Monday, October 26, 2009

Of Chili and Long Days

Last night I dreamed I found a monastery by our college. It had been there all along, but I'd never noticed it. On one end of the monastery was a door with a "JCC Students Welcome" sign. Inside the door was a little room with two twin beds, a table, a small refrigerator with water bottles in it...The monks had created the room for students who needed to rest between classes. That was such a nice gesture. I laid down on one of the twin beds and the monastery cat, who was an orange tabby tomcat, came and laid by me with his paws kneading my shoulder and his face in my face. I went to sleep like I don't sleep in real life...fully gone, sinking into the earth sleep, so glad to have the cat...

Then, suddenly, in the dream I woke up and it was 3 p.m., and I'd missed teaching my 1:25 class! Then, just as suddenly, I woke up in real life...and it was half an hour before I needed to be awake, but I couldn't go back to sleep after that. So I took Tula on an early walk to the pier, which is strangely bare of boats now that the season is over.

I taught like the dickens, then had a student in my office who had missed a week of class for the flu, then read poetry with two other faculty members as part of the North Country Writers Festival (we had a good turnout, and my colleagues' work was excellent, naturally), rushed from it to teach my 1:25 class, made schedules and lesson plans for an hour, taught my 3:35 class, finished the schedules and dealt with more flu students by e-mail, and finally got home around 6:30...without having eaten lunch!

If you know me, you know I am not at my best when hungry. I become forgetful, snide, sarcastic, monstrous, if it goes on too long. I always eat breakfast, but it's only cereal. So, for the rest of today I survived on Lady Grey tea, oatmeal cookies (I always have cookies in my office), almonds and those waxy orange pumpkin candies (which our secretary had on her desk). It's not like I starved, but it wasn't like having real food and thirty minutes in which to eat it.

But, happily, tonight was chili night. I made a Rachael Ray recipe called "Steakhouse Chili." This chili has BACON in it. The recipe is in this month's magazine, and it is excellent. It made me forget I'd ever been hungry.

I'm trying to be like my mother-in-law and cook dinner before I've sat down so I don't get too tired to face it, and like her and my mother, both of whom do the dishes as they are cooking so they aren't faced with a big pile. It's working out so far, but it's only been two weeks.

After all that, I talked to my ever-witty and brilliant father. And now, it is time for bed. It has been time for half an hour, as Tula's accusing eye informs me. So, that's it for this day. This must be a boring blog for those of you not kin to me...but that's none of you, so I guess it's okay.

Tomorrow we are taking the chili with us for lunch, and I'm going to read something totally useless while I eat mine.

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