Sunday, December 05, 2010

Prompt 3: Moment

Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

I'm not fond of having to choose just one. I felt very alive much of the year. Anyway, the first moment that comes to mind is kayaking on the north shore of the St. Lawrence as we do almost every year. The last day of our trip was amazing. It was perfectly still and gray and foggy. It was just an amazing day. We didn't see many whales that day, but it was still incredible. The water was so still that I could hear birds diving and surfacing on the water and seals breathing.

There were some other amazing moments from that trip. Twice we saw a trio of Northern Gannets fly by. They're intense-looking birds. Their name in French is better than English: Fou de Bassan. It was also great hanging out at our campsite, hearing whales, watching the stars come out, and seeing glowing satellites circling the earth.

A few other moments come to mind, all of them quite different from each other. For me there's nothing quite like the feeling of a class that went really well. So there are lots of little moments from teaching that stand out, especially for my Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Sustainable Energy classes. Those three courses in particular I think were quite successful.

This summer I had time to do some research that involved some programming and data analysis. It wasn't anything that involved, but being able to focus on coding for a few days was really nice. I find coding to be remarkably energizing and focusing. I wish I could do more of it. Conveniently, I'm teaching a programming class next term, so I'll probably get my wish.

I also recall a few amazing meals from 2010. We had some great food at our favorite restaurants in Portland and Quebec City. We also cooked some great food at home.

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