Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lake gulls?

The family is in Chi-town for a little bit of R&R. Yesterday the boys were to meet some of their friends at Navy Pier. Kids that age like to hang out and do things in packs, a good thing in my view. We're over protective as parents. So after breakfast, we walk over from the hotel, five or six blocks. The arthritis in my hip has beef acting up; my pace is slow; there is a far amount of pain. There is mental effort in persisting for what should be an automatic process. Though it is pleasantly cool, I start to perspire.

After we hook up with the kids' buddies my wife and I make a tentative plan. We will find a Starbucks, hotel coffee doesn't cut it, and drink that while staring at the Lake. I tell her I spent many hours in graduate school doing that and it was one of the things I looked forward to, something we miss in Champaign. After searching a bit to find a bench that is not too wet, we drink our coffees looking out over the inlet. Across the way on a shorter pier the space is monopolized by whitish birds, hundreds of them, maybe thousands of them. We see one on our pier. The feathers are white or a light gray. But the claws are yellow, as are the eyes.

Vacation is there to get away from work pressures, but there is no total escape. The iPad delivers email, one of which is the daily update from Inside Higher Ed, with an item that in Ohio the Governor wants faculty to teach more courses. Why not want them to teach more intensively? We seem to be racing to the bottom and accelerating at it.

Sent from my iPad

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