What I Did During My Fall Break

It’s actually not yet over, fall break, that glorious moment marking the halfway point of the semester. It’s brief, a mere two days, but if (like me) you already don’t teach on Friday, having Monday and Tuesday off can result in a beautiful five-day weekend, in which you can:

1. Do a big pile of work on the anthology, such that you end the weekend a mere three weeks behind schedule, rather than the six weeks you were dogged by going into the weekend.

2. Actually re-read the text for Wednesday’s class, rather than relying on your crappy memory of something you last read two years ago to carry through the discussion, as you have on an alarming number of occasions of late.

3. Get some grading done at something that feels like leisure, rather than sprinting through batches of papers with an eye toward “good enough” and “not a chance.”

4. Manage to persuade the guy you owe an essay to that really and truly, you’ll be able to give him a much better product by the end of December than by the end of October.

5. Run. Run like the wind. Or like the wind would run if it blew only in a four square foot rectangular area the size of a treadmill. Watch Auburn absolutely smother Arkansas while you’re running, and feel profoundly ambivalent about the way things are going these days in the old SEC. Manage to use that ambivalence to run six miles for the first time in at least four years.

6. Discover, much to your chagrin, the Sour Apple Martini.

7. Revel in the fact that it’s been absolutely pissing here for the last two days. Fall, it appears, has finally broken here in SoCal.


  1. Oh, Alex. I promise, from the bottom of my heart: That was not a complaint. We needed the rain more than I can tell you. Actually, that’s not true; I can tell you exactly how much we needed it. Late last month the Angeles National Forest was closed in order to forestall the chances of another major fire. The Forest Service shut things down indefinitely, saying that they’d reopen once the fall rains had begun. And now, rain. See: we needed the rain so much that they had to close the forest.

    On top of which: it’s impossible to really appreciate the non-stop gloriousness without some intervals of wet and cold.

    On top of which: there’s nothing like a little wet and cold to actually make you want to stay inside, drinking hot caffeinated beverages and working.

    On top of which: I’m from Louisiana, and never feel completely right about the world unless it’s a bit soggy.

    So, in sum: not a complaint. I swear. 🙂

  2. But is the chagrin over the SA-Martini a byproduct of the wincing half-regret that accompanies the next morning’s headache? Of the patina of shame hanging over the memory of dancing on a tabletop?

    Or the disturbing realization that one has come to like a drink that in most bars is going to go for twice as much as a draft beer?

  3. Sorry for the delay in response; such delay was necessitated by the requirement for further research into the issue.

    After last night, I can now say without qualm: A and C.

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