Sunday, August 24, 2003

I frittered the weekend away. I spent Friday night and Saturday morning reading fiction. Saturday afternoon, I walked along Solano; Saturday evening, I watched a bad martial arts movie, which was dubbed into Spanish for extra incomprehensibility. The dialogue and plot weren't too complicated, so I was still able to follow most of it with the aid of my high school Spanish, hazy though the memories are. Today I cleaned and reorganized my room. I suppose that means that I was trying to avoid work; I always seem to end up cleaning when I feel like avoiding some other task. The shelves in my room are packed tightly, now, but there is working space on my desk once again, and I've stowed the little piles of books that were starting to gather around the corners of the room like seaweed around a pier.

Tomorrow is the first day of instruction for the fall semester. I have a class at 9:00, which is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. Since the course meets so early in the day, it will not interrupt me when I'm in the middle of something. On the other hand, if I want to get to campus at 9:00, I'll face less pleasant traffic than I usually encounter when I travel later in the day. There are other advantages to working from home in the mornings, too. I have a window at home with a pleasant view, and I can open the shades to let in the sunlight. When I take a break, I can go to the kitchen and prepare a hot lunch or a cup of coffee. The window in the office is always shuttered to prevent monitor glare; even were it open, we'd just look at the side of Etcheverry hall. Of course, I do enjoy visiting the cafes around campus.

In the interest of finishing research work, I took no classes last year. It was a reasonable choice, but I look forward to my classes this semester. I've wanted these courses for a long time, and as a graduate student I still have the scheduling flexibility to take them. Jim has a sabbatical this semester; I wonder if he'll audit any courses? I know he sometimes misses taking classes. Perhaps he'll choose instead to spend a few hours a week in self-study of algebraic geometry or some other topic that he's mentioned he'd like to pursue further.

The semester is starting, the semester is starting! I've failed to finish all the things I wanted to finish this summer. Now that the summer has passed, though, there's no sense in worrying further about what I might be able to fit in before the semester starts. The semester is about to start, and I'm happy about it.