Monday’s ride was a similar zippy one down to the corner of Lombard and Greene to pick up the shuttle for my ride to work. I did some niggling and adjusting on my new pannier rack system, successfully solving the heel strike problem from last week. It was a long teaching day before a surprisingly short wait for the shuttle back into the city. I was happy to see a familiar face–V. from student affairs was giving the shuttle a try–and I sat next to her for a surprisingly short drive back to my bike. Sometimes the traffic let’s up. I got off early, took the slow stroll back to my bike. I stopped to snap a picture of this plant growing out of a brick wall. I’d checked out this wall from the shuttle earlier as we rode part, because I think there’s a cemetery up there. I hadn’t noticed it before–the bike’s to short to see over the wall, and why would I ride this way to cross MLK anyway? New routes, new views, and even the fancy med school can’t keep the plants out of the walls.
Classes started last week, just as they have for the past ten years I’ve been teaching. There’s always something different–a new syllabus or classroom, a new office or a new class blog, and always there are new students, familiar but different, and each group has to find its own chemistry. Sometimes, though, a new semester means something earth-shatteringly new that makes everything different. Like this past week, when I got an email the day before the new semester began announcing a free shuttle service between downtown Baltimore and UMBC. Wow. This is a game-changer for so many of us–or at least enough of us to justify the expense and to make them keep the shuttle line. My excitement was not without some reservation. Continue reading