Friday, April 03, 2009


Yesterday (Wednesday) was to be a day of relaxation and knitting at Ann's.

And it was, once I went to 2 different motor vehicle offices, finally ending up down at city hall to try to register my car, finished my grocery shopping, and went on a Hello Kitty quest for my swap partner, all before 11 a.m.

The part at Ann's was indeed relaxing. Tammy gave me this perfect sock bag for my project. I can't even count the number of times lately that I've yanked my needles out of this sock. I made much progress on Sock Project #4 and am only 9 rows away from turning the heel.

Today (Friday) was also supposed to be a relaxing day, with teaching done at noon, plans to go to the postcard show, and plans to find a fish fry at a Mexican church for dinner tonight.

Then for some inexplicable reason, I woke at 6:30 and decided to make honey glazed roasted chicken and red potato salad for dinner tonight. So I did, all before 7:45 a.m., completely forgetting about the fish fry.

Tomorrow (Saturday) was supposed to be, if not relaxing, at least highly structured.

My two classes are doing a service learning project planting trees at a park and historic site. When I had initially contacted the park, I envisioned a history-rich project, but used the fact that they wanted us to plant trees as a lesson in service learning. Service isn't about what's in it for us. It's about the needs of the people we're helping. I'm still struggling with this a bit because, really, if I had known ahead of time that we'd be digging holes and planting trees, I would have picked another project.

Earlier this week, I executed an heroic attempt to forestall any frenzy or panic on the part of my students. I test-drove the ranger's abysmal directions, driving in to the site from every possible direction. He had a charming habit of inventing names for the exit, names which appear nowhere on the exit sign nor on the map. The addresses he gave me could not be found by google maps.

I rewrote the directions, posted them online, and made handouts (complete with maps). I alternated between being nurturing ("You can do it. I tried it. From the highway ramp, it's only ONE turn!") to mocking ("Look, it's not like I'm asking you to find a barn in a different state in the middle of a cornfield on a moonless night.** There's a river and a big national monument. You can't miss it!"). I even wrote out instructions on what to do if they missed the only turn.

Then this morning, after my first class had let out for the day, the ranger called. Apparently several highway exits, most of the downtown streets, and the streets on all four sides of the park will be blocked off for a major sporting event.

My students will have to snake their way in through a warehouse district and get past barricades in order to get to the work site. There is no backup plan if they miss the turn.

Are you fucking kidding me?

The rest of my day will be spent revising the directions (without the time to test-drive them) and trying to contact students.

Tomorrow, I expect a barrage of panicked phone calls from students who have accidentally ended up in a different state or on the wrong side of a barricade.

I feel tense.


**spoken from personal experience when I tried to find my way to a gig and one of the ugliest fights LB and I ever had.

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