Well, things went better…

Well, things went better today. It's evening now, after a long day, and I'm feeling tired, but reasonably happy.

Went to class this morning; the last make-up class with Julie and my Fiction workshop, my last class at Mills. Actually got weepy while saying goodbye to Julie and giving her some books I bought her as a thank you (_Tam Lin_, _The Left Hand of Darkness_, _The Ivory and the Horn_, and _Bridge of Birds_, serving the double purpose of attempting to woo her to f/sf...). But mostly, it's a relief to be done. One would think that I would relax for a while now, but I find that I'm taking up new projects instead...I'm not very good at being idle. :-)

Tomorrow should be some of that, though. Grad rehearsal in the morning, then in the afternoon, all I'm doing is giving David a print-out of the final of Maiden Voyage for a last proofing (sweet boy), implementing corrections, and mailing it out, ideally by Saturday. I think tomorrow night I'll just hang out and read or even watch a movie. Sounds nice. I did manage to sneak some reading into the last week -- Suzy McKee Charnas's _Walk to the End [or was it Edge?] of the World_ and _Motherlines_. Despite my confusion about titles, I did very much enjoy these books; in fact, they were very hard to put down at all. Took willpower. Fascinating dystopias...I'm very interested in utopian/dystopian fiction these days. One of the best places to get sharp social commentary; Suzy (who was a teacher of mine at Clarion, you may remember, which is how come I get to call her Suzy :-) does some fascinating analysis of gender and age roles in these pieces. I hear they're part of a four part series, but since she hasn't finished book 4, I'm going to wait to read book 3. Strongly recommended.

The day with mom and sis went much better today; Sharmi was feeling better, which helped, and the structure of the Alcatraz trip also helped; trip in the boat over, orientation film, audio tour, trip back...

Alcatraz itself was odd. Terribly sad, was I think the feeling I brought away from there. (In case you're not familiar with it, Alcatraz is an island just off San Francisco, and hosted a very famous maximum security federal penitentiary for some decades). I feel that way about prisons in general, but walking into the solitary confinement chamber, where they isolated prisoners without light or sound, sometimes for days on end, really brought it home. Supposedly it wasn't meant as punishment; supposedly it was a means of discipline for the truly criminally incorrigible. Still. I don't have a solution, a real solution, for the prison/criminal dilemma, esp. since my preferred solution - exile from society - isn't really feasible. I'm not even really sure that it's a good solution...I just can't think of one better. But I don't think places like Alcatraz are the answer either; it was heart-breaking, standing at the barred windows, looking out onto the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Bay, and the sailboats, and the city with all of its moving, shifting, breathing life...and would it have been a crueler torture to shut them somewhere without such a view? Or kinder? I don't know...

Dammit, sometimes I just want easy answers. It is not pleasant, this creeping convinction that the more adult I get, the more complicated the problems appear, the more unsatisfactory the solutions...

Ugh, sorry. I *was* in a good mood when I started this entry. I'm just tired, I think, so I'll sign off for now. Wish me luck memorizing my speech.

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