Friday, December 03, 2004

Family Enigma

Normally I grumble about having to visit difficult relatives. It has taken serious guilt-trips to get me to go visit Grandma E. But now, for totally selfish reasons, I sort of want to talk to her. Not the least of which is that next year I may be teaching an interdisciplinary course on math and history.

I'm told that she's out of the hospital. That it's the same heart problems she'd been having before but worse. Something I didn't catch about her medications. Over Thanksgiving she was recovering in a convalescent center, but she should be going home any day now (or maybe already has).

It's what was revealed over Thanksgiving that has me interested. This tidbit came from Grandma E's daughter, via Grandma E's late sister. But I only sort of want to speak to her because she never talks about this; she was trained to never say a word, and she has kept her promise to England over the past 60 or so years. Can you guess where she worked? Can you guess why a mathematician may want to talk to her about it? She was on the clerical staff and reported directly to someone very famous (in math-cs circles). I'm being vague as google is the family's research tool of choice. (Since her boss's name gets about a quarter of a million results on google, I'm definitiely being paranoid.)

Of course this may shed some light on her belief that mathematics is a poor career choice.