View From The Glen

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Should Know Better

I should know better about lots of things probably. But certainly, saving work done on a computer ought to be top of the list. But tonight, waiting for Anna at karate, I drafted a blog post on my ipad and then closed the app without saving and now it's gone.

So mad at myself.

As a result, if you want to know about...

  • my cathartic rant regarding attendance, assignments and grading at the college level;
  • how I managed to convince my son I am mad, and my colleagues I am hilarious;
  • my little hint at an upcoming diatribe on plagiarism and guillotines;
  • the AMAZING creative projects I have received this week from students who have inspired, surprised, and impressed me, and my thoughts on the value of independent projects; 
  • how I plan to spend the month of May now that I am primarily off work; or
  • the delicious salad I made for dinner tonight
...I'm afraid you are out of luck. I'm not rewriting. I might offer it up in dribs and drabs. But for tonight, I am done. Now....there is a glass of wine calling my name.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Feeling great today. Maybe because of the crocuses poking through, the sun streaming down, or the fact that one more week of grading is all that stands between me and a month off work. I got out for long walks, a run, and a swim the last few days, and am waving goodbye to the apathy of last week.

I have to be a little bit morbid though because Rita MacNeil died this morning. One of my "comfort" singers, I have listened to so many of her songs over the years, and she's one of the handful of singers I've seen in concert. "Working Man" is her anthem, but I have a soft spot for plenty of her other songs as well. Once, new to Ontario and missing the East coast with a ferocity I never anticipated, I listened to "Steal Me Away,"
and was so moved, I wrote her a little note thanking her. She wrote back. By hand. On flowered notepaper. Thanking me for enjoying, for listening, for sharing. I thought then, how lovely. But I don't think lovely is right. It was just Rita. Just who she is.

It was my dear friend Carla who introduced me to the music of Rita MacNeil. "She has the voice of an angel," she told me, dancing gently to "Call Me and I'll Be There" in her sunlit, whitewashed apartment in downtown Halfax. Ever sentimental, Carla would well up in tears at the haunting opening vocals of "Working Man" - especially when sung harmonically by Men of the Deep. Through Carla, I came to know Rita and Big Pond (a place Carla and I went on an ill-conceived road trip where we forgot to book accommodations and ended up sleeping in her Saturn, feeling like pathetic groupies) and though I came to appreciate Rita for myself, her music is always inextricably tied up with good memories of Nova Scotia and lupins and friendship.

I can't bring myself to believe in Heaven, but just for today, I choose to believe it exists. In it, I see Rita, singing, and Carla, dancing.

The lupins are dead now
But they did bloom well now...
And please, God, if time's kind
And there's still a Big Pond
I'd love to go back there again.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


I am feeling, if I can be candid, a near complete lack of energy. Or maybe, instead, its a form of malaise, the kind that hangs over you not really stopping you from doing something, but stripping you of the motivation to do anything.

It's been a non-stop few months at work that have been quite intense. All this mental invigoration leads, naturally, leads to a fatigue of the brain, and at the end of the day, I often come home and want to crash, post-dinner, on the couch with the dog.

I can't actually do any of this post dinner, of course, for there is running the kids to scouts, karate or swimming, and by the time that is all over, it is already 9 pm. But this, so far, is not abnormal. Work hard, come home, relax for the evening has been my mantra since my early days in the workplace. But where I used to settle in with tea (or wine) and a new (or old) book, these days, even that seems like too much work and instead I flit through my I-pad, clicking on wonderful Twitter links and articles that are interesting but which demand little real attention. My ability to pay attention has diminished.

Then there is the weather. Even back in February, I'd be out in the evenings on snowshoes. By March, Winter has lost its charm, and the cold wind seems too harsh, the frost too sharp. Easier to stay inside.

So starts. Less technology, more books. Less work, more relaxation. Less laziness, more activity.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Ah, April!

Month of gentle showers...


Crocuses popping up and trees sweetly starting to bloom...

Fresh asparagus shoots....

Swapping winter boots for rubber boots; snow for mud; Winter for Spring...

Or at least, that's what it is supposed to be.

What it is not supposed to be


Oh, April!

(Think we've been spoiled in Ontario by a few good years in a row...)