Sorry for the slight delay but I have a stinking cold and am desperate to shake it before Thanksgiving.
September passed in a total blur as usual: the start of the academic year, meetings galore, and constant requests from students for signing off last-minute course changes. Something new happened this year when I was lecturing about the history and development of geology as a science. I tried to tie it in to the Vancouver Evolution Festival by showing how Darwin’s geological observations during his years on The Beagle led to his theory of evolution by natural selection when a new student interrupted to tell me that I was risking my soul by perpetuating these lies. You can imagine how well that went over in a room full of science students. It took some time to get the room calmed down and back under control. I asked her to hang around afterwards if she wanted to talk to me, but said that I wasn’t about to discuss anything in the lecture other than what everyone was there to learn. She said that she knew already what I would say, promised to pray for me, and left. I’m not the only one, as colleagues have shown me letters and pamphlets they’ve received urging them to stop spreading lies and to seek the truth – apparently available on-line only as they’ve provided website links. There’s a workshop next week at UBC to help high school teachers teach evolution. I don’t think we expected anyone would interrupt a university lecture.
In other news, Frank and Helen have invited Mom and me to Thanksgiving dinner. Mom and I discussed it and decided, well, why not? I’ve spent the past few months with my birth mother’s family and my birth father and his family are certainly less challenging. Mom said that she would love to meet them. Not surprisingly, she hasn’t said anything about wanting to meet Elly. She has heard all of the events of the past months and all she can say is that Elly seems like someone who can never let herself feel happy, someone who prefers to see the glass as half-empty, and for that she pities her.
Chris and Lana will be at Frank and Helen’s for Thanksgiving, too, but the kids will be with their mother that weekend. Lana says she’s sick to the teeth of wedding plans and just can’t wait to get the whole thing over with even though they’ve still over two months to go. I seem to have connected with my half-brother Chris slightly better than my half-brother Mike, but Mike has had so many challenges over the past year that I’m not surprised he hasn’t had enough energy to e-mail as often as April does. And why should he? Biology makes us relatives, but we’re still practically total strangers, and the few times we’ve met have been overshadowed by other events.
I think I mentioned in my last letter an e-mail from someone. I’m using work and now this cold as an excuse to avoid responding at length. I’m conflicted because being around him is like an addiction and it never ends well. He says he has changed, that we owe it to ourselves to know for certain once and for all, and yet, this time, I just can’t feel as optimistic as I have before. I’ve seen a toxic relationship up close recently and I don’t want to wind up that way. But I haven't replied to say this to him. I think it's something which might be better said face-to-face, but I'm scared that he might be able to persuade me to give it another go.
Ugh. This cold has me getting all emotional. Next thing you know I’ll start blathering about nature versus nurture and scaring myself wondering whether Elly’s psychology could have a hereditary basis. Think I’ll just have another cup of tea and crawl back into bed.