Overlooking Fisk Quad

I spent a good deal of today inside, on campus, collecting final portfolios from my freshmen comp and Expository Writing students while grading work from my online writing and grammar students. As I sat inside my accustomed classroom in Morrison Hall, I could see from the inside looking out the Silver Maple I blogged about last week standing like a sentry over the snow-blanketed quad.

Today was clear and cold: a perfect day to be inside looking out, a steaming mug of hot chocolate at hand. And heaven knows I have enough grading this week to keep me inside every waking hour, and then some: I have one batch of grades due on Friday, three batches due on Monday, and another two batches due the Tuesday after that, right on the heels of Christmas. Usually Finals Week is a time for profs to settle down to the business of grading without the distraction of teaching, but as a moonlighting adjunct, I still have some classes simmering while others are ready to boil: a multi-tasking juggling act worthy of any circus.

Snowy path

But this afternoon after I came home from collecting papers, I set those papers aside and took advantage of the afternoon light to walk Reggie along the Ashuelot River, following the beaten trail of scores of other local dog-walkers. Yesterday afternoon Reg was suddenly and alarmingly sick, so last night, we made a hurried trip to the vet for advice and medication. This afternoon, I made the executive decision that getting my under-the-weather dog out into the weather would be good for his spirits, and mine. Heaven knows my papers aren’t going anywhere: grading by dark of night works just as well as grading by light of day, but dog-walking works best only during the latter.

So tonight, I’ll be inside looking out, curled up with my laptop as I grade more online papers, check more online Discussion boards, and post more online progress reports. A moonlighting adjunct’s work is never done, so tonight I’ll work with the moonlight while my tired dog rests and recovers. Tonight, I have promises to keep, and (virtual) miles to go before I sleep; tonight I’m also grateful, though, to have stamped through woods on a snowy afternoon.

Ashuelot River