(Yes, I just used emoticons as my title. Despite my English teacher status, I have a peculiar fondness for those punctuated emotional expressions. How ever did we convey our feelings before their brilliant creation?)
Students who impress me, singing in the hallway with fellow teachers, the much anticipated movie version of SATC, enjoying it with friends after dinner, five days of school left, students turning in extra credit the day it is due to bring their grades up to passing, fresh flowers, cool rains, great sex, joining the HRC, playing DDR instead of treadmilling, no papers to grade, cranberry-orange scones, flip-flop Friday, dinners at the table with my husband every night this week, the conversations we have during and after, Bed Bath & Beyond gift certificates spent on kitchen luxuries (do you have a mandoline slicer?), browsing the racks at Dick's sporting goods just for fun, stopping at Target to buy a 3 lb. bag of gummy bears, loving the little moments together that make life fabulous.
Students who annoy me, the start of the hurricane season, a failed recipe*, forgetting an appointment, a plateau in my weight loss, 12 weeks until school starts, hair that is still wet two and a half hours after my shower, Lisa going to the finale in Top Chef, the inevitable end of Hillary's campaign, missing faraway friends, tornadoes, car accidents, high gas prices, and all the other depressing news stories that make me feel lucky to be alive and well.
*Quick story about failed recipe: A while back I bought some swordfish. Granted it was frozen, but it was still a little spendy. I thawed it and planned Wednesday's meal around it: Mango salsa cous cous, caesar salad, season the fish with lemon juice, olive oil, a variety of spices. The cous cous was yummy ummy, but then I bit into my fish. Hmmm. Perhaps it was just that bite, or just my fish. "Have you tried your fish yet, dear?" "No [takes a bite, makes a face]. Have you?" We struggle as to who will say it first. Since I cooked it, I better say it, "It's not good." "No, it's not." "Gross, in fact." "Fishy." "Chewy." "Yuck." I tell my husband I feel bad (I always feel bad when I try something new and he doesn't like it, but this time it was a disaster). He says, "It's not your fault. It's the fish. Stupid swordfish. Maybe it ate some bad clams." Maybe you had to be there, but I laughed enough to make myself tear up. We throw it away, the stupid swordfish, and make sandwiches instead. Him: turkey and cheddar; me: peanut butter and grape jelly. Then I read an article saying mercury levels in swordfish are ridiculous and to avoid it altogether. I guess we dodged a bullet there:-)