Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I know I've Been a Bit MIA

Answers to some questions I've been getting recently:

Where am I?
Mostly in airports. See previous post.

How is teaching UU Religious Education to 5th Graders?
Awesome. Fifth graders rock. As does the UU version of Sunday School. My kids love soccer, are completely too cool for school, but love have a story read to them and drawing pictures. Since they are looking this year at Jesus's life in the context of him being a man who was a social reformer (our curriculum all but apologizes for looking at Jesus at all, it's kind of funny, and very UU), I'm thinking about connecting all of the international efforts to use soccer for peacemaking and bridge building as a teaching tool at some point during the fall.

How is my class going?
Wonderful. It's such a joy to be back in an English classroom again. We're spending the first half of the semester on Yeats, and I'm planning to focus my first paper on his view of the creative process. He's a bit of a nutter, but incredibly self-observant in this respect, and perhaps it's reading Margaret Atwood's On Writing of late, but I am utterly fascinated by the dichotomy between being and creator within every artist.

How's work?
Good. My note of the day about my job is this: I am so, so, so glad not to be applying to colleges right now. I attended an admissions event at the home of one of the alums I've gotten to know because of my job, and damn these kids have it harder than even I did only ten years ago. Our class (2000) was the first big spike in numbers/competitiveness nationally, but it's gotten so much worse since then. And parents have become so much more obsessed with the process than they once were. I definitely don't envy this Millenial kids.

So that's me in a, this is me in a nutshell, help, help, what kind of a shell would have a nut like this? (I'm not crazy, I'm just quoting Austin Powers.)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ox-goad lattice window bent hand house
"LEKB" - my initials - in Cretan pictographs – predecessors to our modern alphabet

Bob sure does take some interesting classes.

And on that note, back to my own reading for class (Yeats at the moment).

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Dear Rain,

I've been waiting for you.

No Longer Thirsting,
The Once Cracked Earth

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Week in the Life of a Fundraiser

Wednesday last:
- Get lost in Camden, NJ on my way to the Philadelphia airport
- Arrive just past 4pm, in time for boarding without luggage, but must check my luggage because of new carry-on restrictions, get on later flight
- Staff announce that flight will board fifteen minutes later than scheduled
- An hour after "fifteen minutes later," no staff anywhere to be found, flight has disappeared from all boards, I decide to pee and grab a snack, all within 100 yards of the gate
- Twelve minutes later, I return and discover my flight boarded and left...bumped to later flight
- New flight delayed one hour
- Board flight, sit on runway for an hour, learn we have moved up to 30th in line for takeoff
- Arrive in Boston at midnight

Friday last:
- Arrive at Logan Airport, check bags for flight to Phildelphia and connection to Birmingham
- Arrive at gate, discover Philly flight so delayed I will miss connection, switch last minute to flight via Charlotte
- Arrive in Birmingham, discover my bags are in Philly

- Leave Birmingham, AL at 2pm for Atlanta, GA - should take 2.5 hours, but torrential downpours and no visibility delay journey, reschedule planned dinner appointment with prospect for next day
- Traffic stops one mile from hotel, spend more than an hour getting to hotel
- Hotel at 3340 Peachtree Road - water main broken on street, traffic barely moving - another 30 minutes to travel final block, and then 3330 Peachtree Road, 3350 Peachtree Road - where is 3340?
- Call hotel, get directions, water main flood prevents me from following them, spend 30 more minutes getting back to the turnoff
- In right turn lane, really, really have to pee, can see the hotel, begin to turn and crunch
- Look left, see SUV slowly removing rental car's side view mirror, closest place to pull over is my hotel, I know a bed waits for me, but I can't go to it
- Call Hertz, wait for police, 1.5 hours later, I arrive in my room. It's well past 9pm. Seven hours for a 2.5 hour trip.

- Discover that my normally flawless staff assistant made an error on my itinerary, have accidentally double booked myself with rescheduled appointment, re-reschedule appointment, get myself on later flight home
- Great day of visits, likely new money for Tufts, nice people
- Arrive at airport with time to spare for 9:45pm flight, complete accident report with Hertz, have time for cup of ice cream
- 9:15pm - flight has no pilot, they are looking for one, new 10:30pm scheduled departure
- 9:45 pm - we've lost our flight attendants and still have no pilot, 10:50pm scheduled departure
- 10:00pm - post this blog entry before laptop dies

A New Season

I was just looking at this picture from last March's annual end of winter polar bear swim, and pondering the impending change of season at home in New England. The urge to burrow creeps closer, and down comforters begin to beckon...Labor Day was our first harbinger.

The Labor Day breakfast for my parents was amazing and strange. Maine's governor, John Baldacci, joined our table for a while, catching up with my dad, and listening attentively while my mom spoke to him about affordable housing in the state (one might even say she lectured). Governor Baldacci, Congressman Tom Allen, and the countless state legislators and other state government officials who were present are why I have never been able to internalize the idea that career politicians are smarmy or power-hungry by nature. I grew up around some of the most altruistic, principled, dedicated public servants, and continue to believe this to be the norm.

Strange to realize that my parents drew the biggest crowd that this annual event has had in years. Strange that my mom brought Maine's Labor Commissioner to tears with the remarks she made. That my dad's poetry prompted a standing ovation. What would it be like to see my parents through eyes other than my own? I got a sense of that last week...