Today’s my birthday. It is a teaching day and I am riding my usual train to work and I am writing offline. I’ll sneakily publish this article in class, while my students have a look at today’s documents. I have my thermo bottle of tea and, as it is my birthday, a piece of dark chocolate to go with it (ten years ago it would have been a fat piece of chocolate brownie or a cinnamon roll, but age taught me to… oh, shut up.)
So, happy birthday me! What’s up Carrie? Penny for your thoughts?
I’m thinking of my students. Yesterday at the end of class, as we finished fifteen minutes in advance, I sat on a table and offhandedly asked how they were doing. To my utmost dismay, they were not doing so good. One of them is thinking about signing out of the program and taking a break — to travel (good, I said, as she was looking quite depressed). Two others are exhausted; holding on, but exhaused, catching colds and all kinds of winter ailments. One has been absent for a while and, as it turns out, just signed out.
So I think I might stop at the supermarket on my way to class and buy… say, ginger bread and chocolate. We’ll share it in class. Coffee would have been nice. But they’ll probably have had coffee before class. So maybe not coffee. But surely we can’t have ginger bread without any hot drink?
I hope they all like chocolate…
As I type my thoughts down on screen, I put my hand on my neck and massage my shoulders. My hand passes on the necklace my wife made for me, for my last birthday. She bought the frame but made all the rest, to the glass-like substance that protects the core. The latter consists of a tiny, painted piece of paper on which she wrote (with a quill) the first sentence from one of my favorite novels:
Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
Luckily, this ominous sentence does not sound too ominous today. After all, in less than two months, we are leaving on an eight-month adventure in Canada. I’m pretty sure Mrs. Dalloway didn’t get a chance to do that.
But I guess that was a close one.
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