Friday, August 10, 2012

That's the Sound of the Men, Workin' On the Chain Gang

Susannah S asks:

If I remember correctly, Consort has a job with an office and such. Does he ever feel left out of the homeschooling experience?

Readers, pay heed: I'm about to explain what Consort does for a living. The more delicate among you may want to skip the following paragraph.

Consort works with start-up companies who have business models based on specific technology protocols called IPv6, and/or exchange-based business models, and/or the more arcane aspects of digital media distribution. In certain corners, Consort is that guy - the one who knows what to do; who remembers the smoldering wrecks of businesses which have come before; the one who is wined and dined. Well, it's frequently start-ups so he's taken to Starbucks and they hope he doesn't order the venti. And what's IPv6, you might ask?

Please don't. The answer takes the better part of the evening and sometimes requires a whiteboard and dry-erase markers in many colors. You know those parts of the Internet you never actually think about, except to pray they won't go belly-up on you when you're ordering Christmas presents really, really late? It's the next version. Consort is one of the people who thinks about it so we don't have to. When he's needed, he's very needed, and he proves he can go up to 72 hours on nothing more than slightly withered muffins, old coffee and the occasional affectionate text message from a family member. But when he's not knee-deep in something big, he works from home, because he can.

When he's between big assignments, he takes the same passionate, engaged, faintly alarming energy and applies it to unfinished projects around the house. Sometimes that means he scans, names and dates  eighty years' worth of family photographs. Sometimes that means he takes apart this entire blog and reorders the right-hand side, because something about it has been bugging him. Mostly, though -- and to our family's eternal relief -- that energy gets poured into his beloved daughter's education.

On Monday, I'll say to him in an irritated way, "Her chemistry book keeps talking about moles, and I'm starting to think they don't mean brown spots or those mammals with the tiny eyes." Ah, his brain thinks, a PROJECT. He'll lunge towards her book, eyes aglint. Alice and I, seasoned as we are, dive for cover. He refreshes himself on what he freely admits was his least favorite science, scruffs his daughter and leads her to the kitchen table. Two days later, she understands moles well enough to complete the final part of any educational experiment in our house: she has to teach it to me.


Anonymous Robin Raven said...

My former (hate the word ex) did many complicated things for a non-profit website that I did not begin to understand, and Consort's job sounds way more confusing to me than that. :) Great explanation, though, and very interesting to read.

I love reading responses that pop up to your book. Sounds like you feel like a kindred spirit to a great many of us. :)

10:54 PM  
Blogger Mark Moran said...

That's the Sound of the Men, Workin' On the Chain Gang ... well played.

7:15 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home