Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Favourite Sweater


My Grandma E knitted the sweater pictured above when I was still in Gradual School.

Which is a long time ago now.

In fact, yesterday, I was leading a seminar with a new batch of cell biology graduate students and we were discussing "differentiation-dependent changes in G-protein-coupled signal transduction" when one of the kids brought up a paper I wrote back when I was still one of them almost twenty years ago.

But, for the record, the sweater is older.

And I still wear it during at least one gigantor undergraduate lecture each year.

A no-longer-kid who left my lab a while back, and who is now on her way to work at that West Coast private school that plays Berkeley every year in the 'Big Game', really likes my sweater because, she says, "It seems like something Jughead would wear."

The no-longer-kid also, and only half jokingly, always asks if I'll give her the sweater.

I always say no.

And I am not joking.

But that doesn't mean that I'm not as proud of that no-longer-kid as my Grandma E. was of me.


Just before she passed away, in 2001, Grandma E., who always liked to tell people, especially real doctors, that her Grandson was also a 'doctor', asked me if I was ever going to finish going to school.

At the time I'd already been holding down a 'real' academic job long enough that I also had tenure.

Which meant that I was a lifer.

So I smiled and told her no - I was going to go to school until I retired, maybe longer.

Not sure what she thought about that.


When Grandma E. died, our older daughter Bigger E. was eight.

Tonight, she asked me if she could wear the sweater to school tomorrow.

Tomorrow is Friday.

Jan 29th.


Which makes it Bigger E.'s 17th birthday.

Oh my.



penlan said...

What a lovely story. And I really like the sweater!

Rev.Paperboy said...

My second favorite sweater story (after the Roch Carrier one)! Happy Birthday to bigger E who is either not your daughter or not really 17 - see my most recent uke post for the iron-clad logic behind this.; )
Buy her some uke strings from me.

Gary E said...

Let her ware the sweater Ross. And Happy Birthday Bigger E.
Oh to be 17 again.

West End Bob said...

Great story "Jughead," and "Happy Birthday" Bigger E . . . .

RossK said...

Thanks Penlan--

I like it too.

A lot

Saw that ott....errrrrrr 'rev'.

Amazing that time machine eh?

I mean I could swear that it as just yesterday that then tiny e. was shouting 'Hats!' as she knocked down the little eucyalyptus seed tops that I set up around the toddler playground of ML King Park up the street from our then house...


She was wearing the sweater when I dropped her off for school this morning and I was damned happy about it too.

Thanks Bob.

For future reference, Jughead is by far littler e's favourite Archie comics character....