I went on one of my few walks this summer on September 1. I am extremely irritated to find that September is here already. It seems like we spent most of our summer in doctors' and dentists' offices, hospitals, and waiting rooms while trying to resolve some annoying, but not serious, health issues. Thus, we had little opportunity to go anywhere, missing the summer plays at Hale Theater and the summer theater at the Cedar City Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City and the summer musicals at Tuacahn in St. George. I began taking my afternoon nap during Matlock reruns, having most Matlock episodes thoroughly memorized. We even resorted to watching Hallmark Channel soaps, some of which were actually quite entertaining. We survived a one-day family reunion, had several family visitors, and I actually was able to attend the Marriott School Finance Department's annual fall "retreat" steak fry to visit with old colleagues and meet new faculty. My colleague that officed next door for 20 years was there, so we continued our 20-year debate over where the truth in economics existed, in his lamebrained version of economics, or in my enlightened Keynesian and sophisticated views. For 20 years, I tried to illuminate and insult him daily, but I failed in ever either teaching him the truth or making him irritated, no matter how hard I tried. We remain good friends despite all humorous contention.
My colleague from the finance department who calls me twice yearly to get book reading recommendations so he can buy books for his dad was there. I learned to my amusement that he passes my lists on to other faculty members who ask him what Blood has been reading lately. My student that we nurtured in our department for several years and then recommended highly for entry into a Ph.D. program was there, now being promoted to full professorship and continuing in an outstanding academic career. I was thankful that I could attend the steak fry without being required to attend the entire week of required back-to-school meetings, an exercise that usually failed to inspire me with the intended wisdom needed to pursue another academic year. I did have pangs of remorse about not being back in the classroom. For 45 years, that was my life. First day of school. Dismiss all of the students from Idaho. "What did he say?" "Does he mean it?" Noone ever left, but at least I had their attention. Another crop of students who sat paralyzed in their seats, having heard that beginning economics is one of the worst classes they will ever be required to take. And then a few actually loved it, became economics majors, and calculated opportunity costs and government budgets for the rest of their enchanted lives.
But I have digressed from my morning walk. Unfortunately, few wildflowers and weeds were available to photograph, having been cruelly hacked down by enterprising park mowers early in the summer. But I did find a few things of interest and will post them. Meanwhile, September remains a nostalgic month, a birthday month, a back-to-school month, a transition month, and a month in which to focus on just exactly where in blazes the first eight months of what was supposed to be a new and long and enjoyable year went to instead of perishing into a fog.