Sunday, November 18, 2012

Three months in the life...

Oh, hello.  Bet you wonder what I've been up to the past three months.  Well, too bad, I'm not going to tell you but I will say this much: they were pretty epic.  You should be jealous.

You should be jealous of my October hike on Santa Cruz Island.

You should be jealous of the fact that I rose at the crack of 6AM and groggily printed off a stack of students' papers to take with me while my male companions teased me for my fool hearty ambition.

You should be jealous of the fact that Moses prepared coffee for me to take along in a container that I had not washed properly and tasted like equal parts lavender parmolive, armpit, and soy milk.  It's okay, I supplemented it with some truly superior gas station coffee in the valley.

You should be jealous of the fact that I graded papers on the hour long ferry ride there AND the hour long ferry ride back.  Were my grapes sour?  What do you think?  And I'll kindly thank you not to judge my prosaic use of idioms.  Anyways, I managed to contain my bitterness and rally for the troops.

After all, they were relying on me for my optimism.

Apparently, we hiked up and down the empire state building one and half times that day (in terms of altitude change).  Plus, I got to see the US Geological survey marker, which was pretty neat.

Overall, it was a good hike.  Father and son bonded and I managed to almost successfully stave off the guilt for not spending that time slaving over my students' writing.

Although, Daniel was disappointed in my lack of outrageous photo posing. So I threw this in there to be a good sport.

Someday I will enlarge this photograph and hang it above my mantle in my study.  You will be welcome to join me there for some brandy as we toast to industry.

I know, I know. So what? I go hiking all the time.  I live in the empire state building and travel up and down it every day.  Blah blah blah.  Well then perhaps this impressive sampling of some apple picking photos will coax your envy.

It was the final hurrah before the dreaded collection of midterm portfolios.  Somehow knowing that I would spend the foreseeable future working every waking hour commenting and conferencing and loathing my adorably misguided I-just-want-to-make-a-difference nature, I didn't feel the least bit repentant for taking a day with the Wilksie to high tail it out of the city and go an apple picking.  Because, that's what you do in the fall in upstate New York.

Our first stop was Snowline Orchard in Yucaipa, CA.  It was deliciously unlosangelesy and dare I even say?  Straight up upstate new yorky.

At the heart of Snowline Orchard was a general store housed in what looked to be an old red barn.  I am a total sucker for that aesthetic.  And I will happily plunk down any number of dollars on quaint overpriced little jars of jam and pickled anything.

While there, we also gracefully munched on some homemade apple cinnamon donuts.

 We sampled some cider, bought some cider.  We sampled some apples, bought some apples.

Having been starved of good apples since making the trek out west four years ago, I understandably became a little attached.

But we weren't satisfied with just buying apples.  We wanted to pick some apples.  And since we could not pick our own apples at Snowline, we drove a little ways up the road to another orchard where we soaked in the sunlight and general splendor

and tried not to kick the apples...

Next we headed over to the nature preserve.

 It was quite to my liking.

Had enough?  Sorry.  Not done yet.  Best start pulling from the patience reserve you've built for me during my three months of silence.

So I collected portfolios and graded and graded and graded.  Like always my grading was punctuated with existential crises and my existential crises were punctuated with fantasies of abandoning my classes and going to work as a fashion editor in New York City. I would call this whole grading stuff soul sucking work but that is much too kind.  

(Soul sucking not pictured).

Then the blackness lifted, I finished dotting the last "i" on the last page of the last student's paper, and I convinced the Wilksie to take me to the place that I had been dreaming of since the word "midterm" first bitterly left my taut lips.


Note the new glasses.  Don't they look swell?


Now, I have returned to my pre-midterm routine of constant commenting, remorse for how much commenting I always should be doing but so often physically cannot, and flirting with the notion of a 9-5 anything.  Only three more weeks and then I jollily caper into the next terrifying chapter of my life--one that for this first time in a long time will not involve any teaching.  What will I do, you ask?  Excellent question.  Give me your email address and I will get back to you in 7 to 10 years.  Maybe I will try homelessness.  Maybe taxidermy.