Grit Blogs > The Theoretical Farmers Almanack

Academic Muddle

I’m not sure where summer went, but I think I passed it somewhere going South on Interstate 81. It seemed in quite a rush, dragging a wagon full of old beach towels, stretched bathing suits and picnic baskets. I have spent the past six months on the outside looking in. Working furiously to finish up a graduate degree has afforded me little opportunity to be part of nature and her diversions. Lately, I have observed several seasons as they passed by, but was never able to be part of the menagerie of attractions they offered.

Needless to say, my garden has grown up in a happy mixture of weeds and herbs—the only kinds of living, green plants that can survive without some sort of nurturing. I had good intentions: I dug up the patch, spread a couple of bales of straw and planted some seeds. I even put fertilizer on the whole lot. But then, classes started and while my tender young plants needed to be cultivated and cherished, I was deep in academic periodicals and university databases.

Now, I am a “theoretical farmer” by self-definition, but not a scholar at heart. While I like to surmise about the inner workings of people, animals and plants (if indeed plants have inner workings), I am not enamored with reading stilted language and analyzing academic minutia. I am happy to say that I am on my final project, and soon, this scholastic plodding will be history. I am looking forward to sifting through the stalks of dried weeds in my garden patch. I’m hoping to find enough herbs to cut and harvest before a killing frost makes its appearance. At least I will be able to gather something this year, even if the bounty of my crop consists of a few hearty sage leaves and a half-bucket of thyme!