence will lead you on.

So, Houston, here I come. Pigheaded and all!



  1. esmail said

    ready, set go! .. see you in Houston! (pigheaded or not 🙂

  2. Evelyn said

    Hi Laurie!

    Enjoy your trip…. getting 2 fortunes in a cookie must mean double good luck…. I’ve never heard of getting 2 fortunes!

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