I had dinner last night under the watchful eyes of a caribou whom I decided to call Clint, a polite dinner companion though he didn't contribute much to the conversation. Some people might be put off by dining in the presence of taxidermied animals--all those beady little eyes glaring out from the heads of deer, elk, bison, and caribou, plus the bears' menacing teeth and claws--but animal heads hanging on the wall don't disturb my dinner. After all, I have eaten fried alligator nuggets in the presence of live alligators. Tastes like chicken.
The steaks we ate at the Bear's Den last night did not taste at all like chicken, fortunately. It's a farm-to-table restaurant located 40 minutes away in the middle of nowhere, which makes sense because getting great grass-fed beef from farm to table is easier if the table remains close to the farm. Delicious local beef, interesting vegetables, spectacular desserts--plus close proximity to the Guernsey County Courthouse in Cambridge, Ohio, where the holiday light-and-music show makes me smile right down to my toes.
In between the teaching and student conferences and grading, this has been a week full of smiles. At the local performance of Handel's Messiah Sunday night, I sat with the family of a retired colleague who sang the bass solos with gusto despite having undergone a major organ transplant not so long ago, and on Wednesday evening I watched some very talented students perform a festive and fun holiday concert.
Now, though, it's back to work: piles of papers to grade, followed by piles of final exams to decipher. This afternoon I'll hold my last class meeting of the semester, a study session to prepare for the final exam, and then it's back to grading grading grading. But at least I've had some great music, delicious food, and colorful lights this week to prepare me for the long slog ahead. I may be worn out, but at least I haven't been taxidermied and hung on the wall--and as long as I stay one step ahead of Clint the Caribou, I'm doing okay.
|Too bad you can't hear the music.