Saturday mornings

My husband and I keep slightly different hours – he’s a night person and I’m a morning person. Early on we realized that if we tried to keep the same schedule, one of us was always screwed up in the sleep area. So I go to bed when I’m tired and wake up early. Eventually, he comes to bed and sleeps late. It works for us.

By your third marriage, you learn what the little things are. 

My Saturday mornings: I wake up about 6am, start the coffee, let the 3 dogs out, brush my teeth, let the 3 dogs back in, pour the coffee, give the 3 dogs chews, go in my office and start reading my email and catching up on the web. The dogs lay on the floor in my office to keep me company, chewing madly on the rawhide things.

My office sounds like this: tap tap chew chew chew tap tap chew tap chew tap chew tap tap chew tap chew tap. It’s a cacaphony.

Baby ducklings chirp and quack

While my husband sleeps and the dogs chew (and chew and chew), I drink coffee, read and answer personal email from the week, grade student papers, and surf the web. Today I have the first set of work from my baby ducklings. We have them write 1000 words on something they are passionate about.

It can be as trivial as the perfect pizza or as profound as they care to share. But they have to share their passion; when we read the work, we need to see what and why they are passionate about this topic.

This assignment has multiple purposes: they have to write something to a word count, they have to write to the defined writing standards, they show us their voice and organization abilities, and we get to learn something about them.

It’s a fun assignment to grade. We’ve gotten some amazing work. Typically, out of 40 ducklings, half of them are about games of some sort, another 10 are about family in some way, and the last 10 are about anything. One I remember particularly from several quarters ago was about the perfect sake. It was lyrical and sensual. That was passion.

Another student (a rare female) shared how hard it is to be a female in a very male program and how much she wanted to be an engineer. I wanted to hug her and tell her it was going to get easier. Because it will. Because thousands of other women are in the tech world already, paving the way for her.

But I really understood how hard it was for her to be very pretty and female in a very male program. We took her name off the essay and shared it with the department head after the quarter was over. He needed to know what it was like.

His first thought was: How many women were bailing on the program because they couldn’t hold on to the love of engineering in the face of the almost aggressive maleness in the program?

He wants good engineers, not male engineers. I like him a ton.

It’s got to be the going, not the getting there, that’s good

I’ve not started grading yet this morning because I had a lot of email to catch up on and then I got distracted looking up some of my favorite writers. Because I’m traveling this week, I need more books to take with me.

I’m a voracious reader and prefer to spend my travel time in a book. For the 4 days I’m on the road, I expect to need 3 books: 1 for each day of travel and 1 to read at night after the show. With luck, I’ll get home with a book to spare. If I have travel delays (and what are those odds?), then I may need to buy one in an airport. It’s my personal metric of how difficult the travel was.

My best friend’s husband recently turned me on to Jack McDevitt, a great hard sci-fi writer. My first love is science fiction but hard sci-fi is tough to find. I’m delighted with McDevitt and am reading everything I can find of his. Great writer, if you like hard sci-fi. Which I do.

The iceman cometh

Husband is waking up, the sun is shining, I have lunch with a former student, and a book store to go to today. All the windows in the house are open. It’s about 75 degrees at 9am and I could not be happier. I’ve lived for this day for the last 4 months. Warm, sun, soft breeze.

I’m going to put the top down on my little Miata, throw on a head scarf and drive around town doing errands today. The knitting store is having a big sale and I’ll see what yarn they have before I have Lebonese lunch with my former student.

If I have time, I’ll take the puppy and my camera and go somewhere. The light this time of year can be amazing. I have to pack (and maybe do some laundry) because I leave tomorrow, but maybe I can squeeze in some photo time.

Just a glorious day!


One Response to “Saturday mornings”

  1. Just a glorious day!….

    Down under is autumn – may favourite time of year. This week has been mid 20s (Celsius) and I, too, have succumbed to the lure of travelling topless!

    When these days come you’ve just got to grab them with both hands and enjoy them to the max.

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