Thursday, June 30, 2011


[I'd never name them. They're innocent.]

Picture it: a campus quad, students on the lawns, at tables. There are sunglasses and sundresses and sunblock. Over there six female students are stretched out on the lawn, half in the sun, half shaded. Down the hill in twos and threes, more students. Every single one a graduate student writer. The campus is theirs for the week. (They're loving it, trust me.)

They range in age. That dude graduated from college a month ago; he's like 23. She has eight kids and twenty-some-odd grandkids. That lady's fifty-something. A lot of 'em are in their late twenties and early thirties. But the age spectrum is wide. And in the middle on a stretch of spotty lawn are three girls—it would probably be more responsible to call them "women"—doing cartwheels.

Or rather, teaching the gal that is thirty-one to do cartwheels. She never learned. She's always wanted to. So the other two, they decided to teach her. Right then. Right there.

Drop your backpack, ditch the sunglasses—I'll ditch mine too.

The spectacle broadened. The student with spectacular hair waved her leopard wrap, taunting the new cartwheeler like a toreador to a bull. The one with eight kids demonstrated her ability to still do the splits. (The grandkids dig it when she does that.) Another gal stepped in to spot.

We looked like fools, this I know, but we had quite a ridiculously good time. My jaw hurt the next day from laughing so hard (or rather, so wide).

The metaphors swirling about this whatnot are abundant, corny, and perhaps worth exploring. After a writing workshop we taught/learned to cartwheel on the quad.

School's great.

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