Monday, November 10, 2008

November Reed Visit

Jenny and I returned last night from a trip to Portland to visit our daughter at Reed. We got such a charge hearing about Vienna's adventures at college, and we even had a chance to sit in on two or her classes.

The intro humanities class focused on a comparative analysis of the historical biases toward morality in Herodotus and political ethics in Thucydides, and yes they're reading the original texts. The psychology class discussed some physiological dimensions of perception, using optical illusions to demonstrate how the brain relies on a network on senses to process visual information. It was fascinating, heady stuff.

We also toured Portland a bit. Jenny and Vienna toured the shoppers paradise of the Saturday Market, we grabbed doughnuts at Voodoo, we wandered the funky shelves at Cargo, and we drove back streets to get to know the City of Roses a bit more. Perhaps our favorite discovery of the trip was Nick's Famous Coney Island Food in the Hawthorne district, which serves gooey, spicy mac and cheese.

Beyond spending time with my family, my favorite part of the trip was the chance to see fall foliage. We don't get much color to our leaves in this part of California, so it was a delight to wander the streets and sidewalks of Portland in search of gorgeous bursts of yellow and red.

The falling leaves covered spun through the air, dancing in the Autumn breeze. Days after Halloween and anticipating Thanksgiving, our Portland visit was a reminder to me of how much things have changed in the past few months. Happily though, we anticipate Vienna returning home in a couple of weeks, and we look forward to her longer stay during the winter holiday break.

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