9/30: 3 for today

Morning:  The beginning Greek students did well on their quiz.  They've been doing well consistently, but it's nice to see the trend continuing as Greek gets harder.

Afternoon:  The Latin students translated smoothly and had good things to say about Ovid's story of Niobe and its relation to other tales in the Metamorphoses.

Evening:  During the school year the work doesn't seem ever to end, but I took time to make vegetarian Hopping John for dinner and then to walk down to the dock with Chris for sunset, where a neighbor joined us.

9/29: rotated back in

Today I wore a shirt I haven't worn in years, and I'm not exactly sure why I stopped rotating it in.  It's well-designed, more stylish than what I've been wearing recently but not in a showy way.  I felt good in it all day.

9/28: back to postcrossing

Postcrossing was a big find for me in the spring of 2007:  I had always enjoyed sending postcards, and it was amazing to discover a community of like-minded folks.  Over the past year, though, I've only been participating (very) intermittently, but this morning while enjoying my time on the porch I wrote 12 postcards.

9/27: evening out

We went to North Little Rock to watch a play by a local playwright.  We arrived at the theatre early and so wandered along a little stretch of Main Street.  How not to be charmed by an old sign like this one?

9/26: bonuses

I got really amazed this morning while looking at fossilized pterodactyl outlines.  I was poking around online a little because I wanted to be able to show my students how the pterodactyl's name (wing-finger) is apt, and I was jaw-dropping astounded by the images at Wikipedia like this one (click here). I didn't think my day had such a thing in store for me.

I had mentally prepared myself to be finishing my abstract this evening (to meet a midnight deadline), but I managed to finish and submit it early--which gave me time to kayak.

9/25: mid-morning break

At 10:08 I looked at the daily email listing of on-campus happenings, and I saw that there was a dance recital at 10:10.  I didn't have time to weigh if I should or shouldn't go--I just went.

9/24: more systematic

Over the past week I've done some noodling with an abstract.  This evening my work on it was more focused and organized, and I think I'm three-quarters done.

9/23: in my bag

Back in September 2009 we had some days of great clouds; seeing them while on campus and being unable to photograph them (because I had no camera with me) was one of the things that pushed me to get a little camera to carry around in my book bag.  (Old blog post about it here.)  Today was another September day of great clouds, and as I left my office in the afternoon I was so glad I had my book-bag camera on hand.  It's not the same one from 2009 because I've gotten a little more particular over time, but pulling it out made me think fondly of that first one.  And these were the clouds I was grateful to be able to photograph today:

9/22: unsystematic but something

I am trying to pull together an abstract for a paper, and I've done scattered thinking on the topic over several years, taking unorganized notes on related articles and books.  The lack of organization is not a good thing and something I need to rectify (though not now, as I'm trying to get the abstract done).  But it is good that I made some time today to think about the ideas, poke through some old notes, and collect new bits of bibliography.

9/21: blogiversary

Six years of almost daily good things--that's a good thing!

Other good things in my Sunday included:  lentil and carrot salad with ginger dressing, apple lentil cake (yes, lentils was a deliberate theme), a stroll with Chris and our cameras, some texts to-and-fro with my family, tickets to fly east in December to meet up with my family, a little time at the lake, and that little bit of time extended to walk and talk with a neighbor.

From today's walk with Chris:

9/20: date with the lake

Kayaking time is harder to come by, but I was able to go out on the lake this evening.  Some geese flew overhead, a reminder that we're moving into autumn.

9/19: woman on the edge of time

I chose Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time as one of the texts for one of my courses this semester, and I'm really glad I did.  As I was sitting in my office this morning, preparing my notes for class, I re-read a passage in the novel and the rightness of it struck me as so very right that it made me cry.  A few hours later a student, unprompted, quoted the same passage.

9/18: in the act

We know that coyotes sometimes take up residence in the neighborhood (we hear them), and a few years ago we realized that they must come into our yard occasionally to eat persimmons, but we had never seen them.  Until this morning.  Chris spotted one underneath a persimmon tree and then came to get me so I could see it too.  It was casually eating up the fallen fruit.

9/17: comfort food

My dinner:  a big plate of cheesy French fries.  This is my treat-to-self before each month's evening faculty meeting.

9/16: a few sentences

The summer-and-holiday practice of writing four pages most mornings goes by the wayside during the school year, alas.  But this morning, while I was finishing my coffee on the porch, I managed to write the opening paragraph of an abstract, and it felt good.

It also felt good to put a postcard to Chris' uncle and aunt in the mail today.  They've always been wonderful to me, and they've been having some challenging times.  A photo and a few sentences from me can't really change that, but I hope it can give them a smile.

