Thursday, May 19, 2005

Now that I am free of the heavy workload generated by the end of the semester, you'd think I would have lots of fascinating things to write...but I don't. I have not been able to catch up on sleep yet, since every morning I have been awakened by the telephone. Today it was a wrong number. Twice.

I have a fair amount to do this summer. I already started to get my work space organized. Now, I have to send all of my students the promised email memo with a breakdown of their grades (it doesn't seem urgent this time around, since only two students have emailed me to complain, one B+ wanted something higher, and one A- wanted A. That may be a record). There is the Gale Group book on education to update. Also, I am reviewing a few chapters of a new textbook on the history and sociology of education. Then there is the summer course to teach during Session II, and designing the new course I will be teaching in the Fall. And there is always student advisement to do.

This spring, I have not done much of my favorite summer activity, yard work. Soon I will get busy. I am one of the volunteer gardeners at Historic Cherry Hill, and on Saturday I am going to put a couple of hours in there. I have lots of plans for Castleton, and this year, if I can figure out the watering-from-a-distance dilemma, I am hoping to grow zucchini in Samsonville, since my Castleton yield has been disappointing for two years. Not enough sun for squash, I guess, and since space is at a premium, I am going to put in a more prolific crop.

Several weeks ago, the weather reporters on the news starting talking about how things can be planted after May 1, and I laughed at their ignorance. Since then we have had several nights that were below freezing. I think people used to observe the rule that there can be no outside planting in this zone until after Memorial Day. I think this is the best practice. I have never had my tomato plants killed by late spring frost.

On the home gardening front, I don't think I mentioned it here, but for the first time ever, I did not have to do my usual disgusting spring task. If you are curious, here is my report on this task in 2004 and here it is in 2003. (I guess I had better things to write about in 2002, when this journal was new.) Last fall I vowed I would go outside all winter and clean up after the dogs immediately, no matter the weather, time of day or what else I had to do. I kept my promise, and waded out in the yard in the deepest snow, shivering in the dark in my night clothes, dodging thunderbolts. I was motivated by horrible past memories.

As it turned out, due to Rudy's long illness this winter, I had to check regularly to see his status anyway, and sometimes to try to "catch" his urine (eventually he grew to hate this, and would hide behind the shed or in a bush so I couldn't catch him, what with having to wade through deep snow in night clothes in the dark while dodging thunderbolts). I don't think I have ever been so involved with dog excretions. It was part of my daily activities and many of my conversations. I always hoped to report that "Rudy peed, and it looked good."

Anyway - deep snow, freezing temperatures, and thunderbolts aside (yeah, I know there is almost never lightening in the winter, it is possible my imagination is embellishing just a little), I was rewarded when the thaw came, and the yard looked and smelled great. No need to spend hours in a bad mood scraping the top layer of soil into a muck bucket, and wondering why it is I love dogs so much.

Ha, I guess I did have something to write about, but "fascinating" isn't the best word to describe it.

Back to my task list, I have an interview for a job in administration (not at the university) next week. Any more information on that will have to keep.

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