Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lovely Last Day of November

I said farewell to November with a near-perfect Greencastle day.

For starters, the sun came out, after seemingly endless days of rain and gloom. (To be fair to Indiana weather, apparently it was beautiful while I was away in Colorado for Thanksgiving.)

Before breakfast I faced a task I should have faced weeks ago: reading through a bunch of essays by the philosopher Cheshire Calhoun to choose which three I want to feature in the Cheshire Calhoun reading group I'm organizing at the Prindle next semester. Why on earth I put this off, I have no idea. The entire task involved reading and rereading exquisite essays by my favorite living philosopher: "Changing One's Heart" (on forgiveness), "Standing for Something" (on integrity), "The Virtue of Civility,""What Good Is Commitment?" and "Common Decency." What task could be more pleasant? But for some reason it stressed me to face it - how could I pick only three of the essays? Which three? But today I did it and chose the ones on forgiveness, civility, and commitment. Done!

I gave three talks to the three second grade classes at Ridpath Elementary just blocks from my house. I discovered last month that my Gus and Grandpa and the Two-Wheeled Bike is a selection in the Harcourt Story Town reader used in the Greencastle schools. I had known I was in some Harcourt textbook because a Harcourt photographer came to my house in Boulder years ago and spent hours on a very hot summer day photographing me standing next to a bicycle in my garage. But I had never actually seen the final product. It was so much fun to come to Ridpath as a Gus and Grandpa celebrity.

I spent a mellow afternoon at the Prindle Institute puttering at my desk and going to a delightful staff meeting. How many people have jobs where the staff meetings are a treat? I do!

I took myself to dinner at the Swizzle Stick bar downtown, admiring Christmas decorations as I walked there: a glass of Merlot and six potstickers, while I read a chapter of Patchen Markell's Bound by Recognition for the final meeting of its reading group on Friday. (See the degree to which I have now renounced procrastination, reading this a full two days ahead.)

Finally, I attended a gorgeous chamber music concert - Beethoven, Handel, Mozart, Mendelssohn - that featured one of my wonderful Rousseau class students on violin.

It would be hard to find a more satisfying way of bidding adieu to November.

1 comment:

  1. I love that G&G story. It is my second favorite, after the Christmas cookie one.