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Mad Money for Skiing
buzzed, B&W
hairylunch
Okay, the random thing comes first. Thursday evening, Vicki and I are doing the DC to SLC flight, and the plane is full of skiers. Apparently in the DC area, kids get Friday off, making this a four day weekend, and people tend to take their ski trips then. I'm looking around and thinking just how affluent these families are - some of them include families of five, who are going to be skiing for four days, staying in nice places, etc etc. With tickets out there running around $80/day, that's $400/day in lift tickets alone. Of course, the fact that I'm seeing them check in curbside with what appear to be brand new Rossignol travel bogs for their skis, and matching bags for the boots that they're carrying on, I probably should have known. I did find it interesting that it ended up that most of the people on the plane in my immediate vicinity knew each other, even though they hadn't planned on skiing together or anything. Of course, the opulence was even more apparent as they're talking about their little kids skiing, and how the wives would just be staying in the lodge and hanging out or shopping. Yeah, let's just go to Salt Lake from DC for shopping . . .

The guy on the plane next to me (who appeared to be some kind of lawyer from the conversation he was having on his cell phone) stopped talking to me after he asked me "So, I guess your ski season is over" and I responded with something about how I had jokingly asked my doctor "I guess this means my snowboarding season is over." I later hear him talking to some people across the aisle, and they're talking about how they hate snowboarders. While I realize that there are plenty of snowboarders out there who are disrespectful, annoying, loud, etc, I didn't appreciate being included in such a blanket statement. The guy was also a bit of a pretentious jerk, thinking it was unusual that the flight attendants couldn't make change for a $100 when his buddy was trying to buy a $2 set of headphones, that he could ignore the seat belt sign and constant remarks about how the seatbelt sign was still on, so passengers should remain seated - which were being made because he and his buddies wouldn't stay in their seats.

On the other hand, the girl in the seat behind me made the last hour or so of the flight interesting. She was a high school junior, and we ended up talking after she asked about my hair color. Ends up she's going to a private school in VA, and considering being an engineer. We talked a bit about that, schools she's considering, etc etc. I gave her some crap since she definitely had that East Coast mentality (she's taken the SAT once - scored "only in the 80th percentile", and is planning on taking it two more times, has a private SAT tutor, etc). She also showed off her new toy. I was shocked as she was saying her SAT tutor had taught her tricks to make things quicker, and one of them was for solving simultaneous equations. Somewhere along the line she never learned the addition/elimination method for solving, but only substitution. Crazy - first off that she was never taught this in algebra, and second that she thought this was a great new shortcut, and only learned it because someone can afford for her to have an expensive SAT tutor. There's definitely a part of me that wishes I lived in an area like this, since I could make some pretty decent cash on the side with some limited hours, especially with my background as a teacher and having worked for Kaplan. Maybe I should look into doing tutoring out here . . .

I was curious so I asked her if her or her friends used Xanga, LiveJournal, or MySpace. She responded nope, that they used Facebook (which I had forgotten had added a high school section). I graduated before my alma mater was added to the list of schools that Facebook supports, so I've never had an account, and I forget how big Facebook is among my friends who do have accounts.

I then asked her if she had a PDA, and she's like nope, she prefers using Outlook, and we ended up talking about how her school maintains an online calendar, and she told me a story about how she had trouble once with using some OCR software to scan in and then email the document to a classmate. I made some comment about how this wasn't ubiquitous when I was a student (and pagers were practically unheard of at my school, let alone cell phones). Still, it's pretty impressive (or scary) how much things have changed since I was a student . . .

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Next Thursday is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. They're doing stuff at work (presentations/activities for HS students) but I have no one to invite.

Ernie,

Just because that girl said she never learned the other method for simultaneous equations doesn't mean it was never taught :). I'm sure there are a few things that I "forgot to learn" back in high school :).

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