A little while back, Henry of Henry’s Travels tagged me (or was that just a whisker rub?) for a “six random things about me” meme. I don’t know if I can match the feline brain for sheer randomness, but here goes anyway:
1. I once played organ for a Christian Science congregation, though I’m neither an organist nor a Christian scientist. The congregation consisted of about a dozen people, average age 67, and only two who sang loudly. Unfortunately the two lusty singers tended to be about a half-beat behind the organ. It was a strictly mercenary gig; they were willing to pay $10 per Wednesday evening service and $15 for a Sunday morning. I was only 17 and those were 1981 dollars, so I felt rich indeed. It was the most I’ve ever earned making music.
2. I have a master’s degree in engineering, which I’m guessing is true for less than one percent of women’s studies professors. My field was industrial engineering – aka “imaginary” engineering, which fit me just fine. I’ve never worked as a “real” engineer, yet I’ve used that part of my education in a whole slew of ways. It taught me to pick apart statistical studies. It demystified science for me. It gave me basic knowledge that was super useful in translating technical material from German to English.
3. I was on the field at the 15-yard line for arguably the most famous and definitely the strangest play in the history of college football:
And yes, I do know the trombone player who got tackled in the end zone. He’s a friend of mine. His trombone survived the tackle pretty much unscathed.
4. I’m an incorrigible slacker and underachiever. College classmates of mine (one degree of separation from me) include a Nobel Laureate in physics, a journalist who was kidnapped and executed by Al Qaida, and a cable news anchor who once dated Rush Limbaugh. All things considered, I think I’ll stick with underachieving.
5. Although I’m not a very girly girl, my favorite color is purple. This started in third grade, when I had a purple dress with a pink and purple striped turtleneck collar and matching long sleeves. I also convinced my parents to paint my room lavender that year. As a result it took me a long time to understand the point of the Jenny Joseph’s poem “Warning,” which begins, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple …”
6. I never learned to swim. Growing up landlocked and snowbound in North Dakota, I lived 30 miles from the nearest pool. One summer we were bussed there, to the little town of Gackle, and plunged into the icy water – to no avail. I only learned to dog paddle a few years later while visiting my cousins in California. I’ve gone white water rafting, water skiing, and snorkeling anyway. Life vests are a fabulous invention.
Contrary to the rules of this meme, I’m not gonna tag anyone else. I was always a total loser when I played tag as a kid; the only thing worse was Red Rover. (Hmm, I guess that amounts to a seventh random thing …) If anyone decides to play along anyway, leave a comment and I’ll gladly link to you in an update.