Tuesday, March 9, 1999

Dear Steven, Grandy, Pappy, Grandmother, and Granddaddy,

I am getting behind again. I wish I could figure out a regular day to write that didn't have conflicts, but I think the reality may be that you will be surprised each week when you get my letter to see which day I am writing.

Steven, I have been thinking about you and hoping that you will get the chemistry class that you want. I can't believe that you are registering for your next quarter. The year has gone by quickly. I will be interested in hearing about your choices for a roommate and housing next year, also. For everyone else, Steven is registering for his final required English class (a literature class on drama), the next level of math (differentiating over multiple variables--or something like that), chemistry, and physics. This schedule should have less reading and be interesting for Steven, too. It sounds like you have managed this quarter very well, Steven, in spite of the heavy reading and frequent papers and tests. We are so very proud of you! I am really looking forward to your trip home in a couple of weeks.

Steve is feeling better each day, and I think he may actually get completely well one of these days soon. David's new cold is running its course and will be over in a few days. I think I may finally be coming down with a cold, but I am hoping that it won't be bad. (It doesn't feel like it will be much of anything.) So much for the health report!

The big news for Steve, of course, is that Hewlett-Packard is breaking up into two companies. It will take about eighteen months to finalize, but it looks like the most logical place for Steve to go is with the smaller of the companies, which deals with medical equipment, communication, and tests and measurements. Steve feels like that is the healthier branch of H-P, but it has a much smaller financial base. So far, it looks like his position is still secure. The new company will have a new name. (The computer company will retain the H-P name.) Now we just need to wait and see what happens as the details emerge.

The boys are jumping into their spring sports and activities. The scout troop had its Court of Honor last Monday, and it included a potluck dinner. Michael is busy helping to plan the high adventure summer outing, which will be a build-your-own-kayak and take a 100(?) mile trip similar to the one that Steven took. The boys will be going to a different summer camp this year and are looking forward to that, too.

Michael is enjoying the track and field events. He is building up new muscles as he practices every afternoon after school for two hours. He had his first meet last week and told us not to come because he "is the worst person on the field." However, when I picked him up, he said that he won third place in discus and fourth place in shot put for the junior varsity team. Anyway, I don't think I will listen to him anymore. I'll go and enjoy the events whenever I can. Michael was honored at the winter sports awards night last week. He earned his "Block C" (for Cupertino) to wear on his sports jacket, which he still needs to buy. The Block C was awarded because the junior varsity wrestling team won league finals. The school also honors athletes with high scholastic averages, and Michael won a plaque for being the athlete with the highest grade point average on the team. Of course, Michael says that wrestlers aren't known for their academic ability! Nevertheless, he still has a very good GPA.

David now has baseball practice every Monday and Friday, and he will have games on Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning this Saturday. We moved his piano lesson to Thursday, but he doesn't have a lot of time for practicing these days. He likes his team and the coaches, so I think he will have a fun season. He went on a field trip with his sixth grade GATE class to NASA Ames Research Center to participate in the Jason Project today. They have been working up to this for a couple of months, and David had a great time. He and three friends won the Jeopardy contest, but I haven't determined how many other schools were participating today. They talked by computer video link-up with the scientists/researchers in the field, and they played some other games and relays at NASA. David's team won second place in the recycling relay, too. They have several other interesting field trips planned, and I hope I can go on some of them.

I went to the high school to help with the sophomore tutorial program last week. Four classes are piloting a portfolio development class, and I am helping with that twice a month. However, I got there just as a bomb threat was phoned in, so I spent most of my time out on the field while the school was being searched. I understand that they have had only about half a dozen in the last thirty years, so I wasn't too concerned, especially since it was a false alarm. I am going back again this Friday. I also taught for three days (Thursday, Friday, and Monday) for an eighth grade core teacher at the junior high school. I will not work again until next week when I am substituting for a science teacher all week while she is with the eighth graders in Yosemite. I will be David's science teacher, and he is a little nervous about that. I am still volunteering at the church every other Tuesday morning, and that is working out well.

Steve and I went to a community theater with Maarten and Cathy Kalisvaart Friday night. Steven, we saw Stephanie Keller in Leader of the Pack. There were several other students that I recognized, and I wondered if you might know some of them, too. It was a good performance. The Kalisvaarts invited all of us over for dinner on Saturday night so that we could share our Yosemite pictures. We had a really nice time. I wish we could get together more often.

I'll try to do a better job of writing this next weekend. Daddy, thank you for keeping us up to date with Pud. I'm glad that you are enjoying your birding class at the Nature Center. Mom I'm glad that you won a bridge game. I'm sure that you win many more than you tell us.

We'll talk to you soon.