Time to turn another page of the calendar to welcome another month. I love this month because pumpkin everything is back in season. Pumpkin muffins, milkshakes, coffee, soup. Even the Danish Kringle pastry, which Racine is known for worldwide is made with pumpkin this time of year.
The sweet savory gourd shows up in so many comfort foods, it’s mind boggling. Even the stuff in the can goes down in price so you can make your own special pumpkin treats at home. In fact, I have pumpkin bread on today’s “to do” list. I can’t wait to get into the kitchen.
Another pumpkin delight is the smell of a spicy pumpkin candle. I kid you not! By simply lighting a candle you can enjoy pumpkin without the zillions of calories that come with the sweet treats. The warm scent of cooking pumpkin pie fills the house with a sweet scent that makes a person feel warm and gooey inside. You’ll go back to a time when your mom made pumpkin pie once a year from scratch and you slathered on a dollop of whipping cream to top it off.
This time of year, there’s no getting away from the gourd. You see them along the road side, in the grocery stores and even at the local nursery. There’s pictures of carved pumpkins in store windows. There’s pumpkins on your neighbor’s porches. They’re everywhere; they’re everywhere!
Until this year, Ken and I have filled our home with friends for an annual Pumpkin Carving Party. We celebrated our 15th annual last year, but this year there won’t be a party because things have changed. One friend is too ill to come, another is moving to Florida, and Ken’s arm tremor prohibits him from wielding a knife for any reason any more. Change like this I can do without, and I’ll be sad on the Saturday before Halloween when we usually held the party. It’s an end of an era.
So what will we do instead of hosting a party? Hmmm . . . Probably eat something made with pumpkin and look at pictures that will bring back fifteen years of fun memories.
The unofficial end to summer is only days away, but the weather is protesting this premature ending. It will be close to 90 again today. For a northerner, this is not exactly the climate we signed up for. So, while many other people prepare their last hurrahs for the end of summer, I will be home in the air conditioning preparing my syllabus and waiting for my letter of employment to be sent to my “in” box.
The college “powers that be” decided they would jump into the 21st century and use the internet to broadcast this most important document to all adjunct teachers. The document was supposed to come yesterday, but if I know technology, it will probably show up sometime next week. The delay will be caused by unexpected bugs and the necessary training the administration staff needs to complete their end of this process. It should go smoothly–in a couple of years, that is.
Why is it everything that is supposed to make your life easier never really does? It’s been my experience that such changes are painful at first. It seems no one has the empirical knowledge to take into account all of the variables that need to be considered and then compensate for them. It isn’t until the program crashes a few times before the pesty computer gremlins are rooted out before the programmers get the results everyone is expecting. In the meantime, everyone sweats the deadline and fears they won’t get paid because of some computer glitch.
Last Saturday all adjunct teachers attended an “In Service” training session to get the latest greatest news and developments on campus. This automated LOE (letter of employment) was one of the things presented to us. When the IT guru said the service wasn’t quite ready, I groaned. You see, I’ve worked with technology people for years in web development, and I learned the nuances of the trade. If I had been in charge of this project, I would have had a stack of paper LOEs in the wings for back-up. Everyone would sign their John Hancock’s on the paper in case the automated system fell on its butt. Yeah. But that’s just me.
So, over the weekend, I will be preparing my lesson plans, syllabus, and other new things I want to try in my class this fall, while the computer gods make the technology folks nuts with their tricks. We’ll just have to wait and see who wins the battle.