9/15: pulling off for a minute (twice)

On my way to school this morning I stopped to photograph the lake.  An older couple was enjoying the view at the pier, too.

On my way to the grocery story this evening I stopped at the dock to catch some of the light on the water.

9/14: in the air

I was feeling well enough this evening to go out on the lake after dinner.  The air had an autumn cool in it.

9/13: very short stroll

I'm not feeling well today, but before the sunset Chris and I walked around our house a little, picking our way through the overgrowth and grasses.  I took a few photos, including these of some late-blooming (or about-to-be-late-blooming) alium.

9/12: playwright's theatre

Every year my school has a play-writing competition for alumni, and each fall there's a staged reading of the winning play.  It's a unique event, and it's especially amazing to me that a college of our size has enough play-writing alumni to keep a competition going year after year.  I was glad to go to the reading and be part of the tradition, sitting among 100+ people who came to hear a new play on a Friday night.

9/11: celia

I met Celia when we were both just done with graduate school; she interviewed for a job at the college where I was teaching then.  She didn't get the job, and I left that school the following year, but we've stayed in touch ever since.  I'm not as good as she is at checking in regularly, but every autumn for the Jewish new year I send her and her boys some honey for their celebration.  Today I packaged some up and mailed it off.

9/9: facebook friends

I know lots of people are ambivalent about Facebook.  I don't do much there--post some pictures, click "like" on some friends' posts, send people birthday wishes and quick messages.  Still, I am grateful for the ability to do those things.  And it's wild to have people from such different parts of my life all seeing the same picture I took and commenting on it.  Like this one, which I posted last night:

Today I was too tired to end my day with a full-blown piece of correspondence, but Facebook made it easy for me to wish a happy birthday to someone I went to Pennsylvania Governor's School with (decades ago) and to one of my parents' former students (who knew me when I was in kindgergarten! & has been a great family friend over the years); I also wrote quick Facebook messages to someone I went to highschool with and to two other family friends.  People might bewail the brevity encouraged by Facebook--but, truth be told, I think that brief messages are better than the no-messages I'd likely have written without it.

9/8: lilian

Lilian is my colleague and friend; we started working at our college at the same time and in the same department, and we've gotten close over the years.  On Friday she gave me a large jar of chocolate truffles!  Today I gave her a thank-you card with a photo of mine, which I thought she'd especially like, of a fiddle-head fern unfolding.

And I think she did like it.  She said that we should say "as the fern unfurls" instead of "as the world turns."

9/7: moop

That's my name for my mother.  My time with her in Loretto feels really long ago now, but I wrote to her this evening to let her know (among other things) that the scallion pancakes I learned to make while I was there have become a new favorite here.

9/6: linsey & juli

I was exhausted yesterday when I got home from school and grocering, so I didn't post.  To make up for it, today I'll write about two people.

I've been exchanging postcards and short notecards with Linsey and Juli (separately) since 2009--hurray for snail mail and finding other snail-mail enthusiasts!  The two of them have been incredibly kind to me, sticking with me over the years even though I am nowhere near as quick as they are to send a reply.  Today I sent them photos from this summer's trip to Montana, and I hope they'll like them.

9/4: marti

I met Marti via sendsomething.net.  From my records, it looks like we started exchanging occasional postcards back in August 2010.  We never write much on the cards, but the regular expression of goodwill is really nice.  I'm going to prepare a card for her before turning in for the night.

9/3: murray

Murray is my brother, and today I sent him a photo postcard that I hope will make him smile.  He was on my mind this evening because I was working on a new website with a Wordpress platform, and he's helped me with other Wordpress sites in the past when I've gotten stuck, unsure how to tinker with the theme/code in the best way.  I may need his help again sooner rather than later, but this evening I managed to solve my most pressing issue on my own.  It made me grateful for his help the other times when I couldn't figure it out by myself.

9/2: marisa

I'm going to continue for awhile longer to try to celebrate a different person here each day, with the notion that I'll also visit with or write a note to that person on the day I post about them.  "Daily good thing" is temporarily becoming "daily good person."

Today's good person is Marisa, one of my childhood friends who was a life-saver back then and was so great to me when I was in Pennsylvania this spring.  Today I sent her a postcard with a photo I took, during June's trip to Montana, of some prairie dogs.  I think it will make her--as well as her mother, who is also amazing--smile.

9/1: katy

Katy is a friend of mine from my graduate school days; we were lucky enough to live just a few blocks apart from one another in a fantastic neighborhood in Los Angeles (not near our university, making it especially fortuitous that we lived close to one another).  She now lives in Indiana, and I had a great time visiting her this summer.  This evening I'm going to write her a postcard before I turn in because I want her to have some happy mail waiting for her when she returns home from work sometime this week.