There comes a moment every Spring, well, since I've been professor-ing, when I shift from teaching full-time and reading student work (the good, the bad, the surprising, the dreadful...) to teaching part-time or no-time and having my time fluid and free yet again. As glorious as this freedom is--freedom from alarm clocks and packing lunches and snacks and grading, good lord, the grading)--it's an adjustment.
Last week, after the Florida mini-break, I went to "faculty camp," a several days long series of workshops and fellowship with fellow teaching faculty. I learned some nifty ideas to apply in the fall, and some good ideas to think about over the summer for the sustainability project I'm coordinating in the fall.
So this week has been my week of transitioning, and it's going fairly well. I'm staying up later than usual reading. I just finished Kate Christensen's The Great Man, which won (and is most deserving of) the PEN/Faulkner award. Now I'm debating reading for class--my International Literature class starts next week--reading for sustainability--the theme that I need to develop ASAP--or to read for sheer pleasure. The scales are tipped in favor of the latter.
On this rainy Tuesday, I walked downtown in the drizzle for a cup of Alterra coffee made strong, at the local breakfast/lunch joint that serves my favorite brew. I meandered home, sent a few emails (my many inboxes are exploding with unanswered messages), made lunch (homemade spinach and parm pizza--the trick to a great crust is leaving the dough in the fridge several days), and then headed to She-town for some supply gathering. Grassfields milk, both skim and whole (I have thoughts of a vanilla bean ice "milk"), Alterra beans for home, and various other goodies. I walked up and down the aisles of TJMaxx looking for surprises (Vera Wang notecards and Scharrfen-Berger tasting squares of chocolate), reveling in the fact that I didn't really need to be doing anything else.
I lingered over dinner preparation--a faux salad nicoise, with petite yukon golds (not local, not organic, but still tasty), local asparagus, garbanzos, and local spring onion, tossed with my good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon; an omelet with yuppie hill eggs, local organic spinach, and saxony cheese from Saxon creamery. Add a slice of toast made with whole wheat amish bread and a glass of Chilean Cabernet Rose, and it was a stunning meal of simplicity. What a lovely turn away from heavy soups and roasted things.
The lilacs are blooming, the garden is planted, and winter is over. My eyes are open for everyday miracles and subtle surprises, and my heart is slowly opening to a new season with endless possibilities. My mind is cracked open for new projects, new perspectives, and establishing new neural pathways for positivity.
And before I veer off into new-agey nonsense, I bid you a lovely evening, my dear readers.