Today was my last day of classes for the semester, and in the fall, I’ll be teaching somewhere else. It all felt rather bittersweet. I have loved teaching at Tulane. I enjoy the students, my colleagues, the Take Your Professor to Lunch program (I’ve been eating with charming students on the college’s dime for weeks now), Doug in Media Services, the two way mirror separating me from R. in our basement offices inside the old children’s anxiety clinic (no, really–it’s nice down there (that’s what she said)), and all the campus cats. Fortunately, I get to teach summer school, so I’ll be eased out slowly. After working in my office all afternoon I had planned to do laundry, but R. asked if she could buy me ice cream at Brocato’s, and I just don’t say no to ice cream. I hopped on the bike and headed to Mid-City and was again reminded why it is important to take a towel with you on humid summer days. Afterward I decided to continue my ride up to Lake Pontchartrain. I dodged innumerable stinging caterpillars and listened to several dozen ducks quack and flap along the bayou. At the lake I sat on a ledge about 15 feet from a gray egret (heron?) that stood still, except for that quick fluffing he gave himself. The water lapped against the steps of the levee, and teensy fish gathered in huge groups in the wave. I snapped this picture as I watched a few ducks take off and land in the water. It all felt just about perfect. On my way home I passed two ducks and their five fuzzy ducklings, walking around and then swimming with the five lined up in a perfectly straight line. Pedal, pedal, pedal, and I was finally home. Yeah, I really, really love living here. I’m off to Idaho for a week tomorrow, but I’m bringing my biking shoes. I hope I get to use them.