4/30: quiet at the end

April is always a month of flurry (at best) because of end-of-the-year school stuff.  This year was no different, and there may still be some days of mad-cap grading ahead (next Tuesday and Wednesday are likely to be doozies).  But today I'm glad that I could set the flurry aside and work calmly and quietly.

4/29: last event

This afternoon I ran my last public event for the school year, a Latin/English reading/listening session using Winnie Ille Pu and Winnie the Pooh (we listen in English and follow along in Latin).  It was a low-key event and something I just wanted to do for fun, the right kind of low-stress event to wrap up the school year.  And now it's some time until my next event, since I'll be on sabbatical for all of the next academic year.  I do enjoy offering interesting activities on campus, but I think I'll also enjoy not being an event planner for awhile.

4/28: four sets

I worked through four different sets of papers and quizzes today.  There are more sets already at school, and still more scheduled to come in tomorrow, but I brought home what I thought would be realistic for the weekend, and it'll be nice to take them back to school tomorrow done.

4/27: last reading assignment

I just finished reading the last assignment of the school year, Orphea Proud by Sharon Dennis Wyeth.  There wasn't any grand plan behind my putting it as the last book, but I'm glad I did:  it's creative, thoughtful, and affirming--plus it avoids some of the gender pitfalls that the class and I have noticed all too often this semester.  A good note to end on.

4/26: persephone books

There has been so much reading for my courses and research projects this semester that I haven't had time for leisure reading in the evenings, and I've missed the chance to get lost in a book without having to take notes.  Now that the semester's reading assignments are winding down, I've been able to start a book for sheer pleasure.  I chose The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxy Holding.  I picked it because it's a Persephone book and it was available as an e-book so I could buy it and start it right away (and not have to wait until it arrives from England). And today I received my copy of Persephone Biannually in the mail, which includes a brief description of every book Persephone publishes--just in time to get me psyched for summer reading.

4/25: four

Recently I've had to have blood taken for various medical tests, and it hasn't been easy for the nurses to get the blood.  They've had to poke around under my skin a lot.  Sometimes that's made me faint, and sometimes the nurses have told me to come back another day so they could try again.  Today's visit went quickly:  the nurse had a careful plan for getting the blood out of me and it worked without a hitch.

This afternoon I had my last committee meeting of the year!  It wasn't completely smooth sailing since I had to talk about unpleasant issues, but I didn't shy away from them.  I can end my year of service feeling that I represented the faculty who elected me to the best of my ability.  That was my goal going in--not to be cowed and not to have regrets--and I stuck to it.

A beautiful early-evening ride through the countryside with Chris:  the setting sun on be-flowered fields and pauses to smell wisteria and watch some goats.

Postcards from three amazing postal friends!

4/24: cleaner than usual

I tidied up my office on campus so that it's much cleaner and less cluttered than is usually the case at this time of the semester.  It feels good and makes me hopeful.

4/23: two things

Sighting my first fancy evening primroses of the year.

Reading a very good draft of a paper by one of my students.

4/22: group screening

We're studying Pygmalion in my Myth class tomorrow, and I asked the students to read Ovid's account and then watch Lars and the Real Girl.  A group of us watched it together this evening.  I love the humanity of the film, and it feels right to watch it in the company of others.

4/21: out

Tilde the Kitten out on the porch this morning and afternoon, enjoying the air.

Me out on the ridge after dinner, walking with Chris.

The whip-poor-will out in the woods this evening, calling its crazy call.

4/20: repeat

Popcorn and a movie to the rescue again.

4/19: popcorn and a movie

...a recipe for banishing work-worries, at least temporarily.

4/18: pauses

Lots of rain here today, but it let up at just the right times so that I didn't get soaked as I went from building to building on campus.

4/17: home

More than 13 hours at school, and those hours included a more-than-3-hour meeting.  When I got home, Chris had turned on the outside lights for me and unlocked the door, and the cats ran up to me as I crossed the threshold.

4/16: unexpectedly done

It's the time of year when grading is steady.  Today I had some time I hadn't anticipated, and I started-- and (even better) finished--grading a recent batch of Greek tests.

4/15: tilde's pile

Tilde the Kitten has gathered all her bits-and-pieces-for-play into a pile:  paper balls, shoelaces, cat toys.  She lays herself on top of it.  Chris calls the pile Tilde's "heap of meaning," a phrase borrowed Nothing, a book by Janne Teller.  In the book, the phrase is pretty dire (as is the heap it names), but it's sweet to repurpose it for a happier occasion.

4/14: two annual rituals

I went into the woods this morning to visit the dogwoods, something I try to do every year.  Strangely, there were no blooms, but perhaps they're just a little behind?  I'll have an excuse to go out again next weekend and look.

And we did our income taxes.  We don't mind paying taxes, but the paperwork makes me cranky so we usually put it off until the last possible day.  It took less time than we anticipated, which left some leisure for a Sunday afternoon nap.

4/13: paid! met! seen!

Paid:  the tuition for my summer course on picture-books.

Met:  our neighbor for a long walk-and-talk in the twilight.

Seen:  a bat, plus the first fireflies of the year.

4/12: paper topics

I worked with a student last semester on her senior capstone portfolio, and I'm working with her again this semester on a presentation paper for our year-long children's literature project.  Both semesters she found topics that allowed her to speak to things she really cares about, and it's been great to see her enjoy her thinking and her work.  Her writing has also gotten more confident and focused and smooth--partially because of practice, no doubt, but partially also because she and her topics work well together. It was a pleasure to meet with her to discuss her latest draft.

4/11: leaf week

All the trees decided to unfurl over the past few days.  Suddenly everything's green.  My eyes feel a little like they're readjusting to light after coming out of a dark room.

4/10: lentil soup

We're eating dinner at the school cafeteria often these days, because we get a certain number of free meals per semester and it seems a pity not to take advantage of free food.  Recently we discovered where the vegetarian soups are put each day--something we had vaguely noticed before but hadn't tried.  Tonight we both had the lentil soup, and it made us happy.

4/9: a shower

...is one of the best ways I know to refocus after work before settling into an evening of prep.  Of course, a long walk or kayaking would have been welcome, too, but they would have taken longer and wouldn't have given me the preparation time I needed.  So until summer comes and those options are more available, I'm glad to have a quick fix of sorts.

4/8: crazy-sweet

The smell of flowers in the air today, it was almost too much.

4/5-4/7: breather

I'll be taking a blogging break for a few days, but please feel free to post good things from your days in the comments!

4/4: morning, afternoon, evening

A morning conversation with one of the grounds-keepers at work about art and poetry.

An afternoon thinking about Sophocles' Women of Trachis, both in my office and in class.  (I used a new-to-me translation by Dickerson & Williams which worked very well, but I need to read it in Greek myself one of these days!)

An evening with Trollope's Warden to prepare for my conference session this weekend.

4/3: timing

The computer in my office at work stopped working this morning--not a good thing.  But it stopped working after I had just printed all of my teaching materials for the day--and that was a good thing.

4/2: good hours

I did 5 hours of grading today, but it went quickly because it was interesting to read what the students wrote.

4/1: what chris said

We drove to school together this morning.  As we rounded a bend near the lake and saw the fog on the water, he didn't ask, "Do you want to stop and take a picture?"  He knew what the answer would be, so instead he said, "Get your camera ready."