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Well, we got our business project back from Mr. Potter. We got an 80 on it, which is all right, considering that we whipped it together at the last minute, and it had some rather glaring errors in it, in addition to not looking very pretty at all. I would have made it pretty, only at the time when I should have been doing that, I was sitting around gibbering while the Sainted Darkside told me what to do to the spreadsheet to make it work right. But since Votania took over when my nervous breakdown hit, everything went fairly smoothly. In any case, Mr. Potter graded it at 80% of full, and filled it full of sarcastic little comments. Votania and I read it together and we just started laughing. Some bits of the spreadsheet didn't make much sense at all, considering that there were no titles and just a list of numbers.

We also forgot to put our names on it, so Mr. Potter wrote in great big red letters across the front, WHO DID THIS?? He must have eventually figured it out by process of elimination. We also forgot the table of contents, and we forgot to list the start-up costs outside of the spreadsheet, and the tri-fold brochure must have fallen out of the binder. Then Mr. Potter went through and started nitpicking about formatting errors, where one part wasn't as pretty as the rest. We changed our business name partway through, so when our old name failed to have been deleted, he wrote WHO?? I THOUGHT YOU WERE FREEWHEELIN' LUGGAGE in the top margin. Another bit got DIFFERENT SIZE FONT? and another mention of [SlackerPrep]'s Inventions Inc. (the old name) got red-circled. Our organization chart got picked on for capitalization, and so did other stuff. I think it was an old copy of the report, since I saw some things in there that shouldn't have been, and my witty bit about the motorized scooter luggage wasn't in there. That was in the Risk Reduction section -- in order to reduce our risks as a business, we were not going to produce this obviously cool product.

We had to make three financial statements, one for an optimistic income, one for a realistic amount of sales, and one for a truly pessimistic viewpoint. WHO IS AN OPTIMIST? Potter wrote on one of them, and proceeded to comment about a few extra months in the year that I hadn't been able to get rid of. In the spreadsheet bit, on the extra page that we had to have some of the numbers on because we just had a lot of stuff, he wrote, NICE NUMBERS. ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO MEAN SOMETHING? DID YOU THINK THIS PAGE MADE ANY SENSE? There were a few more pages with the same problem. OH, LOOK! ANOTHER ONE. was the caption next. Some more sarcastic comments about capitalization. AND A THIRD ONE, he said on another page of just slightly less than random numbers, and (on the last page of the report) AND FINALLY (THANK GOODNESS) A FOURTH ONE.

The engineering students had an actual decibel meter in there with them. Mr. Potter commented that there was a noise wall put up in his neighborhood for highway noise of 95 decibels. That's a significant increase, but it's still impressive that Mr. Potter was able to get that loud on his own. I have been writing a lot recently, so my style is improving, although there are some things that I still won't be able to publish. Votania and Darkside would kill me, and then sue. It's a pity; those bits are some of my best writing and most humorous pieces.

BJ is back in Fairbanks. I don't have my bed yet, and I still have his pants. Hopefully my friend from class will have a better schedule so I can load my bed in her SUV soon.

Votania came by my new apartment today. She thinks it is very nice and likes it a lot. We are going to work on making it possible for her to live and work in the same area that she's going to school in. This may mean having some fun with roommates. She is very surprised that she and I and Darkside are still getting along as well as we are, since we have this rather odd habit of spending lots of time with each other and seeing each other's worst sides. Even though I was also in love with Darkside when he decided to go out with her rather than me, they managed not to break my heart, which is impressive.

Have fun in Alaska!

Love,
Joanie

Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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