Saturday, July 22, 2006

I like people who give me food

For reasons that will be apparent at the end of this post, I am feeling the need the need to blog about one of my favourite people in our department. One of my supervisors describes her as "the Miss Marple of linguistics". She turned 80 a few months back, but refuses to relinquish her office, still coming into the department a few days a week, even though it is nearly a one-hour drive to get here from her farm (where, besides the usual flora and fauna, she also raises injured and abandoned wombats). She has just gone off for a few weeks to do fieldwork in the outback.

And she regularly brings in lemons from her tree and eggs from her chooks for all the graduate students in the department. Three of which eggs (laid yesterday) I am enjoying right this minute. (And there's another 18 in my fridge. She has a lot of chickens.)

Yay for Miss Marple!


Magpie said...

Yay! I want to be like that when I'm old. Chickens galore!

John H said...

I'm tired just reading about her, and I'm in my fifties. What a great model.

I realize it is my US southern heritage, but the word wombat just cracks me up. Maybe, I'm too easily amused.

I found your blog thru your comment on Aunt B's and I am really enjoying reading and seeing your great pics.

RageyOne said...

Sounds like a lovely lady!

StyleyGeek said...

Thanks, John H. The word wombat cracks me up too. Fortunately, living here, I get a lot of opportunity to use it.

I don't feel I did her justice in this brief sketch, though.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I'm not entirely sure what a wombat IS -- also, what is a "chook"?..

She sounds like an amazing person -- I tend to admire older female academics...those who made it in very much a 'man's world' tend to be very smart and very human all at the same time!

StyleyGeek said...

Yeah, she not only made it in a man's world, but in a man's field (her area of linguistics was and is very much a male domain). And she did it as a Jew in Nazi Germany.

Chook = chicken. Wombat = indescribable.

But if I have to try: large furry marsupials with incredibly strong legs who like to dig burrows bigger than my bedroom and cause endless problems for the stability of badly-designed buildings. They are kind of cute, but usually found in a dead-on-the-side-of-the-road position. To their credit, the car that hit them won't have got very far without help from a tow-truck.

Also, wombats that are alive don't look much different from the dead ones. (They sleep a lot).