The snow is finally melting off. What’s left borders roadsides and sidewalks. It’s the consistency of sparkly, crunchy, stale marshmallows minus the stickiness. It contorts itself into shapes like rising fists or the Loch Ness Monster.

Loch Ness Monster


It’s eerie. But it fascinates me how things change consistency over time. Snow falls and it creates this cold, white blanket. Then it freezes and melts and freezes again. The berms of plowed snow in the parking lot of Ruby’s school are so large, they may last until June. The kids carved a slide on one.

The other news is schooling. I am 8 weeks into my first class for the master’s degree. Part of the requirements for this class is meeting with a writing coach. She gave input on my paper in week 3, which I finally got. Then she will give it again for week 7.  Her feedback to me was harsh. “You may have been able to write like this in high school…” one of the comments began. I had to stop reading. It stung. I consider myself a decent writer. I didn’t realize how much it was a part of my identity until that moment. I’ve been criticized before, but this felt different. In contrast, the class instructor has praised my submissions. This came out of left field, like a shrike out of the sky. I didn’t want to meet with her. I didn’t need any more input, thankyouverymuch. I’ll take my ball and go home. So there! Needless to say, I had forgiveness homework and I did it.

But the virtual meeting is part of the requirements. She only works 12-6 p.m., Monday through Friday. None of those times really work for me due to the time difference. I made an appointment for February 18, a holiday. I got into the virtual meeting room early, fiddling with the uncooperative web cam. Is it just me, or do web cams always feel a bit sleazy? Anyway, I never got it to work. Didn’t matter, cause she didn’t show up. I waited a half hour. Then at 45 minutes, I messaged her. Never heard back. After I emailed her in the courseroom, she responded. “You were an hour early. I am in Arizona.” My bad. I just assumed she was in Minnesota like the rest of Capella and subtracted 2 hours from my time. I sighed.

Fast forward to yesterday, the rescheduled meeting time. I drove to an open conference room and got set up. I braced myself for the worst. Then, a phone call came in. I answered it.

“Hi, this is Dr. Jones, the writing coach. Can we push our meeting a little later?”

I told her I couldn’t. I had rescheduled my lunch to make time.

“Oh, okay, ” she replied. “This won’t take long.”


“Well, I don’t have much to say. You have a really great style. Your writing is logical and it flows well. Your APA references look good. Just a couple of things to work on…”

I breathed out. She liked me. She really, really liked me! I took notes. Don’t use contractions. Use less personal pronouns, even when given permission. Check.

“You should also check out Capella’s writing resources. You have 163 minutes to use, and you paid for them. Especially since you’re a doctoral candidate.”


“Uh, I’m not a doctoral student.”

“Oh.” She paused. Then went on. I couldn’t decide whether to be flattered at the inclusion or sad that she didn’t know what degree path I landed on.

I started out talking about snow. It started out as one thing, flaky, white and cold. It covered the earth in silence. Now, it’s hardened and melting daily as the season inches into spring. Our relationships change shape constantly, with the option to melt or freeze. We can forgive and move into a greater understanding of others, if we are open to it.

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