Saturday, February 1, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 01/31/20: Back to Maryland, Charly Interrupts Teacher Dreams, Versatile Flour Tortilla

1. It was September 23, 2017. I left Maryland and haven't been back. That changes on March 31. Today I purchased a ticket to fly to Baltimore. Knowing I'll be back in Silver Spring and able to visit Greenbelt, Washington D.C., and other places, I spent time today reacquainting myself and learning anew mass transit possibilities on the Metro, the MARC, and the local buses. I'll spend the next few weeks charting out an itinerary -- when to visit Greenbelt, go to the Co-op, walk around Greenbelt Lake, etc; when to go to Old Line, Quench, DC Brau, and other spots I enjoy; when to go to DC and how many times -- will I mostly go to monuments and museums and galleries I already know and love? Will I go to ones I never visited when I lived there? Cherry blossoms will be in bloom -- will that tulip garden I loved over by the Washington Monument? Will the Washington Nationals be in town? I have a lot to think about and busy days ahead.

Molly, Hiram, David, Ana, and Olivia will be home until the weekend and then they'll go to Florida for spring break to see Hiram's family. What might we do together? How long will I stay upon their return before heading to New York?

I have a lot to think about and imagine in the next couple of months.

2. Charly is back on an eating schedule she had been on several months ago, got off of it, and now is back again. It means my nights alternate between deep and satisfying sleep and dreams and answering Charly's nocturnal cries to eat and go outside.

During my hours of restful sleep, I've been having dreams about teaching composition. I know from talking with other former and current teachers that teaching nightmares are common -- and I've had them. Some dream they face their students after forgetting to get dressed before school. I have had nightmares of being unable to seize the class's attention and try to explain things over the din of laughter, taunting, and endless conversations between students.

But, the last couple of nights, my dreams have been realistic. In them, I've discussed principles of composition with my students; I've read some solid papers; I've dealt reasonably with students who were slow to learn; I've dealt reasonably with students who needed more time to write. In one dream segment, I had returned to the classroom after nearly six years away. The students in my class were all between the ages of 25 and 50 and, in my dream, I commented to them how happy I was to be working with such a fine group of people and writers.

This kind of teacher dream is fun. I enjoy these dreams much more than the dreams I occasionally have of being a graduate student again and I can't find where my classes are held, I am late with every paper, I don't go to class because I forgot I enrolled in it, or I find out that I neglected to take a required course and will not earn a degree after all.

3. I finished off the chili macaroni casserole I made on Sunday by heating up the last of it and rolling it into a warmed up flour tortilla covered with a thin layer of cream cheese. Very good.

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