Please enjoy these blogposts, written between 2011 and 2015. Another blog is on the way.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ordinary Time

Our reading on Sunday, Feb. 12, went  fine. We were glad to read in a queue of eighteen other couples, many of whom had written original poems for the occasion.  We weren't that brave.  I read "Carry" by Billy Collins, "Kissing," by Marie Howe, and "The Shirt," by Jane Kenyon.  Warren read two E. E. Cummings poems, one of which made me cry. Our daughter told us later that the Michael Caine character in Hannah and Her Sisters read this same poem to the Barbara Hershey character, and adultery ensued.

The couples ranged widely in age, young enough to have infant children, old enough to have tremors. Every marriage trajectory, insofar as the listener could intuit it, was different.  A very cool evening.  Thanks to Sky and Lynn for coming.  A former student showed up, too--with his girlfriend!  That was thrilling.

Last week and weekend, we had a series of sunny and sparkling, but not freezing, days.  A few things about the place I now work jumped out at me. There's no place to go if you're sick, to get an aspirin from someone who may or may not be qualified to give it to you.  There is no place even to lie down.  There are no department offices, or secretaries.  The waiting area for the financial aid office is out in the open, along one of the main corridors of the student center.

I've been so glad to be employed as a teacher and so desperate to keep up with planning and grading that I was on campus six months before I noticed these things. When the governor of our state says that K-12 shouldn't be funded at the expense of higher education, she may recently have taken a tour of a community college campus.

On Sunday I was grateful for the couple that read some lines from the Song of Solomon: "...for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come..." May that be so for institutions serving people.