I'm also around my students a lot. I operate my own tutoring business, and I still do spend a lot of time tutoring. Most of my students are high school age, and I'm defined in large part by how we interact with each other. I really enjoy helping them to get to the places where they want to go in life. It is just so very rewarding. And, I believe that my students trust me, and rely upon my advice, and some of them even genuinely like me. In some ways, I'm a mentor, then.
I also spend a lot of time in contact with my family. My daughter lives in the area, so I get to see her a lot, but she's the only member of my family that's close, geographically. With others, like my five sisters, there are a lot of phone calls, and a lot of e-mails. Also, I have kind of been establishing a reputation as having the summer address of choice for a handful of my nephews and nieces. So, I'm also a father, an uncle, a brother, and a son. (And, to update, my mother recently passed away, so, I will have to stop calling myself someone's son.)
I also have to include the house plants in this. (No, I don't name them. Anymore.) There are a lots of them, and they, like Jake and Maggie, depend absolutely upon me. They give back, too, but in their own very subtle, and of course, passive ways. One of my sisters once told me that she could always judge the state of my emotional health by just looking at the plants. Plants are good = Art is good.
To characterize myself in a few words, I am very much a smart ass. The students (and nephews and nieces) seem to enjoy this, the kittens put up with it, and the plants don't really seem to care.
Update: It's gotten worse. I now have a niece in Japan, another one in Minneapolis, and a nephew in Hawaii.
2) Gaining the trust of children and other small mammals. Dogs like me. Cats like me. Squirrels tolerate me.
3) Getting lost. I'm not sure that I am really good at this, but I do it many times on purpose. I just love to take a ride (or a drive) down a road I've never been down before.
4) Dicing, especially onions. I really do enjoy cooking. I do not enjoy cooking for myself so much. (Here is where you come in.)
5) Starting novels (terrible at finishing them.) I am not sure, here, if this is so clear. I mean novels that I am writing. Not novels that I am reading. Those last ones I finish quickly.
6) Making lists. Oh, boy, am I ever good at this!
Movies: Does The Wire count? I sure hope so, but I just love it, love it, love it. I want to be Stringer Bell when I grow up. And, if that doesn't count, it's The Princess Bride. And now, I see that they are considering Idris Elba to be the next James Bond! Yes, yes, yes!
Shows: You know how a lot of people say that they don't watch very much television. Okay. Here's me -- I don't have a television. I mentioned The Wire, above, and I have watched that on my laptop. But, no television.
Music: Not much I don't like. John Coltrane and Miles Davis have been with me for a long time. I also get into this thing where I mess around with Coltrane's and Davis' sidemen: McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock. Chopin (I can actually play some of his Preludes) and Liszt, too. Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Genesis, because their back catalog just came out on SACD.
Food: I prefer spicy to bland. So, that covers a lot of ground. Tomatoes might be my single favorite food, I think. So, Mexican is probably at the top of the list. Italian works, too. If it has tomatoes in it, I'm sure that I like it.
I aim to be more tolerant of others. I aim to dispense with this notion that "you can't be a man if you don't smoke the same cigarette as me."