snow day!

I love snow in Nashville.  In New Jersey, it was just something that happened and everyone went about their lives, with a few more layers, some boots, a snow shovel, and a bit of grumbling when it started to turn grey and dingy.  Here, it feels like a great adventure, like something that’s not supposed to happen.  No one quite knows what to do with: people go out without hats or mittens, drive too fast, slip around on the unshovelled sidewalks.  Everything seems to shut down.

It’s only flurries, but I’m sure the radio will keep me updated on any threatened accumulation.


Until then, it’s perfect weather for writing.  Which is pretty great: I have a paper to finish for tomorrow.  One of those “so close, yet so far” affairs where 5 more pages and tying up the loose ends seems like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  I would like to get this version turned in, so I can start revising it into something closer to what I had in mind.

Actually, I’d been feeling a little low, reading this absolutely spot-on essay by a former professor of mine (something about that “former” still makes me cringe inside) … how does she manage to write so clearly?  how does she get all of her ideas so forcefully formulated? how does she find a way to show me something I didn’t see, and make it seem so intuitively right?  Well, a footnote trail led to an important revelation: the article was at least a couple of years in the making.  So yeah.  I started to feel more confident in the power of revision and time.

Can I tell you how excited I am to have more of both next semester?  No more coursework!  (Again!  Five years later, it is much more bittersweet.)  ABD!  (This will be a first for me.)  Time to work on my dissertation!  (Again! Missing piece: I’m coming for you.)  I can’t wait to get started.

I wish I’d managed to do things in a different order — like getting ABD in there five years ago, where it belonged — but, well, sometimes things are messy.  I’m trying to be okay with that.


On that note, here’s my minimal, but decidedly un-messy, collar progress, done mostly during breaks, while watching Gilmore Girls (so good!) and Showgirls (I know).  I really want to knit more cardigans … mostly because I really want to wear more handknit cardigans.  Everyone wins.

In celebration of another weekend, with hopes that your Sunday is worth this word, I give you a favorite poem.  Alan Dugan, On A Seven-Day Diary.*


* In the spirit of my footnote revelation, I offer you one.  It doesn’t really have anything to do with knitting, the snow just makes me think of other winters in other places.  Feel free to skip right on over.

One of my most treasured, and most dearly missed, Princeton memories is the tradition of Friday-night dinner with friends: we sat around a big table in a tiny apartment, ate, talked, laughed, drank red wine … at a certain advanced point in the evening, S. would sometimes call (loudly, having to make himself heard over the din and the customary Dan Bern accompaniment) for this poem to be read.  All I remember is the joy of the moment when R. — our intrepid host — would oblige.  We laughed and cheered and nodded our heads in agreement.  At least that’s how I remember it.  It was probably totally different.


3 thoughts on “snow day!

  1. thanks for the poem. and for the reminder that work — and ideas — take time. a grad student who was almost done when i started said something about how it was helpful to think about seminar papers as drafts, as the beginnings of things that might someday become something else. she clearly knew what she was talking about.

    and hooray for snow, collars, and girls of both the gilmore and show variety. (and, of course, good luck with kilimanjaro. you’re almost there!)

  2. What a lovely poem! And I agree about seminar papers: many of what our professors publish started out as seminar papers, with the bumbling and the fumbling that we’re all doing right now. You’re sowing seeds, and one day they will become plants, and the plants will become giant trees, and those trees will rock your world. Or something.

  3. I read that poem to R because when I hear about his work week sometimes I feel like that’s how it unfolds for him. The sad thing is I could barely spit it out without laughing and laughing once I got past day two. Hmm… Thanks for sharing that!

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