11/30: late was okay

I accidentally set my alarm for 5:30 p.m. instead of 5:30 a.m., and Chris was so quiet when he got up that I just kept dozing until 7:00!  But it turned out alright:  I got ready for school more expeditiously than usual, and I had done enough prep last week and last night so I wasn't behind or rushed.  I didn't get ahead any, but I think that's okay, and my body is grateful for the extra sleep.

11/29: moomins out loud

I had a set of Moomin books when I was young, and my sister recently sent me a fresh copy of Moominvalley in November for my birthday.  Chris and I decided to read it aloud to one another, and we're having a good time.  It's (sometimes alternately, sometimes simultaneously) lyrical, philosophical, and hilarious.

11/28: thousands

...of geese overhead, shifting their formations then disappearing into the fog to the east.

11/27: colors from the car

It was a very rainy day, but we drove around a bit and enjoyed the autumn colors.

11/26: leisure reading indulged

One novel finished in the morning; another one started in the afternoon and finished in the night.

11/25: leisure reading resumed

My novel-reading this semester has all been done in the context of teaching prep.  Today I've been reading a novel unconnected to work, and it's been a pleasure to let myself fall into it.

And here are some twilight autumn reds from a walk to the dock:

11/24: cancelled

A faculty meeting scheduled for lunchtime was cancelled, so I took a walk with Chris instead.

11/23: meetings meetings meetings (and in between)

I had a lot of one-on-one meetings with students today who are working on their projects for two of my classes.  It was good to interact with them individually, and I wish I had more time so that our conversations could be more leisurely.

And during my short lunch break I talked with one of my colleagues who told me such interesting things about her extended family's history in the area.  Ditto the wish that I had more time for leisurely conversation, but I'm glad I learned from her what I did today!

11/22: alone & together

Good alone-time at the creek.  The water was cold and active!

Good together-time with Chris, watching Marvel's Jessica Jones on Netflix while eating home-made pizza.

11/21: a few left

The persimmon tree has lost its leaves but there are still some fruits atop it, and they were shimmering in the afternoon sun.  When I pointed them out, Chris called them "pershimmons."

11/20: blinking lights

...or so they seemed.  They were really snow geese flying high overhead, glinting in the morning sun.

11/19: starting and ending

Starting my birthday by taking pictures.  Through the condensation on the windows at home:

And at the lake on my way to school:

Then ending the day by opening packages from my mother and my best friend growing up, who sent me a silver necklace which I am right now wearing.

11/18: a fitting farewell

It was my last text-based discussion day in the freshman seminar I teach on utopian literature (we'll be workshopping projects after this).  We read two short stories by Ursula K. Le Guin:" Sur" and "Newton's Sleep."  The students' thoughts and comments were really good, and it felt like a nice end to this part of the course.  And in a way it's a farewell to the texts of this course for me:  these seminars rotate among faculty, and I've now done my two-year stint, so I won't be teaching these works again in the foreseeable future.  In all:  I'm proud of the syllabus I designed, I feel lucky to have found such a good selection of texts to use, and I know that thinking about the texts on my own and with students has changed me as a person.

11/17: inside looking out

It rained (and rained and rained) today.  I was glad that all my classes were in the same building as my office.  I paused throughout the day to photograph the autumn trees through the windows in the hallway.

11/16: a good burrito

...after work, with Chris.

11/15: afternoon sky

I took breaks from work to photograph the clouds.  Thank you, sky.

11/14: eye / jar journal

A few years ago I made myself an "eye / jar journal":  each page has either an eye stamped on it or a jar with no lid.  On the eye pages I write about what I'm doing or thinking.  On the jar pages I record things I want to keep or let go.  It's unlike my notebook for morning writing in that I don't really write sentences per se or develop ideas--I kind of doodle my thoughts on each page.  I fell out of the habit of using it, but this past week I pulled it out and started using it again, and it's been fun.

11/13: together & alone

Chris and I ran a book discussion group today on Pygmalion, and it seemed to go well, with students saying very interesting things about the play.

And I went to the campus production of He and She in the evening.  When I went to pick up my reservation, the person at the ticket counter asked confusedly, "Just one ticket?" No confusion--I often like to go to the theatre on my own.

11/12: clarity

For one of my courses the publisher sent our bookstore 3 different (but on the surface seemingly identical) versions of the textbook.  It hasn't been a huge issue, but at times it's gotten a little frustrating in class when we're not all looking at the same thing.  I've been trying to "work the problem" over the past week, identifying who has which version, how we can tell them apart, and what we can do to fix the situation and ensure it won't happen in the future.  Today I found a quick way to sort it all out and was almost giddy with gladness.

11/11: reading

...Shaw's Pygmalion this evening.  Chris was reading it too, and it was fun to hear him chuckle as he went.

11/10: enjoying

...translating Greek.  Not only is the Greek itself nice, but focusing on it was also a good way to let go of some of the frayed ends of the day.

11/9: feeling lucky

...to have found Anders Nilsen's Rage of Poseidon for my Myth & Picturebooks course.  It's an odd book, but it seems somehow perfect as the last text we'll be reading and discussing as a group before their individual presentations begin.

11/8: realizing

...that I'm smiling, simply because I'm out in the sun.

11/7: so far

So far this semester I've minimized how much school-work I do on Saturdays.

11/6: individual sessions

My one-on-one meetings with Latin students went well today.  I had 3 hours of back-to-back individual meetings scheduled for the afternoon, and I was worried that I would be exhausted by the end of them.  But it was so nice to work with each of the students that I finished my work-week buoyed up.

11/5: pause at work

I bring my camera to work in case I want to stop somewhere before or after work, but today I used it at work.  I couldn't resist photographing the view through a rainy window on my hallway.

11/4: enthusing

...with a colleague about Ishiguro's Buried Giant.  We crossed paths fairly randomly and got onto the topic of Ishiguro also randomly, so it seemed extra special for our few words to light on something we both enjoyed, especially since we had each talked to other people who had read The Buried Giant and didn't like it as much as we did.  An unexpected connection to give a lift to the end of the day at school.

11/3: eating lunch

I have had trouble making time for lunch at work recently, but today I took a few minutes to have some soup.  Despite a pile-up of things on my to-do list I managed to feel somewhat unrushed while eating it and reading an article.

11/2: late afternoon and evening

I always enjoy ending my Mondays at school with one of my independent study students.  (I have two of them this semester, one on Mondays and one on Wednesdays, and I'm really lucky that they're such nice people and good workers and thinkers--and they do such a great job of holding their own and being "on" for a full hour of intense one-on-one work.)

Today I left quickly after the independent study so that I could take a very short flight with Chris.  When I arrived at the little airport south of town he had the plane literally waiting for me just outside the airport's door to the tarmac.  It was crazy hazy, so almost none of my pictures turned out well, but I like this one of the sunset:

And this evening I got to spend time with Guy Billout's Thunderbolt & Rainbow, an unconventional picturebook presentation of Greek mythological characters that I really like.  I'll be interested in hearing the students' thoughts and reactions tomorrow.

11/1: portfolios done

I needed a quiet 2-hour stretch to finish the grading on a stack of student portfolios.  I've had a hard time finding/making that time, but tonight I (finally) did.  That's a good thing for me, and my students will be really glad, too.