Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Harvest Moon

No, I'm not talking about my husband's new favorite ale brand. And, I almost called this post "New Moon," but I became terrified that hoardes of teenagers might start a Jacob vs. Edward battle in my (relatively calm) section of cyberspace.

I'm talking about the Harvest Moon! Fall is here--crisp air, football, crunchy leaves, hot cider, pumpkins, bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils, etc. (Watch "You've Got Mail" if you're confused by my last reference.) Although it is a little too cold for my icy blood, I do love fall. I love fall fashions (yay for sweaters! and awesome boots!), and I love the spirit and excitement of the season. No holiday can beat Hallowe'en. Corn mazes and candy surround me. Fall rocks.

However, what I love most about fall is the Harvest Moon. Gazing at the moon always warms my heart; it's still, peaceful, omnipresent, eternally wise. On a crisp, clear fall day, the moon can light up the darkest night. If no one else is outside, it feels like the moon just shines for me. The Harvest Moon is special, though. It signals a new season, a new era, a new beginning, a new ending. It's at once the end of a growing season in the soil and the beginning of nutrition in the body. Perhaps I'm being too philosophical, but tonight is even more special because it's a New Moon as well.

A New Harvest Moon hasn't happened in almost 20 years. So, get out there, stare at the sky, and enjoy it. And I hope that you, like me, look at the moon and feel a little special. After all, it should just be shining for you. Let me know what you think.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Purple Tide?

So sorry for the delay in posting! You know that chicken you saw running around without a head? Yeah, that was me! I've been teaching 4 college composition classes (two at Blue Ridge Community College and two at James Madison University--JMU), and I'm the education coordinator for the EJC Arborteum at JMU, so I've been trying to cram plant identifications and touring materials into my brain whenever I have a spare minute.

Despite this (happy) busy-ness, the start of COLLEGE FOOTBALL has not been overlooked! Yay for college football! (And some NFL games, but, really, those aren't as fun.) Alabama has started out well, and I look forward to seeing what new havoc we can wreak with Ingram and Darius both coming back for the Bama--Duke game. ROLL TIDE!

What I'm going to talk about, though, isn't even Division One football. Didja SEE that Virginia Tech--JMU game? Talk about amazing. One, it's great for JMU. At 18,000+, it's a surprisingly large school and has a great acadmic reputation. However, it's a mere hour away from The University of Virginia and shares the area with Washington & Lee, Georgetown University, and a whole host of top-notch universities. Even though it was football (and not academics) that boosted it (however briefly)into the national spotlight, it was fun to acknowledge that the university exists...and it quite capable.

My next point, though, is what the win did to JMU. Adam and I had a friend, Frederick Cope, visiting and, after watching the game, we decided to show Frederick the JMU campus. It was a complete madhouse. Students were yelling; cars were honking; everyone was in the highest of spirits! We noticed a bunch of students going in one direction and it turned out they were going to the football field. Now, the game had been played in Virginia Tech-land, not at JMU. So, why were the students massing at the football field? Well, it was simply fun. They were jumping the gates and just cheering together en masse in the center of the field. I later found out that administrators later put the football score up on the JMU scoreboard...and kept it there all night.
The joy and excitement was so moving. Yes, Alabama is an exciting, awesome place to watch games. And after the 2009 Tennessee game, everyone I met was just reveling in Cody's ability to block kicks and the joy of stopping the Vols. True, when we won against Florida at the SEC Championship and when we won the BCS National Championship, it was celebrated. But this was different.

JMU didn't expect to win. JMU doesn't expect to win the next meeting with Virginia Tech. The absence of an entitled (and nationally titled) football program seemed to make their victory sweeter. My sweet husband Adam compared their joy to what Bama fans would feel if we beat an NFL team, and I think that's an apt description. I'm happy when Bama wins, but, WOW, I want a JMU-level of excitement. I hope I'm able to realize that, heck, every game can bring that kind of excitement. Every game can bring drama, theatricality, passion, and energy.

I may not be able to luxuriate in it every day, but I'm kind of hoping that I can bring that energy and excitement to my every-day life. I was really impressed with JMU's ability to seize the day and unabashedly show the excitement. And I hope that I can show excitement with more things in my own life....because, even when I'm feeling downtrodden and sad and over/underwhelmed, I should look at the happiness and joy that's all around. We all need to be a little bit happier...and a lot more enthusiastic about showing that happiness!

Good luck being chipper!! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

When Teeth Fall Out...

Yikes. I had a wretched dream last night. In my dream, my two front bottom teeth, my left incisor, and another molar on my left side fell out. Ugh. And there was no apparent reason; I was talking and the teeth fell out! It was so disgusting that I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep for 20 minutes.

I had heard of other people dreaming about losing teeth, though I had never dreamt that particular dream before. So, I looked it up on a dream interpretation website, and apparently it means that the dreamer is entering new territory and is uncertain about how it will work out.

So, is my subconscious correct? Am I entering new territory? Umm, YEAH!

Last week, I started adjuncting at Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC). There, I have two freshman composition class with 52 total students. This week, I started adjuncting at James Madison University (JMU), where I have two composition classes totalling 44 students. And, finally, today I started a part-time position as an Education Coordinator at JMU's Arboretum. I'll be giving tours, coming up with educational programs, and trying to remember/learn all about botany. Whew. Add that to still working a bit at CrossKeys Vineyard, taking an online course to be considered for teaching online for Everest College, and still trying to spend time with Adam and Oliver. Oh my. No wonder my teeth (subconsciously) fell out! ;)

That said, I know that I'm SO super lucky to have all of these adjunct/part-time positions. I was so worried, and then a BUNCH of jobs just appeared like THANK YOU (random reader) for all the prayers, support, and happy wishes that you may have thrown my way. Who knows what will happen next semester, but think of me in a couple of weeks when I have 96 composition papers to grade! Luckily, I think my students are going to do GREAT; they seem quite intelligent! :)