Don’t Forget to Admire the Flowers

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A colleague tells me, “a little dirt under the fingernails is a good thing,” and I answer, “yes!”  This is the time of year for gardening and I love it.  The plum tree outside my window is showing red buds ready to break open as pink blossoms.  Perennials are poking through the soil and will be glorious all summer long—hostas, purple coneflower, black-eyed susans, sedum, yarrow, peonies, bee balm, azaleas, poppies, iris, lilies, clematis, and even some surprises.

Already we’re seeing hyacinths, daffodils, snow drops, and the pansies I couldn’t resist planting this last weekend.  They are hardy and will manage the occasional cool spell.  I hope I do as well as they.  I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of cold weather.  My body has adjusted to the recent warm days and doesn’t want to go back to sweaters and coats.  I grew up in Florida, after all.  Winter for me represented the possibility that I might have to put on a sweater.  I didn’t own a coat.  I thought wool skirts and pants were exotic.  It never occurred to me that I would live in a climate where the hibiscus and gardenias didn’t grow year round.

But in Chicago, cool spring days are inevitable.

Speaking of inevitable, spring classes have gotten started and I’m sure you are well into your first assignments.  Pacing is so important—for students and faculty.  I know that if I procrastinate marking papers, for example, they multiply exponentially in my mind until the task seems insurmountable.  I try to read and mark papers as they come in.  But guess what?  I’m quite far from perfect.  If you are too, take heart.  Each quarter I do better (I really do!) at time management and keeping up with feedback to students.  It’s a pleasure when I don’t procrastinate.

I hope you find pleasure in your courses as well.

Happy Spring and don’t forget to admire the flowers.

–Ann

PS:  DePaul has a new basketball coach.  From what I’ve read he’s not only a great coach, but a remarkable human being.  I think we are lucky to have him.  He comes to us from another warm climate, South Carolina, where he coached at Clemson University.

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