Yesterday was my orientation as a tutor for Columbus Reads. The school that the Industrial Commission and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has “adopted” is Highland Avenue Elementary, which is located pretty close to where we live. Our house is in Franklinton, just west of downtown Columbus. Since it flooded every year (pre-floodwall), it became known as The Bottoms.
On the other hand, Highland is on the “high land”, in a neighborhood called The Hilltop. The school is just around the corner from a fire station, so hearing the sirens and the station loudspeaker adds a quaint ambience to the learning experience.
It’s going to be a challenge, especially for a rookie like myself. A third of the student body does not speak English–they’re either Hispanic or Somali. I have never taken a foreign language (a regret I’ve had since I graduated from high school), so I cannot help in the ESL program.
I had some excitement when I got home from work. Steph is taking Susie, even as we speak (6:56 EDST, per my Casio Data Bank watch) to an audition for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at the Davis Center for the Performing Arts. I knew I’d be on my own for dinner, and I started some of the chores on the list she left on the dining room table. I had just gotten to the Franklinton library and was logging onto a computer when my cell phone rang. It was Steph. Just then she learned they needed a photo of Susie for the audition. I ransacked a desk drawer or two and came up with one taken at Meijer’s when she was in kindergarten or the first grade, in between losing her baby teeth and the beginning of the permanent ones. I am now at the Main Library, pounding this poor keyboard to burn off excess energy and consume the adrenaline that’s coursing through my system.
My friend Pat C. gave me a Palm III Palm Pilot yesterday. He and I go back a ways–he read and stood up for both Steph and me at our wedding in 1996 (he was memorable for wearing a kilt), and I did the same when he married his wife Tanya the following year. Tanya is a midwife, and was on hand at Grant Hospital for Susie’s birth (nine years ago as of 10/6), and the 36 God-awful hours of labor that preceded it.
I asked him if he had a PalmPilot he had outgrown and wanted to sell me. He volunteers at a non-profit computer group called FreeGeeks, and he said I could have a Palm III if I wrote some ad copy for them. So we met yesterday for lunch at McDonald’s, he gave me the Palm III (which is Amish compared to other Palms and BlackBerries, but it does all I’d ever need it for), and told me it needed batteries. So, I stopped at Family Dollar and bought two AAA batteries.
And the damn thing seems to be DOA! I E-mailed palmOne to see what repairing it would cost, and the conservative estimate was $169! And I could buy a brand-new one for $99 plus shipping and handling. I’m hoping that there’s some miracle I can pull off to get the Palm III working. (I had a PalmPilot for awhile, but one of the kids in Steph’s children’s choir five-fingered it when we lived on Avondale Avenue.) I know that PalmPilot has passed into the language, much like Xerox and Kleenex and Scotch tape, but the equipment I am describing was made by palmOne.
If anyone has a Palm they’re willing to part with cheap, please E-mail me!