something from class last night

Last night was our first class back from Spring Break and about three minutes before class was going to start, one of my students strolled in and plunked a withdraw form on my desk.

“I'm withdrawing from this class,” she said.

I was a little surprised — her work had been solid and, to my best recollection, nobody's ever withdrawn from my digital photojournalism class so far into the semester — but I found a pen and signed her form.

“Wait a minute, let me see if I still have any of your work.” I flipped through my portfolio and couldn't find any quizzes, but did locate the printout of her self-portrait.

See, with the self-portrait assignment, I tell the students that they aren't to submit a caption. “Instead, I write the caption about you, using what I observe from your picture.” It's fun.

Or maybe not so fun for the more humorless… as I pulled out her self-portrait, which was of her leaning back against a “True Blood” poster, eyes shut, two bleeding puncture wounds on her neck, I said, “I loved this shot — very strong work.” The picture prompted me to write a caption that described her as romantic but edgy, and suggested that if she liked the Twilight books, then Breaking Dawn was probably her favorite.

She took her picture, leveled her gaze at me, and said, “I hated Breaking Dawn.”

By the time I thought to ask whether this was why she was withdrawing, she was already gone. Ta ta!

Field Trip!

Yesterday, Monstro and I went to the kids' school to pick them up early. BK's nursery-school class has been studying pets, and as a way to augment the curriculum, the teachers planned a field trip to our local no-kill animal shelter. Monstro and I were particularly looking forward to it because this was the same shelter where we'd procured our cats about 5 years ago.

BK's teacher Peter gave us a clipboard with directions and questions to answer. BK is “pre-verbal” so we were to show him around and mark his responses. BK was quite taken with a scruffy grey mix pup — four months old and bounding with energy. I, however, had alerted the world that though we were going to an animal shelter, we would not be coming home with any new animals. The last thing I need is another small mammal to take care of.

BK's favorite part was running from one side of the doggie area to outside where the dog runs were. Lex's favorite part was holding a 10-week-old kitten, and petting Buster the Dixie Dog.

It was a great time. Thanks CEEC and Peter and June for putting it together. It was our boys' first field trip and they had a blast.

running partner found?

Those of you who have been paying attention will know that I recently advertised for a running partner. Looks like one has emerged! Of course, before I take even a step with him, he'll be properly introduced to Monstro.

(When I typed my original Craigslist ad, he'd said, “put 'MARRIED' in the subject line.”

“I'm not going to mention it at all, for fear of attracting even *more* freaks,” I said.)

While speaking of portals on the Internet that bring us together and teach us about each other, what is it, in particular, about Facebook that makes people so effing *stupid*? I mean, no judgment at all. I'm not kidding. MySpace might be the stupidest social networking outlet, but FB is not bringing out the best in its “friends.” And, while I'm off on a Facebook rant, I got up to 200 and then someone de-friended me so now I'm back at 199. Scheisse.

Paradisiacal Weekend

Monstro and I celebrated our six-year wedding anniversary this weekend by leaving our children for the night. It's the first night we've been gone since well before BK's birth, and only our second night gone since Lex was born. I'd hoped it would be a surprise jaunt to Mohegan Sun, but when MS turned up sold out I told Monstro we'd be going out of town the following weekend.

“Where do you want to go?” I asked him.

“Without the kids? Anywhere,” he said.

He suggested a bed & breakfast so I googled some places in Vermont and we chose the Hickory Ridge House in Putney. The place looked nice; they had a cottage that reminded me of my cabins during our courtship phase; the cottage had a king-sized bed. The true icing on the cake was that the proprietors were hosting a dinner on Saturday night, which would be a freebie on top of the price of the room. I reserved our room and then Monstro and I spent the better part of the week giggling.

After a quick drive through Brattleboro into NH for some tax-free booze (including a ten-dollar case of Shipyard microbrews), we made it to Putney in less time than expected. Upon arrival, Dennis showed us the rooms in the main house — nobody else was booked to stay over so he let us poke around. We decided to stick with our cottage room — the Garden Room — and then we got busy with the doin' of it.

Dinner was excellent and before we sat down to eat, another couple arrived. Pat and Angie were from northern Vermont but moved there from California nearly two years ago. We four had a great time hashing out the differences between California and New England.

“We're so glad you were here to give us a reality check!” Pat said when it was time for us to check out. Hilarious.

We drove a little north and then back through Putney and on into Brattleboro, where we had yummy Thai lunch. Then Monstro purchased mood-music for our upcoming D & D adventure while I bought an exciting undergarment. Then we drove down to Agawam where we had one very long battle and one that lasted 20 minutes thanks to Monstro's “halve the monsters' hit points but double the damage they deal” strategy. We made it home before 10:00, took the sitter ( sitter #3 of the weekend; thanks Mary, Emily, and Renee!) home, and came back home and celebrated some more. I think because Monstro's so close to graduating, we're feeling extra celebratory this year.