2/29: "leap" words on leap day

It just so happened that in the Etymology class today we covered words that contain the Latin base for "leap":  assail, sally, salmon, insult, desultory, salient, resilient, result, exultation!

2/28: the opportunity

...to think about words.  Of course, I think about words a lot, both for work and for pleasure.  But whenever I teach Etymology I get a chance to think about them more and differently, and that's a good and welcome thing.  Right now I get to teach Etymology only once every three or four years, and it may have to be rotated out of my course offerings entirely (alas), so I'm going to try to make sure to enjoy this semester's class as much as possible.

Today I was glad to finish reading my students' book reviews on Knowles' How to Read a Word, discover some new-to-me eggcorns, write an assignment description for a class project on word studies related to our campus, see Ingrid Sundberg's color thesaurus, and come upon the word "listicle" (I have a soft spot for diminutives).

2/27: getting out

...of a sinkhole I inadvertently created for myself on Thursday night.  On Thursday night I wrote an email which was supposed to aid efficiency but which instead made Friday into a quagmire.  This afternoon I wrote an email that at least for awhile (the rest of the weekend?) takes me out of it (or so I hope).

2/26: some good interactions

...with students today--in the classroom, after class chatting, and in office hours.  Especially welcome in a day filled with some less pleasant things.

2/25: a few students

...seemed to really enjoy the picturebook and graphic novel images I projected in class today, and they stayed afterward to page through the actual books and write down the titles so they could buy some of the titles themselves.

2/24: reviews

I'm reading my students' reviews of How to Read a Word by Elizabeth Knowles.  I'm only half-way through the stack, but so far they're doing a careful and balanced job.

2/23: waking up to friends

Tilde and Emma are excellent cats to wake up to.

2/22: driving at night and seeing

...the moon on the water, a possum, and two little rabbits.

2/21: more

...harbingers of spring:  including trout lilies, chickweed, speedwell, buttercups, spring beauties, and another round of crocuses.  All making the air smell sweet.

2/20: beginning

Things in the yard getting ready for spring:  the first daffodils, a (very) few blooms on the spirea, the beginnings of pink on the redbud trees.

2/19: a visitor

My office hours were unexpectedly busy this afternoon.  While I was talking to the last student, someone in a suit looked into my office and then sat down in the waiting area outside it.  His face looked familiar; I figured he must be an alum, but I couldn't place him on the spot.  When I finished with my student, the visitor came in and immediately introduced himself.  As soon as his name was halfway out of his mouth I realized who he was.  He graduate in 2006 or so, and since then he's gotten a PhD in Biology and a good job in a lab--he was passing through town because of a business meeting in Little Rock, so he thought he'd stop by.  He thanked me in a really sweet and genuine way for something I did for him at the very end of his undergraduate career.  It was a thank-you that was all the better for being a decade after the fact (though I'm sure he thanked me at the time, too).  I second- and third-guess myself so very much, and I'm not always confident that I'm having a good effect on people's lives.  I was grateful for the reassurance in this case at least.

2/18: the right 2 hours

My body hurt last night and again today.  Though I have medicine, the pain seems to be pushing through it more than usual.  I am grateful that, for today, the pain was at its lowest point while I was teaching in the afternoon.  Those were a good 2 hours to be pain-free, and I was glad for the chance to focus on my students' interesting comments rather than on my aches.

2/17: receiving

...an email from a student.  I had written her a letter of recommendation a few weeks ago, and today she found out that she got the internship and funding she had applied for.  I am so excited and happy for her and am grateful that I know her.  Her enthusiasm and thankfulness really lifted my spirits.

2/16: bread (kind of)

Really it's more like cake and includes orange peel, cranberries, pistachios, and chocolate chips.  My mother sent me the dry ingredients pre-measured and pre-mixed as a present so that all I had to do was add some wet ingredients and bake.

2/15: stitching

...with embroidery thread on paper.

2/14: letting myself

...take it easy because I was feeling under the weather in the afternoon.

...take advantage of a holiday from school tomorrow to go to compline this evening.

2/13: a good saturday

Watching movies, having coffee with a friend, painting, and sewing.

2/12: stopping

...on my way home at a not-usual-for-me place on the lake to take pictures.  I've often thought about stopping there, but am usually too eager to get home.  I'm glad I finally stopped to catch some of the late afternoon reflections.

2/11: excitement in the morning

Last night I started reading Miss Ranskill Comes Home, written by Barbara Euphan Todd and republished by the wonderful Persephone Books.  It was a really nice way to end yesterday, and this morning I got happy and excited just thinking about returning to it this evening.

2/10: two things that helped

Talking with Chris and doing the dishes.  (Not at the same time.)

2/9: okay at the end

I often leave meetings feeling flustered and/or self-conscious and/or worried about what I said.  Today we had a long meeting at school and at the end of it I didn't feel any of those things.

2/8: not really lost

I arrived at school this morning only to find that my office key was not on my key-ring.  Public safety opened my door for me, so a temporary fix was pretty easy, though not the most relaxing start to the work-week, and getting a new key made at school is a real hassle (wrapped-in-red-tape and time-consuming), so I was worried about what it would mean if my key were lost for good.  But it wasn't:  I came home mid-day to see if I could find it, and I did.  In the pocket of the coat I wore on Friday.  Now I'll know to check each morning.  And actually it's a pretty good thing that in 16 years this is the first time I locked myself out.

2/7: enjoying

...designing a poster for an event at school.  I'm nervous about the event itself (a workshop on altered text and remixed poetry), but making the poster lifted my attitude.

...the fact that I went kayaking yesterday and went to Woolly Hollow today.

...eating pupusas.

...reading a few poems from The Scented Fox by Laynie Browne, an essay in Design as Art by Bruno Munari, and more of The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman.

...ordering a few novels from Persephone Books.


...getting the garbage ready for pick-up tomorrow.

...playing another round (against myself) of Latin Scrabble.

...getting some valentines ready to mail.

2/6: warm without wind

...and that's a recipe for being able to kayak.  I went out in the late afternoon so I could spend some time paddling around before watching the sunset.

2/5: latin scrabble

I ordered some sets of Latin Scrabble, two for school and one for myself, and they arrived today.  I celebrated the start of the weekend by playing both sides in a two-player game.

2/4: thanks, alarm clock

I've written plenty of times here about the pleasure of getting to sleep without an alarm clock (on weekends and during holidays), but today it was a pleasure to wake up earlier than usual (with prompting from my alarm clock) and get enough work done in the course of the day that I could take the time in the evening to go to a lecture.

2/3: more migration

The cedar waxwings are passing through town and they spent the day eating berries on a big holly tree outside my office building.

2/2: bright

Bright late-morning sun after early-morning rain.  (I went for a walk.)

And bright yellow-orange crocuses in our yard.

2/1: migration

The pelicans, who often pass through at this time of year, were on the lake this morning.