Sunday, August 26, 2007

School starts once again

I started my 8th year at Denison on Wednesday, Aug. 22 with new faculty orientation in the library. The 12 tenure track ones look younger and younger, and the 30+ part-timers are of all ages & types. Denison's increasingly generous sabbatical and leave programs, plus a new teaching load of 5 courses per year (one less than before), means we rely on part-timers more than when I arrived in 2000. Thursday night we inducted about 600 First Years (no longer called Freshmen) in a convocation where faculty march in robes. Now that's OK when the temperature is moderate, but at 95 degrees in that gym, it's truly miserable, if mercifully short at 45 minutes. Friday night I was among several senior administrators who helped serve food in the picnic buffet line. Again, it was miserably hot, and I was wearing plastic gloves to dish up barbecued beef from a tray above a sterno burner. Geez........I just tried not to sweat into the food!! You KNOW how much I enjoy hot weather.

Happily, by Saturday the heat broke and our docenting at the Robbins-Hunter Museum was unusually pleasant. We sat in the new front porch rockers, and lots of visitors and locals stopped by to chat or take a tour of this magnificent 1842 pure Greek-revival house built by a local builder from Minard Lefever's pattern book. Some photos show the house's additions. They were wisely placed to the rear of the "Temple" section, that has been restored, but otherwise has gone blessedly undisturbed. There's a popular doll house exhibit closing soon, so several people are coming in to see it before it closes. You'd love it, Mom.

Mid-afternoon we drove over to Columbus to Barnes & Noble to get a couple of travel books to help us plan our proposed trip to Romania next spring after Commencement. We want to visit the Vernons before Christie and Andrei get too grown-up. Christie will turn 5 and Andrei 3 in April. Then we saw "Broken English" at our favorite neighborhood theater, the Drexel East, followed by dinner at Guiseppe's Ritrovo, another fave.

Today's weather provides another perfect Sunday for cooking (by Louie, of course), laundry, reading, and steaks on the grill for supper, along with corn, tomatoes, and grilled baby eggplant. WISH you were here, Mom!

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