I think of the eye tests where the ophthalmologist says, “Which one’s better, One or Two?” and I ask to see One again. I try to keep Two in mind as it blinks off and One takes its place. “I can’t tell you,” I say. “It’s all right. Let’s try this,” she says. “Which one’s... Continue Reading →
I’d like to start my closing remarks by telling you about a pleasant symmetry. In 1975, during winter break of my sophomore year of college, my friends in Pennsylvania took me skiing for the first time. I had much trepidation. It was here they took me: to Mount Snow, Vermont. Now near the other end... Continue Reading →
In the weeks leading up to my 40th college reunion, I started musing about Barb now and Barb back then. I collected my few mementos: a yearbook, the freshman book with all of our high school photos in it, and a set of peach-colored towels that we are still using. I considered the astonished Barb... Continue Reading →
I’ve known that feathery plant with tiny green bobbles for so long. It grows between the flagstones. I’ve known the wide leafy thing that isn’t a mint, and the tiny-leaved tiny-flowered spike that grows through lawns like miniature garlands. Bear with me here: I have a point to make. I’ve known weeds and their patches... Continue Reading →
Can you conjure the time when you most experienced bliss? Have you felt suspended among bats of down comforters above and below, your body—and your thoughts, or lack of thoughts? That’s how I was.
Out the plane window, Daria considered the resemblance of the wind-whipped ocean surface to a meadow in a breeze. In both cases, the waves and the troughs between them seemed tickled along by the wind. The mechanisms, however, were quite different, as she’d shown with a post-doc several years back. Just for starts, wind energy... Continue Reading →
I gave up something that I loved. Voluntarily. Friday was my last day of university teaching. (The fine print is that this is retirement, but I’ll work on contract at reduced pay and eventually at no pay, to finish a dozen papers, serve on handful of grad committees, and organize an international conference.) Yes, yes,... Continue Reading →
1. NORGs are well-meaning. Nice Old Retired Guys gave me lots of advice. I was NORGed for all of the nineteen years when I was the only female faculty member in my department, which shows that NORGs don’t actually target young faculty, just faculty who were younger than them. If I closed my door so... Continue Reading →