The vocabulary of insanity

The weather is getting warmer and more humid around here, and the colors outside have shifted from countless shades of pale, delicate green into the lush deep greens of the approaching summer. I’ve finally managed to convince myself that my teaching work really is completed for the next two months or so, and this enables me to really sink into the activities I wish I could do all the time, without the distractions of that pesky task of making a living.

Summer is not my favorite season, but it sure can be pretty to look at.

I dusted off my bike and took it out for a long inaugural ride. My closets and file cabinets are getting shorn of unnecessary bulk. My car has been freshly washed and waxed and I’d swear she now preens her way down the highway. I have plans to build some simple, sleek shelves to replace a bulky barrister cabinet that is taking up too much room in my tiny home office. And I will break out the brushes, and bright yellow paint to bring new life to my living room. Continue reading

Beware of the Russians

As I look forward towards the next few homework-free months of summer, my thoughts very naturally go to my reading list. Really, it’s my reading shelf. Okay, shelves. It started out with a small section of one shelf devoted to the books that I wanted to get to sooner rather than later. I dubbed it The Green Room, and it has grown substantially since I first inaugurated it.

The problem is that I am the kind of reader who really needs to be focused on one book at a time. I become so utterly immersed in the story that trying to read another book at the same time feels like cheating. Even more than that, though, it feels unsatisfactory. Having to split my attention means I can’t fully engage the way I like to when I read, and so I end up feeling like I just ate a couple of slices of individually-wrapped cheese product when what I really wanted was one small bite of a fantastic triple cream Brie. Continue reading

And she’s rounding third!

Benjamin Franklin said “Fish and guests smell after three days.” And I will add that semesters definitely smell by the 13thweek. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been hanging on until the home stretch, which will officially begin tomorrow at 4:45 p.m. I am quite stubborn in defining the ‘home stretch’ as the last two weeks, and so all this week has been filled with anticipation of rounding third and heading home.

Van Halen (Image courtesy of Van Halen Productions Inc)

Anticipation makes me punchy and that is definitely how I would characterize this past week. Whenever I sat down to concentrate on school work, I suddenly had the urgent and irresistible need to complete other tasks that I’d been putting off. These Very Important Tasks that just could not be postponed for a single minute more included filing my nails, sending a friend the YouTube link to Van Halen’s Hot for Teacher, and finding the name tag from the sporting goods store I worked in during high school.

Another task that I decided took precedence over grading papers was to satisfy the burning desire to know why I was ‘punchy’. I mean, I know the reasons for the behavior, but why am I describing it as punchy? I decided to focus the Friday’s Word of the Week on something new I’ve learned about a familiar word. Continue reading