4/30: more than planned

It's been a semester of barely finishing my to-do lists in time and generally figuring out which items can be put off to another day.  Today, however, I managed to do more than I had planned.  At the end of a semester that realization comes with a little sigh of relief and breath of victory.

4/29: morning discussion & unexpected evening

This morning Chris and I had a conversation about interesting ideas not connected in any direct way to work.  Refreshing!

My Sunday evenings have been dedicated to Trollope all semester.  Today I finished my Trollope prep in the afternoon, leaving some time for us to take a short drive through the countryside before sunset and then for me to do some (all too necessary) tidying up in my areas of the house.

4/28: cinnamon rolls

For lunch.  Indulgent for sure.  Sensible eating will resume once the semester has ended!

4/27: looking ahead

Next year a group of professors and students is participating in a series of courses and projects on children's literature.  Today some of us got together for an afternoon chat in the sunshine--a chance to get to know each other a little before our year-long collaboration begins.  Judging from today's conversation, I think it's going to be a good group.  In fact, it would be hard to imagine a better one.

4/26: happy brain wave

I had a sweet idea for the last beginning Latin class next Monday.  It was fun to work on it a little today.  I'm happy to be able to be excited about a lesson plan this late in the semester and with my exhaustion level so high.

4/25: for a few moments

Ten minutes earlier, the sky was nearly dark.  Ten minutes later, it was almost all (light) blue.  For just a tiny time somewhere between 6:30 and 6:45 this morning it looked like this:

4/24: to the post

Chris and I walked to the post office at lunch time today.  I could have driven to the post to drop my mail off, but I needed some time in the sun and open air, and I was grateful that Chris came for company.

4/23: elgar!

I didn't really have time to go to a concert on campus this evening, but I went anyway.  The orchestra did an amazing job of performing Elgar's First Symphony, so my decision was more than vindicated.

4/22: the last reading assignment

Today I finished the last reading assignment of this academic year!  There are still a few translation and grammar assignments left, plus the usual end-of-semester test-making, test-grading, and paper-reading, but one milestone has now been passed.

4/21: a glimpse of poppies

I love California poppies, and I have good memories of visiting the poppy preserve north of LA when we lived in southern California.  Today I got to see some California poppies on Barbara's blog.  What a cheering sight--thanks for sharing it, Barbara!

4/20: late afternoon gathering

Chris and I took some of the Classics majors and minors to a local Mediterranean restaurant today.  We had meze, baklava, and Greek coffee--plus cheerful conversation.  A nice way to end the week!

4/19: happy to see them

Chris and I took our first walk in months this evening, and we saw lots of the neighborhood dogs plus two of our neighbors.  It was like a reunion.

4/18: happy to see us

The cats greeted us after a long day; we were at work for a more than 12 hour stretch.  I was happy to see them, too.

4/17: lovely things

I send a lot of mail (when I have time), and these weathervane stamps had caught my eye earlier this year.  When they were first issued, though, they were only available in rolls of 3,000 or 10,000 at a cost $1,350 or $4,500!  Now they can be purchased in strips of 25 at the far more manageable price of $11.25.  I ordered several strips.  Compared to buying a roll of 3,000, buying a handful of strips seemed frugal.

And I went to the senior art show on campus today.  One senior with whom I've done a lot of various activities over the years had a number of sculptures on exhibit, and her pieces were so finely done, a pleasure to see.  They exuded peace and simple beauty.

4/16: hooray

...for the call of the whippoorwill!  I heard it this evening for the first time this year.

4/15: even inside

We had the windows open for much of today, and the sweet springtime scent coming indoors was almost unbelievable.  It's a smell I associate with Easters of my youth, when so many flowers would be packed into my parents' house and into the church that the scent became a presence.  How lucky am I to be surrounded by it on a daily basis?

4/14: a day earlier

We've become last-minute tax people; despite annual resolutions to the contrary, we just don't get around to filling out our income tax returns until the deadline looms.  We had planned to do it tomorrow morning, but today at lunch we decided to do it this afternoon.  Getting all the materials together took longer than we had anticipated so our totting-up lasted into the evening, but we're done now, and it feels good to know that I won't be waking up to that task tomorrow.

4/12: a stretch

I enjoyed touching base with my advisees in their pre-registration meetings, but it meant that I didn't have time in afternoons to devote to class preparation.  Today I enjoyed having some afternoon prep time in my office again.  I turned off my overhead light, turned on my pink lamp, and worked away at Latin and Greek grammar for a few hours.

4/10-4/11: pre-registration over

It's been that time of the semester when returning students need to submit their schedule requests for next year, a process which can be fun-and-productive but also time-and-energy-consuming.  I've had lots of extra meetings with lots of advisees over the past two weeks.  Today at 5 p.m. pre-registration closed--whew.

And now I get to see who's signed up to take my courses next year, and it's exciting to find a mixture of new names and familiar ones on the class rosters.  Three of my six courses got requested beyond capacity; it's not a pleasant prospect to have to turn some folks away, but it is satisfying to know that people want to take what I have to offer.

4/9: arrivals

Some books for next year's teaching arrived today.  Fun to feel the excitement of new-ness on the horizon as this academic year winds down.

4/8: wild

The land around our house grows mostly wild; I like to think of it as benign neglect, with us letting grow all the things that want to grow. One of the things that wants to grow is a wild rose-bush.  This year it's profuse, almost riotous.

4/7: some good -ings

Natural rising without an alarm clock, smelling roses and honeysuckle every time I stepped outside, writing a few postcards, catching up on grading, making dinner at home instead of eating out, running errands with Chris, and basically staying on track instead of letting myself get distracted (and further behind with work).

4/6: passive periphrastic

The passive periphrastic was today's lesson in the Latin course which I teach and Chris takes.

This evening we watched the old movie of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory--and Wonka actually quotes a Latin passive periphrastic from Horace (nil desperandum) at one point.  What are the odds?

4/5: third year launch

This is the third April that a colleague and I have sponsored weekly chalking sessions to celebrate National Poetry Month:  we provide chalk for members of the campus community to write their favorite poems on the pavement around our central fountain.  Today was the first chalking of 2012, and at the end of the day I enjoyed getting to see what people had put down.  As a fan of haiku and of Mt. Fuji--and as someone welcoming all sorts of encouragement and wisdom from whatever source--I especially  smiled to see this:

4/4: after all

Given our level of busy-ness, Chris and I aren't getting to spend much quality time together, but we try to eat dinner together every day.  It looked like we wouldn't get to today, but then I arrived home and found Chris unexpectedly here.  We made a nice dinner and prolonged it just a little bit before getting back to our schoolwork.

4/3: rallying

When I hit dips in energy.  Or at least I rode the dips through until I reached an upswing.

4/2: two for today

As I was walking across campus this afternoon, I remembered that I've been having dreams in which I can fly.  My waking self could recall what flying feels like.

As I walked from the car to the house this evening, I was greeted by the scent of honeysuckle, which seemed all the stronger in the dark.

4/1: dogwood sunday

It's become a tradition:  going through our woods one spring weekend to see the dogwoods before their blossoms disappear.  Because of our quick move into hot weather, this year's dogwood season has been shorter than others.  By next weekend the blooms will be gone, but at least I caught sight of them today.