First up, a new teacher arrived in Diomede, Alaska--an island in the Bering Strait--and from which, you really can see Russia. See the video of her fascinating voyage via crab boat here. I am impressed with this young woman and her commitment to teach in an isolated post. I "met" her through my St. Paul, Alaska blog and after having spent time out on that remote and isolated island, I imagine she will have quite the adventures over the coming year.
The fall semester began Monday, and though it was incredibly busy, it was a smooth week as far as most things go. I have a great bunch of students--about half of whom I did not know prior to the class, and others whom I have taught before. Classes are larger than usual and that will be a challenge in the semester. I spent one entire day working on the revision of a manuscript, and with one more devoted day, can have it ready for the final edit. Also in the first week, I had the opportunity to participate in a focus group for our school, attend a workshop on excellence in teaching, and attend the longest faculty meeting of my academic career.
The most difficult thing so far has been the trek all the way across campus to my classroom, and then all the way across to the other side for the second classroom. Yesterday as I returned--it takes a full 15 minutes of laborious walking with the cane, so I am spending a hour just walking to and from my two classes--I came up the handicapped access due to pulling my book cart. I have to prop the cane on my leg and open the door with my left hand. The automatic door swung out and right across the top of my left foot, pinning it to the concrete. I could not move my foot or the door. I was standing there--in pain, I might add :)--wondering how in the world I was going to manage to get out of this predicament. Topped off, the ramp is at the back door, so there is no one there to see me and help out. I finally managed to get the door to move forward enough to scoot my foot back, and vowed revenge. Needless to say, I have a large bruise on the top of my foot this morning.
The good news is it has cooled off a bit here early in the mornings and late evening, and it has actually been possible to sit outside and enjoy watching the birds and the cats. The two kitties have become friends and now eat out of the same bowls and hang out on the same side of the yard. Tux (the black and white kitty) now knows that even though Libby is out in her kennel, barking, that she can't go through the fence. Tux will even sneak up to the crack at the corner of the fence and look at Libby, which of course, drives Libby nuts. The yellow cat (who has yet to have a name fit) is still uncertain, and it will make a mad rush to the gap in the fence to hide in the kudzu any time one of the dogs barks from inside the house or Libby from her kennel. They are less leery of me now, and will sit at the end of the sidewalk when I am outside. Tux will even stay on the bench on the front porch while I fill the food dish, but the second I walk away, he/she makes a run for the yard, just in case.
Finally, yesterday was Randy's birthday. We postponed the celebration until today although we did manage to watch a movie last night while eating take out from Chik Fil A. We don't eat out on Friday nights when school is in session, unless we drive to Water Valley. He is off to buy his present this morning, and then we will work on putting up the walls for the tub surround. Just another glamorous day in the life.