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Diary, January 1998

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  25  26  27  28  29  30  31

Wednesday, January 21, 1998

A long time ago

Really, if you think about it, it has been a long time ago since I wrote the
previous entry in this diary. My departure from the University, and starting a new job, and getting a son, had everything to do with it.

Eating my daughters nose

Lately, I often play the game of eating my daughters nose, and then spitting it out again to put it back. I am amazed how well my daughter is with manipulating with virtual (imaginary) objects. It is a false idea, that children cannot think in abstract terms. They do it all the time when they play. They only do not have to vocabulary to talk about abstract things like we adult have.

This reminds me about the whole discussion whether thinking without words is possible. I think that most thinking is done without the use of a language. It is a matter of what you define as thinking. I believe that the misconception that thinking always uses language comes from the fact that thinking about thinking is very hard without the use of a language. I trying to explain we can think without words, a constantly find myself saying words in my head.

Thursday, January 22, 1998

Prof. Duivestijn

This morning, I received an
email stating that Prof. Duivestijn died last night. His funeral will be coming Monday.


When I phoned with Annabel, she suddenly said `Okay' in the middle of the conversation. It is really funny to see how she learns to speak. She acquires the Dutch language in a different way then I had expected. Often I feel she uses complex phrases, and certain adjectives in the correct way, while she seems not to master all the basics. I always had thought that children would first speak a rather simplified form of language, and gradually start to use more complex constructs. But now I realize that children start to simply repeat what others say to them. And if those others use certain complex expressions, they too will use them. From the start of this week Annabel has been going to a day-care centre. We immediately noticed that she started to talk more.

Tuesday, January 27, 1998

My mother is coming

This afternoon, I noticed that I was looking forward to
my mother coming to us this evening. She is going to stay with us for two nights and days. Last Saturday, Andy came home from the hospital. He has stayed there since December 17 last year. Of course, we are happy to have him home with us again, but in the last days we also noticed how much time it takes to take care for him. While he has staying in the hospital we could leave early in the evening, and only return the next morning. Now we have to stay up till late, and wake up early to feed him.

But this was not the main reason why I was looking forward to my mother coming. The older I become the more I begin to value my family, and especially my parent. There have been times, when I just went to University that I did not speak nor think about them for many weeks in a row. Lately, we have been seeing each other almost every week, and phoning each other each other day.


Friday, January 30, 1998

One drop of water is 0.045 ml

This morning, I was playing with one of the injection tubes that we use to give
Andy his medicine. This was a 1 ml injection tube with measure lines at each 0.01 ml.

Saturday, January 31, 1998

Glueing a chestnut

This afternoon, I was throwing the chestnut, which I stole from Annabel, in the air, when I dropped it on the floor. It made a cracking noise, and when I picked it up, I noticed that it was broken in two pieces. Of course, I got some glue to glue the tow parts together. From a distance you cannot see the cracks, but I feel them clearly if I play with it.

(follow-up on the chestnut)

The stars move with us

This evening, I went to pick-up our friend, Professor Zhu, and tool Annabel with me. It was a clear evening, and Annabel was caught by the sight of the stars and the moon. While we were on our way she suddenly exclaimed: They go with us. I told her that the stars always go with you. When I asked her later, if they were still with us, the said yes.

A calendar in a box

When driving home with Professor Zhu in the car, I notices he had brought a box about 80 cm (31 inches) long, and square 10 com (4 inches) thick. Knowing the Chinese customs, I knew that it was a present for us, but I had no clue, as what was inside. It was one of these typical boxes used for presents. Chinese often do not put paper wrappings around present.

At home, we heard that it was a gift from Professor Dong, another good friend of us from Shanghai. A remarkable woman who can hardly say: `How do you do', but she did write several scientifical articles in English. The box contained a large calendar rolled up. Each month of the year had a cleverly made reproduction of a traditional style painting of a tiger by a Chinese painter who specializes in painting tigers. It's only a few days ago that the year of the tiger the 4695th Chinese Year started with the spring festival on January 28.

(Previous, and next Chinese New Year)

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