11 Sept (Monday)—Migraines, and muddles, and leeches: oh my!

Zoë and I have both been struggling with migraines, perhaps from the altitude, perhaps dehydration. My current theory is that the problem is weather-related: I can see the dark clouds as a ceiling into which we drive each morning going up the mountain.

As I try to get my students to practice writing (the ones who most need practice are the ones who resist it most), I arranged to have the whole family come up, so that Zoë and James and I could all respond to student paragraphs and cover three times as many writers in the same amount of time.

Some of the student writing shown to James and Zoë confirmed my sense that my students—or at least some of them—only understand roughly every third word I say to them.

Eden took a photo of Jeremy in the rainbow

After class ended, we sent James and Jeremy down in the van, and Zoë and I started down the mountain on foot. We had a hard time finding the start of the trail, and a harder time finding the end of the trail. Worse yet, in the middle of the trail, Zoë looked down and found her foot in a pool of blood in her sandal. We had forgotten that it was leech season.

Zoë wants to know how I took this photo without noticing the pool of blood (trust me, I wasn’t photographing her foot)! I want to know how she walked so far on a leech, probably two or three. We think she only noticed when her foot squashed the leech and it exploded. Ugggggh. The rest of the trip down the mountain–especially bushwacking at the end, when we slid ten feet and a time and didn’t always keep our feet–was a little nerve-racking.