Monday, October 14, 2013

Mid Term

Since today, when I would normally be in class in the morning, is part of the mid-term break I decided that I would spend my normal class time grading the mid-term essays. That amounts to an hour and a half. I started at 9 a.m. and graded until I had all of the papers graded at 3 p.m. I took an all too short ten minute break at 11:30 to grab a bite of lunch (leftover baked potato from Saturday night dinner out). It was exhausting and nerve wracking. Many of the papers pleased me no end since I could detect that the writers had made progress since the beginning of the semester. Many more of them distressed me and indicated that I need to do a lot more work with the writers. I figured the mid-term grades and when I attempted to enter them into the system I could not log in. I entered and re-entered my user name and password and nothing. Frustration!

At this point I gave up and I really, really, really craved ice cream or a glass of wine. But I resisted and since it is such a beautiful fall day; sunny, breezy and invigorating, I took the dog out for a walk. Callie is always eager to oblige me on those occasions when I feel the need for exercising my legs and lungs. We walked back down the lane between the recently harvested soybean fields and back to the woods.

This is one of those times when I am so glad that I have been transplanted from the city to the farm. I find the whole process of harvesting fascinating. My children and grandchildren, city kids all, think that life up here in farm country is boring. Little do they know. It's quiet most of the time but during planting and harvest the place is bustling. I find the huge combine, the tractor thing-a-ma-jig, that combines the picking of corn or beans with the separating of the grain from the stalk or pod to be riveting. I wonder at the engineering mind that created such a machine that can strip a field bare in a few passes.  I stare in awe at the "waterfall" effect of the golden grain streaming from the combine, through the chute and into the waiting wagon.

For a few short weeks in the fall, when the weather is dry and the air is crisp, the activity in the fields puts a period on the growing season and alerts us to prepare for the winter to come. But before the cold and snow arrive it's a joy to be outside. So, when Callie and I returned from our walk, I sat outside...on the deck...celebrating mid-term and harvest...with a glass of wine!  Cheers!

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