Monday, May 14, 2007

Grades are in

Turned the last of my grades in today. This is done online, which is actually pretty nice: you can log in and add (or change) final grades up until the deadline, at which point they process the whole thing. (I haven't a clue about the proper terminology.) Anyway, I graded portfolios on Thursday, on Friday, on Saturday, on Sunday. So I practically skipped all the way home this afternoon: what to do first?

The garden, of course: two weekends ago, I got up early Saturday to haul our garden clippings (branches, leaves, pine needles, pulled weeds) over to the dump. Well, it's not exactly a dump, though folks haul their yard waste there. The borough brings in these ENORMOUS grinding machines, which pulverize bamboo, whole shrubs, entire christmas trees, into great mounds of mulch, which is periodically turned by bulldozer. So you drop off your green stuff and take away free mulch. I brought home half a truckload and piled it in a corner of the driveway.

So I have some catching up to do in the garden. It was so nice to get out there for a few hours. The columbines are just blooming--these are plants I grew from seed last year, and they were marvelous; they're much smaller this year, though the double flowers are still wonderful. All the ferns and hostas are up; the ajuga is in full bloom (both the blue-violet and a nice pale lavender), but the show-stealers this week are the sweet violets, which we've been encouraging for a few years now. They're in full bloom, just beautiful.

We have a small patch of Lily-of-the-valley that's just now in bloom. The scent carries through the whole yard, heavier than freesia, an almost unbearably sweet perfume that takes me back to my childhood: I used to feel so proud to pick a wee bouquet for my Mom every May.

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Congratulations to Jim Harms, whose poem "We Started Home, My Son and I" (from West Branch # 58) has won a Pushcart Prize!

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