Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Back on the Chain Gang...

Well, the new semester has begun and already I'm losing my voice. This always happens the first week of school. I'm not used to talking this much--during the summer, I'm not in constant communication with anyone except the cats; no point in talking to them since they won't answer. So, third class into the semester, two more to go today, and I'm beginning to sound like a hoarse bullfrog. This, too, shall pass, unless I strain my vocal chords.

I'm excited to see a number of my former students in my classes. Familiar faces help with the new semester butterflies--for them and for me. I have five classes this semester, quite a load by anyone's standards. One of those classes is an Introduction to Literature class; this is the first time I've taught it and the class is huge--35 students registered, but it seemed as though I had more students than that, even though several on the roster did not show up. I'm looking forward to it, however many students show up. I enjoy any opportunity to talk about literature.

I didn't get much done around my house this summer; I actually did "take it easy"--cut my hours at the bookstore so I wouldn't have to drive so much with these high gas prices and, instead, I worked on editing transcripts, a job which I could do in the comfort of my study. I enjoyed the two new kittens added to our household, Buddy and Bubba--the yin and yang of kittens. Kittens are really entertaining, but it's also like having little children--they get into everything. I had to "child proof" the house to keep them safe.

My neighbor finally put up a privacy fence, which suits me just fine. Now I don't have to look at all of the stumps from the trees she's cut down. Her beautiful wooded lot is now pocked with stumps--some burned. She uprooted and burned all of the azaleas on her property, too. I'm glad the fence hides most of it. It doesn't, though, mute the sounds from the chainsaws as she continues to cut down hundred-year-old trees.

My friends and I are going to have a tree-planting party in November, though, to try to make up for her destruction. The Arbor Day Foundation is sending me ten trees--dogwoods, crape myrtles, etc.--and we plan to make as much noise as we can while we're planting. I can't understand why someone would cut down healthy old trees. I understand pruning; I don't understand decimation.

The semester beckons! More later.