I haven't written in a while. Sometimes it doesn't seem respectful to talk about the mundane things of life right after a death, but that is one of the disconcerting things about loss, how life just goes on. So here I go on.
This post probably should be two entries, but we're off to Brooklyn this weekend for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, and I'll most likely have more than one post about that coming up, so I need to get this done.
Keep in mind that underlying everything I do and say right now is the cold. Cold Cold Cold. The river is still frozen and last week was more record lows. All I want is to be in a little cabin on the beach within walking distance of a cafe. But I'm not and I have to remember that some of my deepest "the beauty of the world is stunning and yet ephemeral and there is no way I can properly share this with anyone" moments have come out in the snowy woods in winter, so I should embrace that.
Here is a picture one of my students took of me on our field trip to Syracuse University on Monday, where the students got introduced to a proper research library and sat in on a lecture at the Maxwell School of Public Policy. Apart from the 10 minutes when I strugged to cross campus in a lake-effect white-out snow squall, this trip was just plain fun and it encapsulates everything I love about my job. Young people excited to be out in the world, trying to act like grown ups, learning how to think critically, and having fun with their friends. This time last year I was kind of dissatisfied with work, but right now I'm thoroughly enjoying myself.
Next up is Michael at the 2nd annual Finger Lakes Crossword Tournament, a charity event for Tompkins Literacy Partners in Ithaca that we went to on Saturday. Michael is sitting on the stage wearing beads because he was judging and doing other official things. I sat next to a very nice woman who would have won last year except she made the Ilsa/Elsa mistake. I'm not saying I would have won this weekend, but my Irma/Erma error didn't help and seemed a little eerie, frankly. My new friend also was the 1992 Cornell Intramural Ping Pong Champion, so we encouraged her to get to the ACPT next year so she could talk to Will Shortz about his two favorite things.
Next to Michael is Adam Perl, who wrote all the puzzles for the day, a rather impressive feat. Afterwards we took our silent-auction gift certificate to the tacqueria and then wandered around enjoying the Ithaca-ness of Ithaca, which included a box of chocolates from Sarah's Patisserie.
And now I will take my empty wine glass to the kitchen and serve up the bean soup I made for dinner while Michael cues up a Breaking Bad. It promises to be another record low tonight, so I will savor my soup under the giant blanket in front of the tv.