Monday, November 14, 2005

A Week Off From Essay Writing

Woo hoo! No class tonight. The teacher is in Chicago for a conference. It's nice to take a break anyway. We've essentially completed the course. The remaining few weeks will be student sharing of work. At last we are expected to write a full length essay, none of these "nuggets" like we've been doing. Because I was sitting in a good spot when the sign up sheet went around the table, my essay isn't due until the last week of class. I have no idea what I'm going to write about yet, I'll work that out in the next few days. It will be nice to stay in tonight because the S-word is in the forecast. In case you live somewhere it rarely drops below freezing, the S-word is snow. It will be the first snow of the season here in the Twin Cities and we are expecting 4-8 inches by the time it's done tomorrow night. Now snow is no big deal here; it's the first snow when everyone is remembering how to drive in it that I don't like to be out in. In Minnesota if you make a big deal about snow you don't belong and need to move south where people with less character and fortitude live. If you reside in Minnesota you have agreed that it is your moral duty to continue about your business even if there is a blizzard outside and you have to tie a rope around you so you can find your way back to the house after turning on your car to warm it up. As a Minnesotan you are also not allowed to complain about the cold, you must laugh in the face of the icy winds from Canada. On the rare occasion when it reaches 25 below, there will be no huddling indoors. No! You boil a pot of water on your stove, put on three layers of clothes, two hats, a couple pairs of mittens, several pairs of socks, insulated snow boots, and wrap a scarf around your neck and face, then you call someone, anyone--the radio station, your friends in Florida--and through muffled layers of wool and thinsulate, describe to them in minute detail how the boiling water freezes BEFORE it hits the snow. If you're really good, you put food coloring in the water. For some reason this is hilarious. Since I am not originally from Minnesota, I do not feel compelled to participate in such snow and cold craziness to the extent the natives do. I will go out in the snowstorm to my work day tomorrow in order to show that I will not let the weather win. But that's it. I will be snuggled up tonight with a cup of hot chocolate and a book when the flakes begin to fall. And tomorrow night, as the plow rumbles down my street, I won't even bother to look up from the pages I'm reading. While my neighbors feel the need to prove themselves, I am content to hibernate with a good book. Or two. Or three. Or--