On the flip side of flying cars are, of course, dying cars. I snapped this picture of a backlot of woefully abandoned vehicles when I was in Findlay, Ohio earlier this summer, there being something irresistibly human about the sorry visage of a derelict car.

It’s my first day back to teaching, and raining…and I’m feeling a bit like a woefully creaky car myself, not sure if rusty pistons will fire at the appropriate moments. That all being said, everything is ready: my syllabi are copied, my Blackboard sites are live and populated with this semester’s rosters, my books are packed, and I have the requisite supply of first-day index cards. (Don’t question the index cards: one year I forgot to bring them, and I could barely function without my accustomed office-supply crutch.)

In my heart of hearts, I know that teaching is like riding a bike: you never forget how. Although right now in the dim light of a rainy morning it feels like I’ve lost my teaching “stuff” over the summer, having grown too rusty and overgrown during these several months of downtime, the rational side of me knows that when the rubber hits the road and I walk into that first classroom, I’ll be subsumed by the exhiliration of acceleration.

Right now, though, it’s nice to hear the sound of rain trickling from downspouts: a couple more moments of literal downtime.