The weather has been unpredictable this week, vacillating between stormy, muggy, chilly, and outright sunny and pleasant. This is fine, except for the weather report was wrong every single day, so I never wore quite the right thing this week, which means that I was also chilled or overheated, depending on the day. Yesterday threatened to storm all day. By the time I went for my run last evening the air hung heavy with moisture, rendering it thick and comforting. Because it had been raining on and off all week, the park's trees and grasses were lush and vibrant, giving off the sweetest mid spring smell. A large puddle had accumulated in the road and a pair of ducks decided that this constituted a small pond, upon which they appeared to have taken up residence. Comical and adorable
When I started training a couple months ago the farthest I'd ever run was just over 6 miles. I set out on my first long run of training, hoping to match this personal distance record. What's odd to me is that my long runs have become short runs; last night I got home from work and casually ran 6 miles in the park for my easy run. This continues to surprise me. A couple of weeks ago I ran 9 miles for the first time ever, and on Monday this week I came home to do my speed workout, which turned out to be 9 miles. This week alone I've already run 25 miles. This is so bizarre to me. Don't get me wrong -- it's exhausting and time consuming, but I'm doing it, and I like that.
I find that I love small things while running. I love the first drops of sweat that slide down my elbow, indicating that my body is heated and working. I love the fine, gritty white film of evaporated sweat that covers me after a long run. Similarly, I'm fascinated by how red my face gets and how long it stays
that way. Long after I'm home and rested my face will still be
flushed. I imagine that this sort of thing might be commonplace to many people, but I was never very athletic growing up, so these experiences still intrigue me.
Meanwhile, at school the children are growing incrementally up. This does not stop them from doing ridiculous things on a daily basis, though. I have a large closet in my room; the closet is not of the walk-in variety, but has shelves running from floor to ceiling, on which are kept supplies for the kids. Markers, paper, folders, paper towel, Kleenex, etc. The students have taken to using this closet as their own private space recently. One of my seniors chose that spot the other day to practice aloud for his graduation presentation -- in the dark without room to move, he shut himself in the closet so that the other four people in the room wouldn't make him nervous. My 9th graders go there to grab a Kleenex and stay crammed in the closet while they blow their noses in private. One of the boys regularly goes in there to fart. The hallway is just across the room, but somehow he's more comfortable in the closet. No one bothers or teases him about this, which confuses me. It's become somewhat of a class joke at this point and I relent to their sense of humor.
Another one of my students is a lovely but odd child, usually ostracized by his perplexed classmates. One of his quirks is that he chews on -- really gnaws to bits -- everything, especially writing utensils. Yesterday another boy had lost his pencap only to discover that the first child had it in his pocket. He confessed to us a bit sheepishly, "Oh, I chewed it." The second boy, watched intently by the entire class, replied, "That's no problem, it's not a big deal." He even let the first boy hug him in apology, never indicating with his face or words that he was in the least upset. I thanked him for being so magnanimous, at which point I realized it was necessary for him to learn this word in order to appreciate my appreciation. Over to the dictionary we went -- magnanimous: generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness. They really are growing up. Just maybe they're ready to take on the 10th grade.
Harissa Chicken with Leeks and Potato
4 days ago