56. Expertise


Moving Day – September 7, 2009
I brought my finance textbooks from MD to OR but since I was pretending to be an expert that day I used them as a doorstop.

Soon after we came home I was lying in my bed downstairs with my legs in the air, talking to Mom.  I can’t remember why my feet were in the air – maybe I was stretching, or just enjoying the freedom to move my extremities while safely on my bed.  In retrospect I must have looked pretty funny but Mommy kept a straight face and I asked her, “Mom, would you consider it to be a miracle that I lived?”  At that point I was polling on the subject of my survival as part of my attempt to sort out my questions about God.  (Bottom line:  I am no longer interested in the subject of miraculousness since I now understand that it would have been really easy for God to let me die that day, but He didn’t.)  I then asked Mommy, “Can we pretend like nothing happened?

Since Mommy is so nice she immediately consented to playing my game.  After a few weeks, though, I realized it wasn’t going to work after all since it involves so many people.  I told one of my college roommates this once and she was like, Really?  Because we could send an email out to everyone and take care of that.  I laughingly appreciated her willingness to intervene but now I’m in the “acceptance” phase of recovery so to quote Mrs. R, “It’s all good.”

I was grateful, however, that the ladies at Tea on Saturday pretended nothing was out of the ordinary about me sitting behind the piano that morning.  Actually, it was a nice keyboard that Sgirl’s mom, Mrs. B, brought.  It’s the kind that has keys sensitive to the pressure you apply when touching them so if you press a key harder the volume goes up.  This is normally a desirable trait in a keyboard but my tremor chose that morning to act up so the random loud notes were a little jarring for me.  I also lost my place badly a few times due to my Cookie Monster (googly) eyes, but the ladies kept on singing and EOHR kept on rolling along as the song leader.

The other reason Tea was a great place for me to try accompanying besides the bar being set really low was that EOHR was leading.  She did so with H in the Baby Bjorn (he was asleep by the end of Joy to the World) and G playing at her feet and occasionally twisting around the music stand to gaze curiously at me.  EOHR is an accomplished musician/singer so it takes very little effort (at least it appears that way) to song – lead or to roll with the punches with erratic piano playing.  So this was an ideal situation for me, and J sat nearby with M and C for moral support.

In any situation it’s always good to have this kind of expertise on your team.  In B-school there was a girl in our cohort we referred to as “Professor D.”  She was originally from Europe and was at Georgetown with us on a Fullbright.  When we did not understand something in class we asked Prof. D to explain it to us after.  When we had to split up into groups for projects I was glad to be able to snag Prof. D and other smarties including L (the one who stayed with me at the hospital when I first got sick) to be on my team.

When I moved on to Intel, I needed to go talk to different technical experts as part of my job (“I need you to speak slowly and use small words.”).  It was a little intimidating but I survived the process of learning enough to build financial models pertaining to data center connectivity, lithography etc. When I came home from Intel Summer Camp in 2008 I thought to myself how nice it would be to eventually become one of those technical experts and be the source of information instead of the information seeker.

Well, that’s probably never going to happen – I came to that conclusion pretty fast.  But I also considered that although being a technical expert like I encountered at work was out of my grasp, being well versed in spiritual things wasn’t.  I mean, it’s not like the scriptures are in limited distribution (at least here in America).  I only regretted that my little existence lacked “life experience,” but now I’m getting lots of experience with which to test my scriptural principles.  (They hold water, BTW.)  The fact that reading is an issue for me makes me so thankful for the free apps and online resources that let me hear audio versions of the Word at the click of a button or a tap on the screen.

Actually, most computers will read anything to you, and some (I’m not sure about Macs, but you could always use the Dragon app) allow you to speak and it will recognize it as text.  Another smartie friend, I, told me about this many moons ago.  He had hurt his wrists resulting from sledgehammer over usage at his in-laws’ vacation home and so wrote all his papers by “speaking” them into his computer.  Seriously – go find the accessibility options under “settings” and try it out.