The campus seemed eerily quiet, and I wondered if I would wind up with a lot of absences in class.
This made me think about Durango, Durango, Mexico, where I taught classes at a language center. On rainy days, lots of students didn't show up! Since I come from Illinois, where bad weather is a frequent reality, I was astounded by this fact. No matter what I said, no matter what we were doing in class that day, my adult students were still prone to skip class on rainy days.
In contrast, when I was in Kyoto, I happened to hit a very rainy day. It fact, there was a light rain for twelve hours straight. I didn't have the luxury of sitting around in my room; I had temples to see! So I got out my umbrella and braved the rain. I was astonished to see lots of people, including businessmen in suits, riding their bicycles in the rain. Most carried umbrellas in one hand, a cigarette or cell phone in the other. They were amazing.
After that trip, I got over thinking that carrying umbrellas was somehow "sissy."
In fact, for my first day of fall classes at the University of Arizona, all but one of my students made it. But the eerie beauty of the campus under the threat of rain stays with me. There's beauty in everything, and it's important to stop and notice just that.
It's also not a bad idea to carry an umbrella.