Friday, March 25, 2016


I ask again, "Where were you when the Dark Tower fell and the Ring-Bearers were praised with great praise?" Where were you when the world changed and a new Age began?

Wherever I was then, I find myself now in Sherwood Cottage, where my father-in-law and stepmother-in-law (it's complicated) have come to help us with a few things. My (extended) visit to this place where cowboys stand as the wind comes sweeping down the plain is soon to end, and while the Mrs. and I have been packing for the return trip--although whither we shall "return" is not entirely certain--there are some other things that will not be packed. In wind and water, the weather has made of some of our sundry supplies a mess, and that mess must be cleaned. Doing so takes equipment that I do not have--but my father-in-law does, hence the trip over. That, and Ms. 8, who is the focus of more visits...

Indeed, when my father-in-law and stepmother-in-law arrived yesterday evening, Ms. 8 ran to greet them, exclaiming her names for them in her clear toddler voice, a smile stretching her face. It was good to see, not only for them. (I would be jealous, save that I know she calls after me when I leave the house while she is awake--she is often still asleep when I head off to work--and she is as delighted to see me return, running to me and exclaiming her name for me with a smile stretching her face and her arms stretching to embrace me, although they do not reach as far around as they someday will.) It did take a while to get her to go to sleep, given the excitement of the arrival, but she was smiling and happy, youthfully ebullient, and so longer hours are well worth giving to her; we benefit from the happiness dynamo that is my daughter. (I do still wonder where it comes from with her; she certainly did not inherit it from her father.)

Although family is here, and it is here to help, work continues. Three of the four classes I teach meet today; they have one assignment due and another to distribute. The latter is one of the odd quirks of my classroom practice, something I tend to use to pilot new ideas for later deployment; this semester, it is instead being put to the service of institutional research and my personal development. But the question students will answer for it is one suggested by one of their peers and voted on by the classes; a plurality of students chose the prompt I will be putting to them. It should be an easy and entertaining thing for them, although I imagine that there will be complaints. There always are, even when I do the thing they have explicitly asked that I do. (Being contingent faculty, I have been motivated to...accommodate them. It has not worked as well as could be hoped, and in ways other than I rail against.) Handling the frustration that results therefrom is made easier by family, but I could stand to be praised with great praise now and again...

No comments:

Post a Comment