Apparently the 9th through 12th graders share an English class, and any high school teacher will tell you that such a confusion of hormonal, emotional, and intellectual advancement can quickly drive you nuts. Their teacher, fortunately, is a smart and easygoing man, but I'm already feeling high-strung about the week. The best I can do, I think, is to bring all my teaching materials with me and be ready, at any moment, to improvise. Meanwhile, I'll be digging up garden soil, hauling mulch manure, unearthing meteorites, etc. Later today I will wander down to the stream to see if, by any chance, the fiddleheads are sprouting. It's early, but I'm hopeful.
Wordsworth says, "I sate / Beneath a tree, slackening my thoughts by choice." Resting under a budding tree sounds like a good idea, and I hope to try it one of these days. But by the time I get around to slackening my thoughts, the blackflies will be out. And it's my contention that the Romantics would have been different kinds of writers if they'd had to fight off swarms of biting insects "in the sheltered and sheltering grove."