Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Drizzlies

Today is the vernal equinox, when the northern hemisphere shifts from winter to spring.  Our weather has been dreary, with a steady rain/drizzle all day yesterday.  For me, it was a nice change.  I drank several cups of tea as I worked steadily in my office.  

Usually when we have a rainy day I have a bit of yearning to be home baking.  But my kitchen isn't set up for baking yet, so yesterday I was content to sit in my office with its big windows and watch the gloominess.

I got home with all sorts of plans, but I spent much of the evening on the phone moving funds from my 401K that I had when I was at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale into a plan that I can control.  Until recently, I only felt a bit of urgency, but with the news of the downward spiral of the company that bought the EDMC schools, I decided it was time to take action.

After I did it, I felt the glow of getting a chore done, but I also felt a bit of sadness.  That 401K has done well by me.  I will likely never work for a company with a similar generosity of retirement plan.  Before Goldman-Sachs bought EDMC, I got a 6% match, dollar for dollar--amazing.

I felt sadness too, because it was a good school, back when it was a good school.  Even after the Goldman-Sachs takeover, we continued to do good work.  Students may have been fed inflated dreams about what they could accomplish once they graduated--but they earned a solid education that could propel them to a better future if they took advantage of it.

I had a somewhat drizzly mood, so I called my mom to wish her a happy birthday; that cheered me.  When my spouse got home from chorale practice, we sat on the front porch and watched the rain.  That, too, gave me some joy.

The chilly drizzle reminded me of my February time in Savannah, another time when I felt a bit of wistfulness.  There were signs to show us how to get to Charleston, a location of a different school where once I taught.  I've been in a frame of mind as I'm getting older:  thinking of roads taken and not taken.

A week from today I'll be headed to a different kind of drizzliness as I go to Portland, Oregon for the AWP conference.  I am tempted not to take my coat that takes up so much room but to dress in layers.  The 14 day outlook doesn't call for as much rain as I would expect, with highs in the high 50's and lows in the 40's.  I'm staying half a mile from the convention center, so I'll be walking a lot, and I often don't want a heavier outer layer when I'm walking.

The chance of rain each day is less than 50%.  Would I do better to bring 2 pairs of sneakers instead of a pair of sneakers and a pair of boots?  Hmm.  That way, I could switch them out and they could dry.  My boots would make me feel trendy and cool, but sneakers would probably keep me pain-free.  I'll check the weather again as we get closer.

I have much to do before I leave--lots of accreditation documents to finish/revise/proofread.  Let me begin this day.

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