Saturday, October 31, 2009

A grand day out

Yes, I realize I've already used this title for a blog post. After several years you start to cycle back around.

Today I had no obligatory engagements until 4:00 pm. What a luxury -- a free day in a wonderful city! I slept late (under strict orders from my husband) and then went to the National Mall to stroll through a museum. Ninety minutes in the American History Museum (newly reopened!) was not nearly enough, and I wished my kids could be there to play in the super-cool SparkLab.

But I didn't want to miss the chance to visit an LYS -- Stitch DC in their Capitol Hill location, where I picked up some long-desired Spud & Chloe Sweater and some Punta Merisock -- have lunch at a local eatery (Matchbox), and meet some DC knitters. I crashed a regular meetup of Columbia Heights knitters at a Starbucks. We knit and gabbed for more than an hour, causing a nearby tween to ask her mother, eyes all agog, how she could learn to do that. Then I navigated the streets and Metro back to the hotel to hear my colleagues and students present an inspirational portrait of their program for academicailly at-risk middle-schoolers.

These days of sightseeing and leisure during conferences or business trips -- they're like a dream. When they're done, responsibility reasserts itself so thoroughly that you wonder if your time spent wandering the city was ever real. Tomorrow I'll be up before the sun to set up a workshop that we're confident will change the minds and lives of 53 faculty and administrators. Before the day is out I'll be home unpacking and thinking about the class I have to teach on Monday. Life moves quickly, and the moments that don't, seem like they were spent in some alternate universe.

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