What a wonderful spring like day in our parts of the country…I can’t believe I was able to walk in 45 F degree temps on our gravel road for two miles…in the early part of March!!! Happy International Women’s Day to me. Nobody breathed a word of this occasion in church today…no one in the U.S. really knows about this holiday that is celebrated in most other countries of the world. I first learned of it when I lived in China in the late 1980s. I know it was a big deal in the former Soviet Union when I lived in Ukraine for six-seven years…it was an even bigger deal in Central Asia. I liked getting the attention, the flowers, the cards, the treats from my employers and my students. I tell people that for American women, it is International Women’s day every day. We have so many privileges that we take for granted that many other women would just dream of enjoying. At my university tomorrow there is a function I should go to because I DID sign up for it but I need to practice my violin because we are playing at an international dinner in the evening. A Mozart piece that is a bit challenging for me. I have most of the notes right, just not all the trills and certainly not getting the vibrato in there. I am using some of the upper positions but trying to avoid open string notes. Anyway, I need to practice more than listen to people give lectures on women’s rights. I know we are blessed. In fact, after I finished my two mile walk I helped my Dad pick up tree branches and stumps out in our woods for him to take for his furnace. He is trying to save on money for fuel and I guess he likes the excuse of getting out to the country to see the fields and breathe the fresh air. I am hoping we can clear enough of the dead branches so that the plum trees can thrive again. My husband had cleared away that area and cut them back and they were doing well for a couple of seasons but now it has not been producing as much. We have our domestic plum trees we planted closer to our house that are starting to produce. However, we did not have as much last year. Perhaps if it is warm the trees are fooled into blossoming and then a cold snap happens and then they can’t produce the fruit as much. That’s my theory. Anyway, last night my husband and I had our first bonfire out in our woods. It was spectacular to see the sunset in the background. I do feel blessed to be able to walk in the fresh air in MARCH and to have a Dad who has enough energy to come out to gather wood. The sun is shining and all things seem bright and beautiful. Well, tomorrow I have my students handing in their rough drafts about human trafficking. They are to write 1,500 words in a problem and solution essay and some of them are not capable yet of using the APA formatting style. I don’t know what their high school teachers let them get away with, some of their grammar and spelling needs a LOT of work. Then I pile on top of that all the rules that goes with researching from the university databases and to show in-text citations using APA. I should put together a quiz for them based on the research chapters from their textbook. Maybe I’m not so happy about spring now that I have to do my own work for tomorrow’s classes. There will be Spring break from March 16-20 which means that once Friday rolls around, they will be taking off for Florida or south or at least not sticking around campus for that week off. Meanwhile, I’ll keep working on my different projects…like practicing my new violin!