May 29, 2008

LL saves Worcester and My Butt and Gets Citizenship — All Within 24 Hours

LL frequently amazes me, but she's up to some particularly amazing things lately. It's nice (understatement) having a partner who renews one's faith in humanity, you know? Let me explain.

First off, she's fully engaged with making Worcester a better place in a couple of important ways. She attended a city council panel meeting (something like that; I get lost in hierarchy and bureaucracy with easy) last night and came out of it being offered the opportunity to advise the council on how to reduce Worcester's relatively high infant mortality rate. In particular, we have a lot of women who have settled here from places like Ghana and for some reason about 80% of the city's infant mortality is occurring in the African immigrant community. Overall, Worcester currently has the highest infant mortality rate in Massachusetts. So LL is going to be working with the council to come up with things like outreach programs to figure out how to improve prenatal health. She's not a doctor, but she's a cultural and medical anthropologist and has put a lot of time into studying culture-specific attitudes to women's reproductive health and obstetrics. Hence the "saves Worcester" part of the title of this entry.

Oh, yeah, almost forgot... she's also working with some other people to start a program that will help girls (from economically underserved families, I think) in Worcester learn to work with technology. What I mean by that is they'll be taught things like web designs, applications development, and how to build a computer out of spare parts while blindfolded, which is pretty much how LL does it. Free of charge, of course. Free job skills for life. Come and get 'em.

Am I forgetting anything? Probably. I likely don't even know all the ways she's got in mind to help people around here have better lives.

Next, my desktop computer decided to stop working for awhile today. I guess it just needed a break. She got that working, too, without so much as buying a new part. As far as I can figure out what she did, she blew on the CPU fan and the machine started working again. I think there was a screwdriver involved early in the process, but I don't think it was used for anything more than opening the computer case.

The other big LL news is that she received a letter today confirming that she's becoming a US citizen. She'll be taking the oath sometime at the end of July or beginning of August after she returns from a trip to Lebanon to see her family and take care of a personal matter or two on that side of the planet. Mind you, Homeland Security had to think about whether or not to allow a woman who runs around saving infants and coordinating international efforts to stop female genital mutilation and blowing on computers to magically bring them back from the dead to become a citizen. You'd think that sort of track record would make one an instant citizen, but I guess not holding any Halliburton stock might slow things down just a bit. She gets to vote in the next election, though. Hint: I doubt she'll be voting for the guy who's willing to station US troops in the Middle East for the next thousand years. Just sayin'.

LL is leaving tomorrow to spend a week in Texas with family and they're going on a cruise. I'll be staying here in Worcester; I have beetles to dissect and/or sequence. I can't break away, so I'll be without her company for a couple of weeks in June and then all of July, too.

I just hope nothing goes wrong around here. Who will save us all while LL is out of the country?

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