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 Writing from June 2004 as a resident student at Cambridge College near Boston, Massachusetts
 
Moose Alert
By Kim Meyer
According to the news, a moose is on the loose in Boston, and my mother is worried about me.  What is she thinking?  Does she have a visual image of a moose mauling me as I walk from my dorm to class?  Is she afraid that I’ll be the next person to inspire a song along the lines of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” only my song will be “Mama got Mauled by a Moose?”  In her ever-informative fashion, she e-mailed me a moose alert last night.  It said:
Subject: java joe’s
Date: 6/30/2004 9:09:17 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: mirhay@msn.com
To: teachermeyer@aol.com
Talked with Mallory last night and she was at Java Joe’s with her friends.  Said she was doing much better and everyone was fine. 
Hope you are having good weather.  Heard on the news where a young moose had gotten separated from his mother and was running around in a residential neighborhood in Boston.  Be careful!
Your dad has a funeral Friday morning so our trip to the river has been delayed.  We will be there over the weekend for sure.
Hope all is well with you and your group.  Love, Mom
Because my “tickle box” was so completely turned over, my roommate couldn’t resist sneaking over to read my e-mail.  She couldn’t stop laughing, either.  Then the nightgown-clad women from all the other rooms in our suite came in to see what had brought down the house.  With all the noise we were making, I was afraid that the campus police were going to be coming along at the request of our neighboring suitemates to inform us that we were in severe violation of the noise ordinance. 
My friends convinced me that I needed to ease my mother’s mind.  To do this, we decided to send Mom a picture of a young moose, explaining that he has been captured and is no longer a threat to anyone in Boston.  Here is what we wrote:
Subject: Re: moose on the loose
Date: 6/30/2004 11:10:17 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: TeacherMeyer
To: mirhay@msn.com
 
Dear Mom,
Thanks for the warning!!  Jerry and Marcy were kind enough to take this picture for me.  He was in our pool, that lost little moose was.  But I found his dad.  His mother ran off with a younger bull is what the problem was.  He is safe now, and so am I, thanks to you!  It is 11 p.m. and this dorm suite is in hysterics.  Keep me up to date!!  I needed this laugh after all the computer triage problems today.  Love You.  Kim
I was surprised when my parents’ number popped up on my cell phone the next day.  I was anxious for a moose update, so when I answered, I felt let down when there was nothing but the noise of movement on the other end.  So the next morning, I emailed:
Subject: phone call
Date: 7/2/2004 6:40:56 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: TeacherMeyer
To: mirhay@msn.com
                                
Yesterday your number popped up on my cell phone and you called me but you didn’t realize it.  I think it might have been Dad – I could hear muffled garble, but no specific words.  I am still laughing about that moose. 
Work is loads – we finish our first week class today.  I have to have a mini portfolio ready to turn in this afternoon of different types of writing we’ve done all week.  We had to choose a memory from our memory bank after writing “I remember……” and finishing that sentence as many times as we could in about three minutes, and then we chose one of the I remembers as a topic for writing.  I wrote, “I remember being hit by a car.”  So I wrote that story. 
I talk to the kids each day.  I will call you this weekend to let you know how things are going.  Sorry your trip to the river got delayed.  Love, Kim
My mother:  she’s a nut.  And her nutty uniqueness partly explains ME.  It’s really a bit eerie how much we think alike, because when I checked my e-mail to see if she’d ever sent an update on the moose that she has been tracking in Boston all the way from her small town in Georgia, here is what she wrote:
Subject: phone call
Date: 7/2/2004 10:07:13 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: mirhay@msn.com
To: teachermeyer@aol.com
I’m sure it was your dad.  He never puts his phone on lock.  Sorry.
Sounds like a very hectic week to me.  But, one down and only a few more to go.
No update on the loose moose.  Guess they captured him.  Probably involved in a custody battle between ma moose and pa moose.  Do you call this a foster loose moose?
  
 Talk to you soon.  Love, Mom
It isn’t everyday one gets such an inspiring moose alert, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to let Mom know just how helpful her news has been.
Subject: Re: phone call
Date: 7/2/2004 12:02:36 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: TeacherMeyer
To: mirhay@msn.com
I am using our correspondence about the moose as the basis for a reflective writing that I will submit in my portfolio this afternoon.  I will send you a copy of it as soon as I finish it and have it in final form.   Thanks for the great idea. You didn’t know how inspiring you were going to be!!  Kim
  Not many people are fortunate enough to have a mother whose sense of humor is so unintended, so constant.  I sure hope Mom never stops worrying about her little girl, no matter how old I get. 

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