Trudy’s Big Outing

I took the early bus in to work, even though I did not have anything too pressing to do quite yet. Since I had just turned in some samples the previous evening, I wasn’t expecting to hear from Sakari-san for a while. I also wasn’t going to be surprised if it took a little longer that normal this time, since the ultracentrifuge was starting to get booked up rather heavily, and Sakari-san hadn’t promised any specific time that she would run the experiment, just that she would try to fit it in whenever she could. I put the finishing touches on my lecture and printed up 55 copies of an outline of the slides that I planned to present to the students.

As I worked, Kiyoe stopped by my desk with some sad news. She had heard a rumor a few days before that one of the women scientists who worked at Kyoto University and that had served as a role model for her had died. She had just confirmed this to be true and learned that this woman had actually committed suicide. It seems to be especially hard for women in Japan to be successful in science. Women like Kiyoe make many sacrifices in order to compete with men for positions, for funding, as well as for recognition. Her friend, although she represented one of the few success stories, apparently wasn’t very happy with the life that she had chosen.

Early in the afternoon, the secretary stopped by my desk. She was trying to tell me something that I couldn’t understand, so we both went to find Kiyoe so she could translate. Apparently, the water company was on the phone and wondered why we had used 1.5 times the amount of water during the last two-month period than we had normally used. Kiyoe talked to them and assured them everything was ok. She theorized that we had been washing more clothes and taking more showers during our sports day activities and such, especially since it had been so hot at the beginning of fall. I figured that I better ask the family to try and conserve water so that we didn’t get any more phone calls like this.

I took the 5:15 bus home, the kids were there when I got there, but Trudy was still gone on an outing. She had met Fiona and Tsuneko that morning so that they could spend the day in Kobe together. I offered to make the kids dinner, but they really wanted pizza from Chicago Delighta. Brennan walked there with me and then we wandered around the neighborhood while we waited for it to be ready. Soon after we had gotten back, Trudy got home from Kobe. She had gone shopping and had walked along the waterfront with the girls. They had all eaten at a Brazilian restaurant for lunch and had enjoyed it immensely. We watched a new episode of “The Office” on my computer while we ate our pizza, according to our Friday night tradition. We went to bed fairly early, since Trudy had another big day planned the next day.

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