Surfing at Wai-Fai Beach

Yesterday morning I asked my parents to drop me off early at the airport in Columbus, Ohio so I could catch up with some online teaching tasks while waiting to fly back to New England. Whereas you have to pay to connect to the wireless network at Boston’s Logan Airport, the wifi at Port Columbus is free. After spending a couple hours surfing the online waves at Wai-Fai Beach, I caught up with my students’ Discussion Board posts and turned off my laptop just in time to board my flight. Goodbye, Columbus; hello, New England.

Acres of free wifi

Hello New England indeed. I’d planned to return to Boston on Sunday afternoon so I’d be here (and back in touch with my own wifi connection) in time for Monday morning, when a new week’s worth of online assignments goes live. Monday morning is when I post new Discussion Board forums, check that my Lecture Notes and Discussion Questions have posted, and download response papers from the previous week. In other words, Monday morning is when both my online students and I are gearing up for a new week, and doing that via dial-up is slow going.

Flying during a Monday morning snowstorm can be slow going, too, so I arrived back in Boston yesterday afternoon in the nick of time, before the sky starting dropping nearly a foot of snow around midnight. Yesterday morning was cold and clear in Columbus; yesterday afternoon was similar here in Newton. Last night as J and I walked the dogs and then later walked to and from dinner at our favorite Chinese noodle house, the streets and sidewalks were bare after nearly a week of unseasonably mild weather. “Take one long, last look at the ground before tonight,” I told J, “because we won’t see it tomorrow.

And true to forecast, this is what we woke up to.

The weight of snow

Coming home to New England right before a big winter storm means you can hunker down with your own laptop, Internet connection, and cup of cocoa while the snow accumulates in heavy clumps. I walked Reggie this morning like usual but haven’t been anywhere since. The downside of teaching online is you have to take your laptop (and rely on molasses-slow dial-up Internet access) when you visit family for the weekend; the upside of teaching online is you can stay at home on a snowy day as long as the power holds and the Internet doesn’t die.

For those of you who don’t have loads of snow of your own, here’s a photo set where you can get your (virtual) fill. Enjoy!