It’s the morning we strip the beds and dig clean sheets out of the piles of clean laundry and that always gets me a bit frantic and riled up before breakfast. I’m snappy at Rooby and she responds by becoming super helpful and encouraging.

Rooby takes her pill and selects an old fortune cookie out of the treat drawer as her reward.

“Read it,” she says.

“Impatience may be appropriate at this time,” I read.

“And that’s just what you’re doing!” she says brightly.


Me: This sign says you’re having a Halloween party next week.

Rooby: We have to dress up!

Me: What will you dress up as?

Rooby: A panther!

Me: Wow! A panther?

Rooby: Yes. You know why? [making fierce panther face with claws] Because panthers love to eat meat and they want to eat meat that’s in US!

Me: Yes, I guess they do.



Rooby: You know what would be a good name for a bug?

Me: What?

Rooby: Amindier Panindier. 

Me: Amindier Panindier?

Rooby: Yes. Or Polander Allender. Pollanderiererer…er. 

But what about. 

D: The Wentworth stairs are closed all summer. 

Me: Oh no? Why?

D: Major repair work. There have been those rock slides. 

Rooby: What’s a rock slide?

Me: When big rocks fall down the side of the escarpment. 



Brunching with Rooby near Columbia at the end of a long weekend in New York. 

Rooby: Did you grow up here?

Me: No, I just went to college here. 

Rooby: You came here to know what your job is?

Me: Well, I came here to learn things, and also decide what kind of work I wanted to do, yes. 

Rooby: And you decided you want to work in a university?

Me: Yes, exactly. 

Rooby: Because universities are very serious places?


Me, waking up to find that the “hay fever” attack last night was actually the onset of a vicious head cold: Ugggggh

Rooby: Are you ready to go downstairs?

Me: No, I’m staying in bed. I’m sick. 

Rooby: Are you going to die?

Me: Not from this. 

Rooby: Hmm.