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Monday, January 14, 2008

Another Day in the Life

Snowy all day today, from dark to dark. Country roads were snow-covered this morning, streets in town wet, parking lots slushy and sloppy.

Thank heaven for Bruce!--loyal, long-time Dog Ears volunteer, who opened and manned the bookstore this morning, while I was 40 miles away, expounding Aristotle. Some might say of both of us that we were “in the trenches” today. I don’t use that phrase much but often say of grade school and high school teachers and administrators that they are “on the front lines,” and either way, it’s a war metaphor, isn’t it? This is bad if taken the wrong way, but students and customers are not “the enemy.” No, what booksellers and teachers struggle against is not an enemy “Other,” but the possibility of our own failure. Our success depends on communication and active engagement.

Well, I keep thinking (to change the subject) that the community college in Traverse City, Northwestern Michigan College, where I’m teaching two sections of Philosophy 202 this semester, must have had its marking periods named by someone in marketing. The current semester is called Spring, while the one that ended in December was Fall. The summer term is called, reasonably enough, Summer. “But if this is Spring and summer is Summer, what’s the short session in May called?” I asked in perplexity. “Early Summer” was the reply. The existence of our longest and most challenging season is glossed over as if it didn’t exist! What an brainstorm! I’m sure no one is fooled, but it does make me laugh.

David and I are cozy in front of the fire tonight, our new dog lying on the rug (chewing her new rawhide bone) where our old dog used to lie, and life feels again the way it’s supposed to be.

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