I do a pretty good job staying mindful of what a friggin' awesome job I have. And this term, thanks in part to my pre-tenure course release, I find myself able to concentrate on 1) my two groups of students and the interesting things they are writing and 2) the civic engagement teacher-research I'm doing. Oh yeah, and that tenure portfolio too.
And yet, like many others who refuse to be workaholics, I love weekends when I can break away even from work that brings much, much pleasure. Friday night, after a particularly long meeting, I managed to work out before leaving campus. Nicole and I ate at a new burger place here in Berkley (mediocre food) and then caught a late showing of Juno, which was as funny and beautiful as the accolades indicate. Maybe moreso. I loved this film. Saturday morning we drove down to Sylvania, OH., and saw my nephew Tony perform at a high school speech competition, doing a one-man noir version of Juluis Ceasar (sample humor: "gimme a Martinus, barkeep" "you mean Martini?" "if I wanted two, I'd tell you").
After a little house-cleaning back home, I made a simple tomato sauce with lots of garlic, basil, and red pepper flakes; some whole wheat pasta; and faux meatballs with eggplant (frozen from my dad's garden), Italian breadcrumbs, and much parmesan cheese. Nothing is as relaxing as cooking. My friend Jason came over for dinner and we talked about seminary memories for hours. Today went to mass, then out to lunch with the crew from church.
I'm going to relent and do a little paper grading this afternoon and evening (and also start Coetzee's new book "Diary of a Bad Year" fresh from the library shelves), because tomorrow is Martin Luther King Service Day on campus. Nicole and I will join a group of students at one of the soup kitchens downtown for a morning of work, followed by an afternoon program on MLK back at school. Nice chance for faculty-student interaction. Then to my sister Anna's to hang with my parents who are coming for a quick visit.
Schoolwork? It'll be there on Tuesday morning.