There are things I needed to do today, but none of them seemed as important as getting outside with my camera and going to one of the most lovely places in town.
I went to school here, and now I teach here. That building at the bottom of the picture was my dorm. Those buildings on the horizon are prisons. Literally. Salem is full of prisons and colleges and mental hospitals; it has one of the highest rates of institutionalized living in the country.
Here's the building (and my classroom, by the second light) where I teach. It never feels like prison because my students are good, and I can teach whatever I want.
On Tuesdays, I take the girls to school with me and a student watches them while I teach. I love hearing them cheer for the pumpkins that are growing across the street from the school. I'm not quite sure why the prison fields are growing pumpkins, but we like them. And the cows. We really like saying hello to the cows. We love cows.
Even though I had a rough time being a student here--I was really lonely and sad and my college years ended with a traumatic experience--eight years later I came back to teach.
It's ironic that the place where I didn't fit in for four years became the place where I know I belong.
I love this place, the people, the students I talk to every day.
I even love all the hundreds of stairs that I have to climb to get from one part of campus to the other. Keeps my legs moving, my heart pumping, my blood flowing. I love heartbeats.
And I love my job.