Technically, the semester starts tomorrow, with faculty reporting to campus for (unnecessary) meetings and (overly long) retreats. In my book, it doesn’t really start until classes start, so I have one more week – and one more weekend – before summer is officially over.
However, there is much to do before I’m facing students again, so I spent yesterday in front of the computer. Aside from some twiddling here and there, most of my hours were spent on syllabus revision – and I’m not done yet. I’m not sure if there’s a right or wrong way to put together a syllabus but I definitely subscribe to the long way. It’s like putting together a puzzle when the picture is still being painted; I want all the pieces in their place but I’m not sure what the picture is going to be. I can spend hours just moving readings around, trying to get the right progression of concepts and difficulty. I don’t actually mind all the work, though; curriculum creation is one of my favorite parts of the job.
So far today, I have been avoiding the computer, although I’m headed that way soon. I decided to do a little shopping this afternoon, instead, for start-of-the-semester clothes. I didn’t find much, really, although I had a small victory: a new pair of black trousers in a smaller size. They’re a teensy bit snug but they look nice; more importantly, none of the other trousers in my closet actually fit anymore. It’s not simply a matter of drooping a bit on the hips or looking a little baggy; most of them come off with a decent yank. I’ll hold on to them for a bit, in the sad case that the weight comes back, but I’m hoping I’ll either find a tailor or donate them.
I also bought a pretty box, one of those decorative things to use as storage. And when I got home, I gathered up all of the letters and notes and cards from SG, as well as a few tokens he gave me through the years, and bundled them into the box that now sits in the corner of my closet behind my sweaters. It crossed my mind in the aftermath to throw all these things away; I have done that with past relationships (in fact, I own nothing like that from my ex-husband) but I paused long enough to think perhaps I didn’t want to do that just yet. Maybe, a few years from now, I won’t think twice about jettisoning all of the paraphernalia from this failed romance or maybe, many years from now, I’ll want the reminder that I was indeed in love once. We’ll see.
The other things I brought home were simply things that make my life a little nicer. A new spatula and sauté pan to replace my worn-out ones. Some lovely smelling candles for the bedroom and living room. A few hand-towels to go with the towels I bought a few weeks ago (I don’t need matching; I like complementary). I just felt like spending money, I suppose, or reminding myself that small things can be pleasant things.