Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

We’ve made it to May Day. Surely, surely this means that the long winter is over.

Leaves are budding everywhere, and even though we’ve come out of a long, dark, cold winter, it feels exactly like the beginning of “spring” in Nicaragua last year—after months of being dry, parched, and feverishly hot, the world seemed like a gentle place once again as the bare trees flushed with the first tender leaves. I look up at all the trees in Urbana, and sometimes I expect Wrinkle Belly to be there.

Springtime in Urbana
Trees at the arboretum

These "irises" sure look a lot like daffodils...

Red bud tree in our side yard

Bunny rabbit waiting for someone to borrow a tiller, till our garden plot, and then plant some seedlings.

One night earlier this week I kept waking up from dreams about Nicaragua. Sometimes I was looking for Eduardo but he wasn’t there; other times, he was just as smiling and golden as when we left. Every time when I woke up, my first thought was a sort of panicked remembrance that I had not yet received my passport back from the US government (I had submitted it for renewal earlier in the month). The whole process just seems a bit sketchy: you send off your passport, your application form, and a check for $75, not knowing when or if they’ll ever get it back to you (estimated processing time: 4-6 weeks). Well, it had been less than 2 weeks since I sent all this stuff in, but the very next day after those Nicaragua dreams, my passport arrived in the mail. Now, all I need to do is figure out a good week (or weeks?), and Eduardo, here I come.

At any rate, the semester is winding down. I’ve all but survived teaching my first class ever. All that’s left is the final exam, so I feel like I am coasting. That’s probably why I’m so eager to get back to Nicaragua again. And on the plus side, now that I’m not spending every minute preparing lectures, I’ve actually done a tiny bit of work on my dissertation.

This morning I had a dentist appointment. I actually really like my dentist. Probably because at my dentist's office, they all seem amazed at how beautiful my teeth are. Seriously, I get complimented on my teeth all the time. Once a tourist in Nicaragua remarked on how perfect my teeth were and asked me if my father was a dentist. More recently, at the meetings earlier this month, I met a girl from London who as so amazed at my teeth she asked me what brand of toothpaste I used and then resolved to purchase a case of it before returning back to England. I’m actually kind of paranoid about my teeth, since they are pretty much my one redeeming physical feature. I used to have all these nightmares about my teeth falling out or turning black (which my psychologist sister assured me was actually pretty common dream). All winter long, my teeth were super sensitive; I practically had to drink warm water just to tolerate it. I was so sure that something was really wrong with my teeth. The past couple of weeks they haven’t hurt as bad, so I was a little relieved. Today at the dentist I found out that tooth sensitivity is actually really common during the wintertime, especially for people who are outdoors a lot (biking and running). They gave me some special toothpaste and told me my teeth were fine; lovely in fact. But I am irked by the trauma this winter has seemed to cause for every part of me: teeth included. I hope spring is here to stay.

I went to the department after my dentist appointment; something was going on, and they had a bunch of donuts and bagels in the main office. One of the professors, S.A. was in there and said something to the effect of “Help yourself” while gesturing to the donuts. I made some comment about out I had just come from the dentist, and I didn’t want to eat anything yet while my teeth were so nice and clean. S.A told me that I always had clean teeth, adding, “You’ve got the best teeth in the department.” It was a matter of fact sort of statement.

So there you go. I wish I had been voted “most likely to succeed,” but I guess I’ll settle for “best teeth.”

That’s all for now; I’ve got to hop on Iris 2 and get over to Aimee’s for dinner. Thanks for reading.
Lovely island, lovely teeth

1 comment:

amypfan said...

"Look at the set of teeth on that one!" - Amy and Melissa in the pre-teen years

When are you thinking about heading back to Nicaragua?