August 2017

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I just finished my paper and my final discussion post for my Renaissance class! Earlier today, I turned in the annotated bibliography. Yes, for those of you keeping score at home, that is with one week and six days to spare. I will have to participate in this week's discussion, and I still have to revise my paper, but the heavy lifting for that class is finished.
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For the Ancient World class, I still have one paper (8-10 pages, comparing ancient Hindu and ancient Greek cosmogonies) and two discussions left to write. I have some sources for the paper already from stuff I've written for other classes or just gathered in my travels because it was interesting. (Creation myths are something I never get tired of, so I keep stuff when I find it.) By the end of the week--the work week--except for ongoing discussions, I could be done that class as well.

I'm beyond relieved. This has been a difficult semester, not only because the workload has been intense but because my brain and body have been rebelling against me at every turn. So this feels like a triumph in excess of the usual Hermione bullshit y'all listen to here about my grades and misery with some of my less gung-ho classmates. (I don't think I've complained about them here once this semester, which is probably the first time and a definite improvement over past semesters. Trust that it hasn't been because they haven't given me anything to complain about!)

As I noted yesterday, I took today off from work to get school stuff done. It rained all day. Starting this afternoon, the weather radio alarm went off several times for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, but nothing near us, thankfully, aside from a tornado watch for Carroll County. A tornado watch means that conditions exist where a tornado could form; a tornado warning means that a funnel cloud or rotational movement has been detected and you better get your ass underground or in a secure location sooner rather than later. The tornado watch today went something like this:

Weather Radio: DINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLE!!! (that's my best impersonation of what it sounds like when the alarm goes off)

Bobby and Dawn: *perk up ears*

Weather Radio: The National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia has issued a tornado watch until 8 PM for the following counties in central Maryland ...

Bobby and Dawn: *hold breath*

Weather Radio: Carroll ...

Bobby: Fuck.

Dawn: *laughing* Leading the pack, as always, here in Carroll County!

One of Bobby's former coworkers lives here in Manchester, and when we first moved here, he told us we were moving to the Tornado Alley of Maryland. I don't know if that's scientifically defensible or anecdotal, but it does feel that way. We have had a tornado touch down since we've lived here; it destroyed the home of one of my students when I was student teaching. The worst was one afternoon/evening last year when the tornado activity was crazy in Carroll County; we got four--four!--tornado warnings that day. We got quite practiced with gathering the dogs, the weather radio, and going into the basement to wait it out. Driving home from work that afternoon, the sky had been that horrible, sickly green that means something is brewing.

One of the four--four!--tornado warnings went like this:

Weather Radio: DINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLEDINGLE!!! The National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia has issued a tornado warning for the following locations in central Maryland.
. . .

Just Manchester. They couldn't even throw in Lineboro and Miller--neighboring towns in the same zip code--to make us feel less alone. Talk about feeling like you have a target on your back!

The funny thing is that, despite the warning, we didn't get a drop of rain or a bit of wind; it stayed sunny outside. Just goes to show that the weather around here is fucking crazy and the weatherpeople don't know what to make of it a lot of the time. I'd rather them warn us, though, and spend a half-hour in the basement for no reason than to get caught by very unpleasant surprise.

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