Sunday, February 01, 2009

Getting through

I spent most of the week in bed, studying and planning lessons just enough to keep my head above water. I really only got out of bed long enough to teach, hold office hours or go to class. It was a rough week. I longed to hug my family.

I wanted to stay in bed, but I made myself get up, and go to school and work. I'm glad I did. It was a good teaching week. My students were so receptive. One student has an undiagnosed learning disorder, and I think I really helped her. I gave her tips for coping with her challenges, and they seemed to be working. If they do work, then I've given her tools to succeed, not just for my class, but for her entire college career and beyond. It made my heart flutter, almost like being in love. Teaching is so powerful, because it can transform lives for the better. That's why we do it. (Most of us, anyway. I suppose some people do it for the vacations.)

I talked to Mom a lot this week. The snapdragons I ordered arrived in time for Helen's visitation. I asked for snapdragons for two reasons. First of all, I didn't want to leave the florist to his or her own devices. Some florists make such morbid floral arrangements for funerals. Funerals are depressing enough without depressing flowers! I wanted something colorful and fresh. Also, Helen liked snapdragons. Once, when I was a little girl, she had a gorgeous vase of them on her kitchen table. I asked why they were called that. She pointed out the dragon faces in the blooms, and showed me how to gently pinch to make the blossom's jaws open and snap shut. I thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen, and the flowers have made me think of her ever since.

Friday, the MFA program had a reading with judges to help us improve our technique. The judges told me it was lovely (yay!). They also gave some helpful suggestions for improvement. After the reading, about 20 of us went out to The Tap House. It was so nice to spend time with them outside of class and chat.

(Family, I know how some of you are. Don't get excited by the picture of me and a guy. He's a happily married classmate.)

Now I just need to get back to my routine of sleeping right, eating right, studying, writing and exercising. Piece of cake, right? Mmm-hmm. Sure.

(Snapdragon photos from and

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