December 6th, 2004


what I think about when I eat alone

I stopped in at Spangles after work for dinner before class. Spangles is this fast food joint that was just in Wichita until very recently when they opened a restaurant in topeka, which was very big news. Anyway you can get super-good milkshakes, they have the best french fries and gyros and cheap burgers. Creepy commercials though. But that's not what I was posting on.

I was eating my gyro and french fries (which are perfectly crispy on the outside) when a young man and woman come in, order, and sit at a table in my section. They were sharing a milkshake and having hamburgers and fries, and smiling at one another in that terribly cute young couple sort of way, speaking in sign language. They'd look at one another, eat, put food down every once in a while to say something with their hands. I couldn't stop looking at them. They were so happy looking, and the way their hands moved was just beautiful. It reminded me how badly I want to learn sign language. or any language.

maybe I was thinking so hard on it because I just enrolled in my engineering course for next semester, and it's just... more electrical engineering. I love learning this stuff, it positively absorbs me, but I've been thinking lately about how much I haven't taken. I had a very technical, practical education in college. I quizzed out of history and transferred some spanish credits from high school so I didn't have to take those in college. I also never had sociology, art history, music appreciation, women's studies, literature, chemistry, or biology (I did take "life science"). I put off classes like speech and psychology for as long as possible which was stupid, because I learned a ton in those classes. When I think of the most important things I took, my engineering courses never come to mind first. technical writing ranks higher than just about anything.

I'd like to learn sign language. I'd like to learn latin. I could try to get good at reading and pick these things up on my own, but I have trouble with that. I taught myself to knit and program in HTML but other subjects, where you don't produce something, you just "think", are really hard to learn by yourself, with no teacher, no study group, no forced timeline. There aren't enough hours in the day to soak it all in on my own.