It's May. Let's Chat.


Envision me tapping a microphone to check if you can still hear me.

HELLO dear readers!  Is this thing still on?  Somehow we've managed to launch ourselves squarely in the month of May. It's been too long since I last wrote, and there's so much for us to catch up on, so let's chat!

When the Yard Comes Alive.  Did you see those beautiful peonies at the top of this post?  Those are in my back yard.  After winter's long stretch of gray, I can't get enough of the vibrancy.  Many evenings my husband and I walk together, observing the daily addition of new blooms, marveling at how green everything is, and commenting on how the grass needs to be cut again. Everything is coming alive.


Funny how a simple walk outside can bring new perspective and peace. Nothing seems urgent when you're admiring tulips, you know?

 
Another Semester is Complete.  After posting final grades and wrapping up loose ends, last weekend I had the privilege to walk as my department's faculty marshal alongside an incredible student marshal at Penn State's graduation ceremonies.  Spring graduation is always a definitive punctuation mark, as if the university is gently nudging you and saying, "Your work is done for now. Go ahead, put on an awkward hat to celebrate that milestone."

And I'm like, "Sure thing. I always enjoy wearing a board attached to a cap on my head. Let's do this."


An observation about the graduation ceremony: The real hero, beyond the graduates themselves who have put in such exhaustive work to cross that stage, shake those hands, and receive that diploma, is definitely the person who reads all the names.  We're talking about multiple hundreds of names, rapid-fire, back-to-back, with no chances to pause or practice. At one point, I looked at the student marshal, nodded toward the name-reader, and admired: "That man is a champion."

The Week Off.  Tucked between the end of the spring semester and the start of summer classes (which begin on Monday), was the most glorious week where I started to catch up on my own life. I finished editing a piece I'm writing for work. I read two books. I cleaned my house, including closets, baseboards, tops of ceiling fans, and my oven, which prompted multiple introspective questions: Does food get actively murdered while it's cooking in my oven? How does that much splattering happen?  I scheduled a hair cut, squeezed in an appointment at the dentist, and went to the Avengers movie on Tuesday's $5 ticket night with my husband. I prepared my summer syllabi and websites, spray painted two outdoor garden stools that had faded from prior summers, and -- as a cherry on top -- I devoted the entirety of my Friday morning to one task: garage sale shopping.

It's been perfect. I'll return to campus Monday morning feeling like I've exhaled, which is a good way to start the next leg of the race. Even more, it's made me wish I could distribute a week off to everyone I know, that I could be like Oprah during the giveaway episode: "You get a week off, and you get a week off! Everyone gets a week off!"

Now THAT would really be something.


And that, my friends, is what's been happening since I last wrote.  Blogging periodically ebbs and flows given the rhythms of life, but I'm always grateful for you taking the time to visit and read.  Thank you for joining me here!  We'll chat again soon!

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