As soon as I found out I was pregnant the first time, I told everyone with whom I crossed paths. I got the confirmation phone call at school, so many of the first to know were members of the OCU community. One response I clearly remember was given by the administrative assistant in the Humanities office.

"Aww, now that perfect little body is going to go to $h#*."

I was a little caught off guard, being that was her first reaction, but I was on cloud nine, so I didn't think much of it. Six weeks later, I miscarried. No poopy body that time. And after Cora, I held onto those "last 10 pounds." And after Magnolia I'm holding onto those last 30 pounds. I know she's only 3 months old (in 2 days), but fo' shiz. I counted it a victory that I didn't have any stretch marks on my tummy, despite the fact I have them on my sides, hiney, and thighs. I've read that women are much more inclined to the pear shape while in child bearing years because that is generally where the body stores fat for breastfeeding. Mine is storing a lot of it.

And so I've gone on two little runs for the past two nights. I ran the whole way, yes indeed. When I got home last night, I couldn't wait to take the car out to see how far I'd gone. I was hoping for a mile. To my delight, the odometer read 1.6 miles. Tonight I ran the same path, only backwards. And it was fabulous because the remnants of Hermine were over my head. I love running through puddles and in rain.

My path takes me for a loop around Northwest Classen. Every time I see that school, I am in awe. I don't know the specifics on who designed it, but kudos. It's a fabulous example of Mid-century Modern. Perfect details on an overall simplified exterior, like the overhangs one drives/waits under. As I ran around the sidewalks, I felt my connection grow. It's the place I took the exams to become a teacher, where I student taught, and where I had my first teaching job. It is more than just the great students. It's alive to me.

If I've always thought flowers had souls, I most certainly think buildings do. I've also been making little housekeeping notes as I round its corners - the piece of awning on the west side that is loose at the top, the namesake sign on the marquee that is slipping down (and that fact that there are no announcements on the marquee), the ivy that can't decide if it wants to grow or die along the fence, etc. I try to imagine what it was like when it was brand new. Especially since I think it's still so glorious. I wish it didn't fall victim to the kind of fixes school districts do in order to save money, mostly on the interior: dropped ceilings, some blocked transoms, big black internet boxes, intrusive air/heating units. Those four things alone have drastically altered the feel of the interior, as far as I can imagine, from what it originally looked like inside. I wish it could be fully restored. I wish everyone could see how beautiful it is. Every classroom has a whole wall of windows, a whole entire wall, and the afore mentioned transoms let the light spill out into the hallways. And there's a courtyard, and a smoke stack, and I loved getting to walk the halls every day.


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