Monday, September 20, 2010

8 Days a Week

So I thought it would be a good idea to take online courses in Educational Technology Integration so that I could get a certificate which could somehow lead to the job I'm trying to create for myself at some point in the near future. I've jumped into the world of online classes, Grad School a la Chat, with reading assignments up the gazork. I feel like I'm in a 24/7 conversation. It's a bit maddening, and quite different from my previous grad school experience.

But then again, my previous experience was a delicious, self-indulgent soak in poetry. The all night conversations included, at times, visiting artists, and shared bottles of wine. The connections made in that environment were bone deep, and have continued over these many years. The connections I'm making in my current class are through Skype, and can so easily disappear with the last click of the mouse on my final exam.

This class isn't a bad thing, but it feels like a necessary thing. Something to get through. It's difficult though, to do homework of my own, after sitting down to help my children with their homework. I'm ready to discuss "Tuck Everlasting," or write about the Cheyenne Indians, rather than a comparison of the educational value of Learning Today's Smart Tutor program to Math Missions Spectacle City Adventure.

So if I haven't responded to an email, or given you a call for a while, it's because I'm trying to make a deadline, and figure out how to write coherent sentences. I'll come up for air when this class is over, or when I'm out of chocolate, whichever comes first.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September evening

I love the hiking/biking trail that goes through our neighborhood. I like to walk in the early evening, when the heat loses its grip on the day, and the woods are alive with the chatters and chirps of many little creatures. Today on my walk there were joggers, bikes, scooters, people on the phone, groups of friends, and a man, iPod in ears, singing to himself in a language I did not understand. Bike wheels spoke, “thump thump thump” over the wooden footbridge, then, “hissssss” on the paved trail as I walked along.

I can tell that fall is approaching, even though the air is still hot and dry, and the trees are starting to crisp from lack of rain. The sunlight has changed – golden honey dripping through the branches, catching up loose leaves in its flow and scattering them on the ground. On the last part of my walk I saw a medium sized buck standing away from the path, in a patch of sunlight near a stand of oak trees. As I passed him he heard the whisper of grass under my feet, and he looked up, chewing. For that moment, there was no one else on the trail. The grasshoppers fiddled melodies, and somewhere a clock ticked closer to autumn. The oak trees understood, and released a fall of acorns. They rained down in the sunlight in front of the deer. A sprinkle. A nutstorm.

Then it passed, as storms do. The trail traffic resumed, the deer looked away, and I walked past, to the road that leads to my house.