Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Penultimate Lecture....It's Sweater Day!


Where I work classes end this Friday.

Which means that today was the second-to-last lecture of the really, really big course I teach in the fall.

Which also means that today is the day I wear....

'The Sweater'.

What the heckfire am I talking about this time?

Well, it's all explained in the post below, from a couple of years or so ago.

Please note: Because the post below was written in early 2010, it means that the Bigger E in the story is no longer 17...She did, however, go to school today...The difference? It's 3,000 km away...


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.

Back in Realtime 2012....Sent E. a picture of me in the sweater this morning just before class...Later saw somebody from Montreal touched down on the old sweater post....It's a crazy mixed-up digital world we live in, eh Em?



Eleanor Gregory said...

OMG you hang on to some of your clothes as long as I hang on to some of mine.

RossK said...

'Tis worse than that Eleanor....

A lot of kids in class today were very, very surprised to see me where something with colour in it.


Chris said...

Oh, what a sweet story.

I just unrolled a sweater I knit for my mum when I was about 18. Re-knit it into a couch blanket instead... my mum and I both agreed after it was done that it was too bright and flashy for either of us to actually wear.

It was dark gold and dark brown...

Jughead, eh? I like that. Very retro.

paul said...

This is why I like your blog so much. (My 1972 Team Canada t-shirt, alarmingly thin now, is in the six-foot by six-foot storage locker in Victoria.)

RossK said...


You mean you knitting people can do stuff like that?

Turn sweaters into blankets.

It's alchemy I tell you....Alchemy!



I really would kick the politics stuff for good if I could.

Now, to the topic at hand...

I have a garish yellow and black Junior B lacrosse 'Strathcona Stingers' jersey of a not dissimilar vintage that I keep hidden on the top shelf way at the back of my closet...It's like opening a storage locker every time when I pull that thing out...Still goes down almost to my knees - especially without all the pads and stuff on.

Last time we were in Victoria went by old Stevenson's park...Box is all gone....But it's a very nice, interesting neighbourhood now.

(it's the logo that's really all killer, no filler on that jersey- curved, anthropomorphic flying bee holding a stick somehow)


paul said...

Well that's odd. I had a Mississauga Lacrosse Association cardigan until the last move, when I think I finally let it go. I only lasted through midget though; junior B was another world.

RossK said...

A cardigan?

In lacrosse?

Get the heck out!

(for the record, I peaked in midget and was barely hanging on at the next rung...Was the opposite for my brother though...He later played a few years with the big guys with the irish thing on their chest in old Memorial)