It’s grading season in my neck of the woods, so that’s what I did until it was time to lug the Brompton downstairs for a ride to Federal Hill to meet A. for a ride to College Park and a couple more holiday parties. It was crisp and sunny out, a second consecutive day of holiday parties, and I zipped quickly down the hill on quiet streets. I hit the harbor, took my right, and rang the tiny Brompty bell as I pedaled around. I love how nimble this bicycle is, zipping around rocks in the path or zipping through that small space between the lamp post and the grass. Zip, zip, zip, I huffed and puffed my way up the hill, wishing for just a moment that I had a few more gears. I can never remember A.’s address, but I know what her car looks like and that it’s parked behind her house, so I rode down the alleyway once I figured I was close. I’ve never lived in a town with such active alleys. We all keep our garbage out there, but we also have our decks and spiral staircases and our basketball hoops. It struck me how much is going on behind whatever I’m looking at. We made our drive, ate our hummus and drank our beer, and then we were back. It was dark out, and I took a slow ride home, stopping for the laser light/fireworks show at the harbor. I decided to save the rest of the grading for tomorrow. You’d be amazed how many students who choose to enroll in a completely optional gender and women’s studies class thought they were just going to sit there and get yelled at by an angry man-hating lesbian feminist battleaxe for 15 weeks. My goodness, who would sign up for that? Where are they getting this stuff?