Stuff and Things

My favorite title for a blog post has to be “Stuff and Things” because it covers so much. Here’s what it’s covering tonight:

This weekend I had a day of joy. That’s the only thing I can think of saying to describe it. On Saturday I took four of my students to an ESL conference. I can’t say I was terribly excited about the day, but I knew it would be good for my students. As we pulled into the parking lot at the college where it was being held, I wondered for a moment if I might see someone I knew there. I doubted it, and went in.

We arrived a little late, even having left at 7 AM, so when we walked into the first workshop it was a quick dash to find open chairs. I sat down and tried to concentrate on the activity being described, but since I was sitting squarely in the middle of the room, I wanted to take a better look around the room. I like to see everyone else during a class–I almost always side on the edge of a room. So I looked around, and saw 2 of my classmates from graduate school in California! It was such an amazing surprise. I’m not entirely sure what the rest of the workshop was about, being too busy wondering about them and their lives, etc. It turned out that there was another one of our colleagues at the conference too, so it ended up being a really great time of catching up and reliving a few memories.

I described it, maybe not so successfully, to a friend as being a “feast day.” What I meant is that moving back to CA when I did felt like a feast…I was surrounded by an incredible community. And moving to SD has often felt like famine, at least when I’m not spending time with my family. Relationships take a long time to build, and it’s been hard to find people I feel like I have things in common with. So seeing my classmates was one of those feast days, a day when I felt like part of a community again.

Another topic covered by “stuff and things” is that my plan to go back to school in January is moving along. Currently my application is being reviewed, and they will have a decision about my admission in a few weeks. Really? I sort of thought the whole application thing was a formality, at least the undergraduate part. Ah, well, hopefully they choose wisely.

A funny moment, also covered by “stuff and things,” happened to me today at the library. I had a few minutes to kill before participating in a focus group about the cars classified section of the local paper (earned $25-whoohoo!), so I stopped by our friendly public library. I browsed the new books, hoping for something to jump out at me. Nothing did, so I read a few dustjackets and picked one that looks okay. I brought it to the counter, and after scanning my card the librarian wanted to confirm that I had cancelled my hold on a recipe book for ricecookers. Feeling compelled to share too much information in a retail-type setting (a side effect of living in the midwest), I told her that I had decided to purchase the book instead of borrowing it. She said “Yeah, there are just some books you have to have.” And then, the great part of the story, is that she lowered her head a little and leaned in, a sparkle in her eye, like she was telling me a very intriguing secret, and said “I have a lot of books about cat behavior.” She made my night.

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