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19 July 2006

I have a couple days to catch up with here.

Tuesday night was a lot of fun, if stifling hot. When we got to Formal Hall, all dressed up, Carolyn asked Barb and the children if they'd like to sit at high table. Katie was thrilled – she was just complaining that she never gets to sit up there. Since the Colleges don't typically allow children at all, they're probably among the very few who have ever sat at high table during formal hall.

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Formal hall starts out with a lot of banging of gavels and doors, and then a Latin invocation is made. Yours Truly got to do it both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and Wednesday night, I asked one of my students to take a movie of me doing it. Carole said that I spoke Latin "with a delightful Spanish accent" and one of the Worcester College guests said, "I thought I was in Mexico!" (sigh.)

Click the picture for a small segment of the invocationh
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We were also asked to offer toasts to our guests (with even more banging of gavels). I got Stuart Sharp, the head of IT at Worcester.

I would like to propose a toast to Stuart Sharp, on the theme 
    of our favorite machines.

When the lab computers seem to have died,
we may imagine them angels playing harp.
Or perhaps we think more of bottom feed scum,
Like leeches or catfish or carp.
Yet the power of digital resurrection can come!
At the call of our IT manager, Stuart Sharp.
 Please raise your glasses in a toast to Stuart.

After Formal Hall Tuesday night, we went to see "Horrible Histories: The Terrible Tudors," a stage production of one of the books in a popular history series here. The theater was amazingly hot – no fans or A/C, gobs of bouncy kids, over 90F outside. The show was pretty good with lots of singing and dancing about things like dunking suspected witches and Henry the 8th beheading his wives. ("Divorced, beheaded, died! Divorced, beheaded, survived!" is a little ditty that Jenny and Katie have been walking around singing, about the fates of Henry the 8th's six wives. My kids are singing British history...) Matt loved the puns and cultural references. Said the actor on stage, "I am Henry the 8th! I am! I am!"

We got to bed late, of course. Barb and I took a walk on the College grounds before bed, where there was an actual breeze!

Wednesday morning, both girls were up with Barb and me, still, in order to go to Wednesday Market. I got my dolmades and the requisite TP and soap, then Barb and the girls went off on their own while I taught. I graded the midterms Tuesday night and Wed. morning in CS1316 – fair. Nobody failed, but no A's, either. It's really not too surprising – this is a lot of abstract stuff to learn in a really compact form. In class, I went over the midterms, and what they got wrong on HW3 (tiling pictures), and then went to talk about abstracting linked lists into an LLNode class.

Wed. was the big debate in CompFreak – Proposition: Roe v. Wade was the most significant factor in the reduction of crime in the US in the 1990's. The debate was much better than last week – less heat, more reason. Grades are somewhat higher, but still the same range.

Wed. afternoon, we went to go see Superman Returns. An air-conditioned (somewhat) theater is a great place to be on a really hot day!

How hot is it here? Check out this email to all the GT folks from yesterday:
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 3:16 PM
To: Georgia Tech Mailing List
Subject: [Gatech-announce] (no subject)

I am sorry to tell you that the hard tennis courts are 
closed until further notice.  The tarmac is melting.  Perhaps 
as soon as it cools off a bit, they
will be reopened.   C______________
--
Carolyn Harris Wierson, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
GA Tech Study Abroad
Worcester College, Oxford
OX1 2HB


Nonetheless, we played soccer Wed. night for about 45 minutes! In the evening, it was cooler with a nice breeze.

I didn't sleep well last night – fretting about being behind on the 1316 book, on UG stuff, on ICER papers due this Wed., etc. Probably the heat has a lot to do with it, too.

Tomorrow (Friday), we head to Dublin first thing in the morning. I may not be able to update the blog until Sunday night. (We're staying in a hostel, so I'm not going to bring my computer.)

Last modified 20 July 2006 at 3:59 am by Mark Guzdial