Thursday, September 28, 2017

Camping again, at last

A month ago, Emily asked me to take her camping.  I hadn't taken the girls camping in six or seven years, so I agreed.  Neither Erin nor Sarah could join us, but Chase came with us.  Chase is Emily's boyfriend; this is his first camping trip ever, so I'm hoping he has a good time.  The weather is perfect  with no chance of rain, but a bit hotter than typical for this time of year.  Emily and Chase went for a swim and are now snoozing blissfully on this beautiful afternoon , while I sit in a chair outside the tent typing a blog post on my iPad.

Chase and Emily taking in the lake (Cave Run)

We watched the sun set.
View of the lake from our tent. 

To be honest, I could use a snooze myself.  It's a lot of work to go camping.  A lot of our stuff is stored in the garage, so everything has to be wiped down to clear away spiders, dirt, and dead bugs.  Our tent is really too big - enough for 12 people according to tentmakers, but five of us stayed in it very comfortably when we all use to go camping (those occasions were rare...Someone hates camping).  To make matters worse, I worked very hard this week to catch up my classes enough to get away for 30 hours.  My laptop is at home, like 70 miles away.  It's a bit scary to think about, but the break is good.  At least I still have access to my iPhone and iPad.  It might be that I'm addicted to the Internet, but I don't care.

There are 10 classes on my schedule right now.  It's the most students at one time that I've ever had.  It's good, but it's a lot of work for the money they pay me.  Perhaps too much work for the money...that's been on my mind.  I could do less for my students, but not doing my best would be a worry.  I don't like to do shoddy work. 

Our campsite is wonderful with large trees all around.  We are in a grove of walnut trees, with a beech tree hanging its limbs over the picnic table.  Every few minutes, a walnut or beechnut falls to the ground.  I can hear speedboats on the lake and turkeys somewhere in the campground.  Jarflies are singing in the trees.  We were warned that bears are active just now, so we can't be leaving food laying around.  Fine, we'll all be potential bear food.

***  And that is where I stopped and saved my post.  Something interrupted, or grabbed my attention. 

Camping last weekend is now just a distant, fond memory.  It's already Thursday night, with another weekend looming on the horizon.  This one will be busy for me.  Lots of student work to grade...I mean LOTS.  Projects, and papers, and worst of all, discussion boards.  Sometimes my students write the most ridiculous and trivial crap.  At least with a discussion board, the dreadfulness is a short paragraph or two.  When it's a paper, sometimes it's five or six  pages of nonsense.  After reading a really bad paper, I have to step away from my desk and clear my head before attempting to render an evaluation.  To write feedback immediately might result in me saying something regretful.  Not only that, sometimes distance is needed to think of something positive to say to the student.  I always start with something good before saying what I really think about the paper, in those cases when the paper is like, REALLY bad.  But in reality, I never say what I REALLY think about those kinds of papers.  That might get me in trouble.  No doubt I've written my fair share of crap. 

When watering my plants on the porch this week, I realized they have become incredibly beautiful over the summer.  The fresh air has been good for them this summer.  I started a wandering Jew from a sprig stolen a few summers ago, when we visited the lodge at Cumberland Falls.  They had pots of it hanging at the entryway.  They most likely didn't miss the few leaves that I stole...still, it felt like committing grand larceny.  My succulent garden is thriving...finally.  The corn plant has decided not to die, and the monstera has become massive.  I need a greenhouse before winter. 

Asparagus fern on top, wandering Jew in the middle, and succulents on the bottom shelf. 
Some of them...
Some happy snapdragons cut from my garden
This beautiful snapdragon bloomed for the first time this week.  I LOVE the color.