She Had Eight Weeks to Work on Her Final Essay, a Period of Intense Craftsmanship That Resulted in This Opening: ‘Are kids still talking to their parents? Well, some are but most don’t talk the old fashion way or the way they should, they now talk to their parents through texting and emails and once in a while, if you are lucky, a phone call (most likely from a cell phone)’

Gasping, flailing, wiping gunk from my eyes, I’m surfacing, turning my face up from the mass of research papers that has consumed my energies in recent days. Students have told me that Americans are obese; water is scarce; language is overly casual; music should be freely downloadable; smoking bans are good; coral reefs are dying; modern animation rules; and BPA might be dangerous.

Slap my knee and call me Tiffany, but I’ll be damned if they’re not right.

Yup, I’m swimming along with their opinions, gliding through the pages, occasionally taking a break to stand up and keep rice-sized blood clots from forming in my legs.

And when I stand up, I look out the window. Well, shitbam.

Somebody put nine inches of snow out there and shut the town down when I wasn’t looking. Here I just gave Krystal an “A” for hepping me up about global warming, and during the grading, the Abominable Snowman sneezed and shook his dandruff on the house.

Easily, my grading break lengthens from a leg shaking to out-and-out abandonment of duties. I not only need to prevent rice-sized blood clots from forming in my legs, but I also need to prevent student prose from clotting my brain.

Clearly, it’s time for us to strap things to our feet.

This one is eight. She’s a better skiier than I.

In my defense, I’m only six on the inside.

That one there is five. I urged him to jump into the street and notify any passing eighteen wheelers of his presence by waving his poles around wildy should they bear down on him.

I cannot convince the obstinate lad to ask for his two front teeth for Christmas. He’s all, “Who even cares about toofs, Mom? I want some Star Wars legos. Santa can keep the buckers.”

When skis get tiring (sort of like the continuing speculation about Katie Holmes’ tense friendship with Victoria Beckham), we move to the bear claws. My tastes being more refined, I often attach French crullers to mes pieds.

After an hour’s romp, Niblet is more than ready to “act like Mommy grading research papers.”

Inspired by the drama of his body language, I head back inside and bring my computer out of its hibernation.



By Jocelyn

There's this game put out by the American Girl company called "300 Wishes"--I really like playing it because then I get to marvel, "Wow, it's like I'm a real live American girl who has 300 wishes, and that doesn't suck, especially compared to being a dead one with none."


  1. That last picture -that would be me if I ventured out in the snow for even a very brief (i.e. extremely short) walk! I do not envy you trying to grade papers, not in the least!

  2. that is a LOT of snow. We are buried here too. Today it looks all Marchy with melting dirty snow everywhere. Hopefully we will get some fresh stuff to cover this up. I LOVE those bear claws.

  3. There are times when Xmas pressure gets too great when I also think “Santa can keep the buckers” (or something close to that).

  4. “I’m only six on the inside.”

    I so feel you.

    If I lived where you live, someone would kill me because my constant whining about how cold I am would drive someone to murder.

    Yeah, I know that sentence sucked.

  5. I am just WAITING for snow to cross country ski. Just talking with my friend today about it! Chomping at the bit!

  6. English Composition was, so far, my only truly awkward class (as I make my way through college for the first time at age 52). I felt great empathy for my poor professor – a doctor in rhetoric, no less. All of the above subjects were examined and re-examined by my classmates and likely by countless students in his second class as well. I cannot imagine trying to maintain a consistent attention span while reading more than 60 of these tomes. My polemic touched on the subprime mortgage mess so nothing new there either! Sigh!

  7. Star Wars Legos…yessss.

    Sorry, inner child popped his head out there.

    Brrr…sure looks cold your way. Glad we are still having some days in the 50’s!

  8. i have no doubt that student essay-induced brain clots are far more dangerous than the brain cloud tom hanks suffered in joe vs. the volcano. i suspect they could be as potentially dire to one’s mental health as rice sized blood clots in the legs are to one’s physical health.

    i am deeply grateful you spared us either your physical or mental impairment (which would result in an interruption to your blogging) by romping in the yeti dander. who else would i know to ask santa for bear claws. i really want a pair now.

  9. I was crackin’ up with your suggestion that he waves his arms madly to stop any 18 wheelers. too funny!!

  10. Excellent post! I love the winterly pictures and I can just imagine the cold cheeks of the toothless bigfoot! Good luck with the paperwork, hopefully you are through them soon!

  11. Toofs? Buckers? I seriously thought he was talking about some kind of snow shoe apparel. I’m not kidding. I am a bit slow on the uptake.

  12. You do seem to enjoy winter! Another enjoyable post and a wonderful window to life in your corner of this warming planet!

  13. Just for the title alone, brilliant. Also, this juxtaposition of life/work seems bucolic and harmonious in a world usually colicky and off-key.

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