Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Polysemy -- having many meanings

Slogging through the days of
meetings, class, student conferences,
email, websites, research, writing,
I gather my equipment around me,
Take a short break to check my maps
and have a snack.

Through Massachusetts
in late July,
following the AT north for 200 miles
as it winds through swamps,
up and down hills,
through small towns,
I stop to wait,
breathing hard.
Leaning on my poles,
I watch while she
negotiates with a boulder field.
"Walk up the crack," I say.
"Follow that line."

To use the overhead projector, I must
pull down the screen.
Pull and tug as I may,
it will not stay down.
I pull up a chair,
tie a taut-line hitch,
and teach.

Collecting and purifying water,
Hanging a bear bag,
Setting up tents,
Cooking dinner,
Unpacking and packing gear.
The 'how-to' of daily life on the trail.

A colleague stops me in the hall between classes
To tell me that there is no true example
of polysemy.
"The experts argue," he says, grinning.
"And yes, I was looking over your shoulder."
No true example.

Monday, October 10, 2005

First Snow of the Season!

The snow began last night, while I was busily painting a window downtown for homecoming (long story -- we've got a wolf on a spit and a cowboy blowing fire). That was a bit cold, but it was followed by a nice steak dinner at home and a good bottle of red wine. Lovely.

This morning as I look out my office window, the snow is still sticking to the ground, but not to the roads. I'm ready to get my skis tuned up and hit the slopes.

I'm not feeling quite so stressed this week, though goodness knows I probably should be. Still lots to do, but I feel it's doable.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Arctic Softball

This morning, when I left home to head for work, it was 29 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm sitting in my office now, though the sun is shining outside, with a warm and fuzzy muffler wrapped around my neck. There's a draft through the window! I could turn the heat on, but then the violets in my office would die.

Last night, in order to prove my insanity, I agreed to fill in on an intramural softball team made up mostly profs and grad students. Naturally, we were playing folks 20 years younger than me, so we lost by a grand margin of 12 points.

The interesting thing, for me, was to be on a softball team again after probably 15 years of non-softball life. I was placed in right field (which was good! I used to play left field, but I'm a bit rusty at the moment). I came up to bat twice: I struck out once and hit a pop to the third baseman, which he caught.

I'm happy that I didn't completely disgrace myself.

It was cold, though, the Wyoming wind howling across the intramural fields. I did a lot of running, and that kept me warm. My wonderful husband showed his devotion by coming out to watch. Some cold entertainment, that.