Sunday, May 20, 2007

Um, ok, but . . .

Your Power Bird is a Vulture
You are always changing your life and the lives of those around you.You aren't afraid to move on from what holds you back.Energetic and powerful, you have a nearly unlimited capacity for success.You know how to "go with the flow" and take advantage of what is given to you.


On Sunday mornings we walk downtown to a coffee shop, where we order breakfast (plain bagel, toasted, with butter) and coffee (Chiapas, large), read the newspaper, and chat. This coffee shop has cool art that hangs on the wall, and a big bulletin board with flyers for concerts by Freak Mother, yoga retreats, lost dogs, etc. One of the flyers that I noticed today -- because I make it a regular practice to stand and read the flyers on the board -- was for a writer's group in town. They meet on Wednesday nights, they read and respond to each other's writing, and it all sounded great. I was memorizing the email address when I realized that the last name on the email sounded suspiciously like the last name of the female half of the couple who shafted us out of our dream house several years ago.

It was then that I realized I've been harboring this grudge for much too long. I mean, I get emails from her occasionally, through the faculty/staff listserv, and I regularly delete them without reading them. I've seen her on campus a couple of times and have given her a hard stare and then refused to acknowledge her (I don't think this means much, as I doubt she remembers me the way I remember her!).

But when I consider NOT joining a writing group because the last name of the contact person sounds a bit like her last name -- but clearly isn't -- this is a sign that I need to just get over it. Or perhaps write about it. Either way, now it begins to injure me, and that must stop.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

When all Goes Awry

My trip to Toronto was a string of what I'll call "bloopers" connected by a few wonderful highlights:

Blooper #1: waiting to check in for my flight from Denver to Toronto on Sunday, I heard the man behind me say something about his passport, and a dreadful realization dawned on me: My passport was serenely tucked away in my nightstand drawer in Laramie, a mere 2 and a half hours drive away. I decided to soldier on and see how far I could get -- I managed to get into Canada on my driver's license and charm, and out of it on the same charm and a faxed copy of my passport from Footslogger. Needless to say, I worried about this CONSTANTLY while in Toronto. Sunday night I had to say "Everything will be ok; everything will be ok; everything will be ok" in order to get to sleep.

Highlight #1: Lunch with colleagues from graduate school at Bistro 990, where the omelette was PERFECT and the frites were all that.

Blooper #2: On Monday, I checked out of my hotel room and into my friend Marilyn's (smile). I neglected to listen when the clerk mumbled something about the room; when I took my bag there, I realized that it was a smoking room. Not good! When Marily arrived we had to do some arm-twisting to get a non-smoking room, but . . .

Highlight #2: . . . the new room was not only non-smoking, it had 2 beds instead of 1. Since I'm a loud sleeper (translation -- a bit of snoring, I've been told) this is a good thing.

Blooper #3 [connected to Highlight #1]: I didn't look at the map, and we decided to walk to lunch at Bistro 990. I thought it would take about 10 minutes, but it was actually almost 2 miles and took us over half an hour. We were late, but our friends graciously forgave us. On the plus side, Marilyn and I got an excellent workout.

Highlights #3 and 4: Dinner at The 360 Restaurant in the CN Tower, with former advisor and aforementioned friend Marilyn. Presentation with both colleagues and friends at the International Reading Association; they're so smart and cool, and they make me feel smart and cool by association.

Bottom Line:

Your passport. Don't leave home without it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

What are the chances?

So I'm in Toronto, walking down Front Street with a cup of coffee, a donut, and a newspaper. I'm enjoying the urban thing and feeling good about just hanging out in such a cool city. The weather's good, I'm from Wyoming, and I know no one.

And then I see them: a colleague and her husband. Standing on the corner. In Toronto.

What the hell?

Now it's Summer!

My husband and I are sitting in our shorts with the doors and windows open, typing away on our separate laptops. Sunshine, cool breezes, birds chirping. The cats are outside enjoying eating the grass (and puking it up, no doubt), and we're planning a trip to Fort Collins for some dive gear in preparation for our trip to the Caymans.

Summertime, she has arrived!

Friday I completed the last of three day-long meetings on articulating our teacher ed program. OK, it was worthwhile, but . . . the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and we were sitting on our butts debating how we articulate basket-weaving in all of our courses. No, really, it was good and worthwhile. But I'm glad it's over.

Yesterday evening I dug up some weeds out of the front yard, which is looking incredibly lush right now. That's due to the massive amounts of fertilizer I've been putting on it, and perhaps to the fact that the neighborhood cats haven't started pissing and pooping in the middle of the yard yet. Yes, I live in the house whose yard serves as the neighborhood cat box.

Now I'm off to Toronto for the International Reading Association conference.

Oh, and by the way: I got an A in CHEM 1020 this semester. Let the jubilation begin!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Is It Summer Yet?

Last week we had a candidate in for an endowed chair position, that is, a position funded by the state designed to bring in a big-name scholar who will provide leadership to the college in his or her area of expertise.

Or, if you're my spouse, an endowed chair is a kitchen chair with big boobs. Take your pick.

Anyway, we had this person in for our endowed chair position, and then I spent the next couple of days agonizing over whether or not the candidate would take the position. When. We offered it. Because if we don't we're insane.

Now that I have that off my chest, I want to mention that snow in May is not cool, but it is so Wyoming. It was drizzling on Saturday as I walked to graduation, but during graduation it started to snow. And it snowed all day and all night. There's still snow on the ground. Damn. I'm so ready for some summer, I've got my shorts and t-shirts out and everything. I've bought planters to put flowers in, I want to do yard work! But I must be patient. This too will pass.

Graduation was -- as usual -- super cool. My students (now graduates!) are awesome; 75% of those who walked graduated with honors!! The way we do graduation is that as students in particular programs walk across and off the stage, faculty in those programs are there to greet and congratulate them. It's the typical time for me to be bawling like a baby, so proud of my students as they become professional educators. As I was hugging and congratulating one of my students, she took off her brown satin UW stole and hung it around my neck, saying "This is for you, Leslie, for everything you've done for me." Oh. My. God. Couldn't stop crying for several minutes after that.

So now I'm just mopping up -- finishing a few grading tasks and putting my grades in the system. Then the writing will commence.