Thursday, April 24, 2008

13 Reasons I Canceled Class on Friday
and gave myself a long weekend

1. No earthly ideas for lesson plans. I'm coming up blank at the moment. Only six more days of classes. I covered all the essentials for my students' final speeches and then I set up a day of "Speech Jeopardy" which is played for Extra Credit Points only. Yes, I really enjoy my work. Not sure the students appreciate such moments, but HEY! when it stops being fun, I'm good to retire and travel. Anyway, giving myself Friday off is like giving myself a week off. Next week my students are scheduled to give their final speeches, so no work for me (except listening) all week. Wow..... this professor gig rocks!

2. 80 degrees! Finally! Spring fever has struck my students and ME! I want to roll in the grass, stare at the bright green leaves, breathe the fresh air, open the windows (I've been breathing that same air inside since October!), and shout... "HELLLOOOO World... Spring is Here!" Actually, we seem to have skipped spring and gone directly, do-not-pass-Go-do-not-collect-200-dollars, to summer. I'm sure we will get our comeuppance, but I'm wallowing now. To cancel class is almost oxymoronic since only 6 students came to one class on Monday. I'm fighting a losing battle. If I can't beat 'em, I'm joining 'em!

3. Unpack Summer Clothes/Pack winter clothes. I'm so sick of black I could scream. Bring back my lime green, hot pink, and bright powder blue! Not that I actually recede in winter... but I think I do wrap myself in toned-down colors and wait for that Easter egg moment when I can jump back to vivid me. I'm ready; I hope the weather doesn't play a big ol' snow trick (ewwww).

4. Write! I have been "doing" The Artist's Way to unblock my creative self. I'm learning a lot. I like how I've committed to writing 3 pages, by hand, every morning. I actually get up one half hour earlier than usual on school days just to accomplish my task. I can say that I have written every single day for the past eight weeks. I'm halfway through the 9th. I am becoming unblocked! Now I need to work on scheduling and writing. I've almost been afraid to come to the screen and begin again. And I must. Writing is who I am. To deny myself would be a great loss to my heart. Today... .2000 words or bust!

5. Craft/Art Projects! I've been "into" Altered Art and now I'm moving along full steam. Okay, half steam, but still some steam is better than no steam. Collage, papier mache, beading, distressed ink... wow... I love my studio again! I find that art projects usually propel me headlong into writing. Cross your fingers!

6. Library Books Due. Speaking of writing.... I have to return four books about Robert Kennedy, since my current w-i-p takes place in December, 1967, on the eve of the announcement that he's running for President. Although I lived through that time, and even campaigned for him, I wanted to capture the flavor, not just my memories, of that 60's.

7. Read! While I'm on the treadmill, I listen to books. I'm so into To the Last Man, by Jeff Shaara, that I checked the book out of our library. But...earlier this year, I had placed it on my wish-list at Bookmooch (see sidebar for info). And someone gave it up last week, I snatched it, and it arrived -- a perfect, beautiful paperback. Well, now I have three ways to read. And finally the time. I love it. I also started the Anne Stuart "Ice" series. I guess it's romantic suspense, which is not necessarily my favorite, but the books came well-recommended. I am also reading through the Amanda Peabody Egyptologist series by Elizabeth Peters. I'm into the second book and I have the third in my basket. I used to have quite a love affair with all things Egypt, plus I giggle at the old fashioned first person, sometimes omniscient, POV in these novels (Amanda is a kick!). Also stacked in my "To Read" basket are the following: To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis; The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde; L.A. Confidential, by James Ellroy; Sovereign Ladies: Sex, Sacrifice, and Power, The Six Reigning Queens of England, by Maureen Waller. Aaaah, summer vacation is soon upon me... and I am fortified!

8. Catch up with Netflix . With recent house-guests and the end of the semester and the election vortex into which I get sucked just about every darn day, I haven't relaxed with a movie in quite some time. Sitting here in the little basket where I keep those red Netflix envelopes are the following movies: Atonement, There Will Be Blood, American Gangster, Lions for Lambs, and Starting Out in the Evening. I'm especially interested in that last one, Starting Out in the Evening because it's about a writer. Popcorn anyone?

9. Sourdough Day. I bake sourdough bread. I've used a starter for over a year, and I must make bread every week or so, lest the starter fizzle. Since we entertained guests the last two weekends, I haven't whipped out the flour and baked bread (although that would have caused the house to smell delightful). I'm ready for tomorrow!

10. Hoard Rice. Not that I eat much rice. But hoarding sounds like a day-off sort of activity. "What did you do on your day off?" "Oh, pulled some weeds, washed the car, hoarded some rice. You know. The usual." I guess the whole rice shortage will be a major topic soon enough, I shall make no more jokes... Oh, who am I kidding ? I will, too! (I could say "silly Americans," but I think we are not the only culprits) (or hoarders).

11. Could Grade Papers. Or not. That's the beauty of giving myself the day off. I can procrastinate all the way to Sunday afternoon. Ah......

12. Take a Walk. Outside for a change. I've been walking every day on my treadmill, at least 30 minutes a day. I haven't missed but a couple days in the last month. I'm becoming better about setting exercise goals. The idea of getting outside to walk is really a bonus. Not that I need a holiday to do it, but let's face it, prepping for an outside walk is a bit more of a process than stepping onto the treadmill right here in the house. Such a chore. I have to don mascara in order to venture into the world. But on Friday, I shall relish the chance!

13. Car Inspection. Steve poked his head in the office to remind me, just when I ran out of reasons.. Oh! I need to get that done by the end of the month. In Vermont -- an inspection sticker (not the least bit tied to car registration renewal sticker, go figure) every year. Here's a funny story that I can tell on my husband. He came home with a ticket. In our neighborhood we employ the constable with the most tickets written in the state -- every year. We warn all visitors to keep to the speed limit. He's a terror, even if you're going 2 miles over the limit. So, I had a gleam in my eye when Steve held the ticket and hung his head. BUT... the ticket wasn't for speeding. It was for an out-of-date inspection sticker. Steve was shocked, I tell you, shocked! He couldn't believe the trooper. So, he jumped out of his truck and checked. Lo and behold... the sticker was from.... wait for it...wait for it.... 2006. He had rolled through almost two years, inspection/sticker free. I have an appointment tomorrow. But I'm not rubbing his silly ticket in his face. No. Never. Muuuuaawww.


Gina Ardito said...

The sun is an excellent reason to get outdoors, especially after a loooooong winter! Enjoy and hope you get all that stuff done.

Zara Penney said...

Having just survived the two minute lecture on how I should be checking my answering machine, (I really do forget to do it - really! It can flash all it wants but I'm oblivious to it!) - I'd love a ticket moment to gloat over.

Enjoy your muuuuuaaaaawwwww moment Zeebee!