Sunday, September 11, 2011


Well, my mother's condition, while still serious, has now entered the realm of comedy.  When I called her this morning I didn't get an answer.  After a couple of tries I called the nurse's station.  A rather abashed nurse told me that the overhead lift device that's used to get her in and out of bed had jammed and they were in the process of extracting her.

My brother had also showed up just as they were preparing to get her out and then the phone began ringing over and over again.  Those poor nurses.  Anyway, all was sorted.  Mum's on her third type of antibiotic and it seems to be working.  The blood infection she had has been cured and slowly the extra fluid they made her retain to raise her blood pressure is draining.  Not a moment too soon because it was exacerbating the pneumonia.  Cautious optimism is the order of the day.

One serendipitous thing was that my niece was there too.  I haven't talked to her in a couple of years I think.  She's now in grade 11 and of course I had to ask what she was planning for after graduation.  I loved how ready she was for that question.  I remember how it was for me, it got so I could recite my plans without actually thinking about it.   Plus ca change..

But there's a big difference between my plan, such as it was, and hers.  She's planning on becoming a teacher and has figured out all she has to do to achieve that.  Fan-fucking-tastic!  I almost said that out loud to her and I'm afraid I did exclaim and babble a bit.  Ah well, I am the strange uncle with the ungodly ideas who lives overseas.  I do have a reputation to uphold after all.

I was honestly happy though.  You see, there is nothing more important than education to the future of humanity.  Nothing has ever been improved on this planet of ours by a lack of education. And Canada, and much of the western world come to that, needs all the teachers it can get.  And even better, in this case we're going to be getting someone who's not only focused, and I believe capable the kind of dedication that job requires, but we're getting one who's really, really smart.

My niece and nephew are a couple of the brightest kids I know.  Sure I'm biased, but I also value my honesty enough to not let that get in the way too much.  Besides, all the stuff I've learned about critical thinking over the last few years keeps me very aware of my cognitive biases.

I pay a lot of attention when I'm around my brother's kids because I see them so seldom.  The questions they ask, and don't ask, the way they ask them and how they understand the answers leads me to believe that those two are pretty bloody bright.

So, hooray for humanity.  If she goes through with it, it'll be one small but oh so important step forward in our progress as a species.  And hell, even if she doesn't I'm pretty sure no matter what path she choses it will be one that will benefit greatly from her being on it.

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