Saturday, September 20, 2008

Meeting the parents

This morning I headed up to campus to participate in our Faculty Open House, a one-hour event in which (presumably) all the faculty are corraled and nametagged into a central area into which visiting parents (with and without their enrolled offspring) are poured. It's a civilized kind of fracas: each department has a small table and identifying sign around which we cluster as parents wander around in search of Junior's professors. . . This year, nearly half the parents I spoke to had no real details of their kids' actual schedules--either the students had neglected to provide this basic information or had failed to show up at the appointed hour of ten AM--and as a result, we were forced to send the parents along the line, from one of us to the next to the next, until someone (hopefully) brightened with an "Oh yes! Your daughter/son is in my class!" It was sad.

The few parents I was *hoping* might turn up (and provide some clues, consciously or not, about why, for example, Junior just can't stop rocking back & forth and muttering softly in my class) (I made that one up but some of the behavior is just as disconcerting) did not, alas. But I quite enjoyed chatting with the nine or ten who sought me out (because I teach first-year composition, I tend to get the longer queue). The drive home reminded me that it's nice to be out of the house on a Saturday morning.

Randy, meanwhile, had offered to take the car to its 1:00 appointment for new tires, so I was able to get cracking on a fresh stack of essay drafts. It's nice to have the Saturn running again; I hope it lasts us another ten years.
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My folks finally had their power restored on Thursday, though it's still out at Dad's shop, and Mom says he's starting to get "sour" about it. They're in Cincinnati, where the remnants of Ike tore down quite a number of large trees.
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Number of very small mice captured and released since last week: three.

Number of blocks I walked the second mouse before releasing: two.

Number of times Randy reminded me that mice don't find their way back all that easily (they do, after all, need to be trained to navigate mazes: thankfully only one (he really could have rubbed that in for a while).
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I hear geese. Summer ends tomorrow. Our crabapple tree is loaded this year; we're planning to make jelly again. Last time, it turned out wonderfully.
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E-Z Borrow books on my reading table: Peter Covino, Cut Off the Ears of Winter; Sue Owen, My Doomsday Sampler; G.E. Patterson, Tug; Eric Gamalinda, Zero Gravity; Greg Orr, Concerning the Book...; Jon Pineda, Birthmark.

I'm trying not to go overboard; I can only keep each book for 4 weeks. Thank you, Penn State and Carnegie Mellon, for your poetry libraries.
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Back to work--

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