Sunday, May 10, 2009
Last Friday afternoon, for the first time in months, I had no classes to teach, no meetings to attend, no other scheduled activities to participate in. So I was at home grading papers. The weather was rainy and windy, good for drinking tea and getting papers graded.
We lost power about 12:45 p.m. I called in the power interruption and got back to work. About 1:00 p.m. the tornado sirens blared. When the tornado sirens go off, there is no question of what to do: it's time to go to the basement. I grabbed my purse and my laptop bag and headed downstairs. But then I remembered that stack of my students' papers, ran back up and grabbed those, and ran back down. That's what a writing professor saves first in time of tornado: self, purse, laptop, and students' papers.
Turns out we had an "inland hurricane." Sustained 86 mile per hour winds, with gusts up to 106 miles per hour. Very scarey. Large trees crashed onto cars, houses, and other buildings, doing lots of damage. The power won't be back until Wednesday.
I'm still grading papers, by sunlight and candle light, to the constant sound of chain saws. The landlines work. So this post comes to you via telephone modem and laptop battery. I'll let you know when I get a cup of hot tea again.