On rain


Today, desert rain.

Scores of students were delayed getting to school, a major highway was blocked by an accident, my last class of the day was missing a third of its students. I haven't heard any weather reports in some weeks so I have no idea where the rain came from, but here it is and it's not taking no for an answer.

What you just read was a rather generic and falsely clever description of rain in the desert.

Here's another, inseparable from a thousand other vignettes:

I remember as a child coming back from Utah. After passing through Vegas and as we came into California, we hit the most ferocious downpour. It was like driving through a bucket / a car wash / a mongo garden hose. Traffic slowed and wipers were worthless. It was like driving through a shallow lake. If the lake were crawling over you.

Another, in a different climate:

When I was in Korea, I remember one Saturday morning, lightning. Our house was rock-throwing distance from the ocean and out on the water, flash, flash, lightning reaching down and stabbing the water and the roar of Thor rattled our sliding door. For 180 degrees, lightning was striking, faster than it could be counted. I tried to record the thunder with my tape recorder but it failed to capture the majesty.


Also while in Korea, in Chinhae, during the falling-water season, I remember walking with an umbrella at all times. Whenever the rain would stop, I would leave my umbrella on a bus and get caught without it when it started back up again. I developed a system of when to open and when to close the umbrella, ie, when the volume of rainfall was worth the bother and when it wasn't. My shins, which ventured out from the safety of the umbrella's canopy, were always soaked. When the wind blew, I was lucky to keep anything dry. Walking miles in a drenched suit is a fine way to spend an afternoon.


My friend MyM and I were in Idaho, fleeing a camp site as a thunderstorm moved in. We skittered down the dirt road in my Dodge 600. A branch ripped off the passenger side mirror. Back on the highway, a bright bolt of purple lightning slammed into the road ahead of us, maybe maybe 100 feet away, its breadth the same as the highway, turning the world an electric violet.


Rain. It's too universal. No matter how unique an experience seems at first, ultimately, it's just another clich├ęd rain story.


  1. So your getting all the rain! Hades has been pretty humid the past 2 days with no rain- It looks like it might rain right now, but maybe I'm only seeing your rain...

  2. I just had the best idea in possibly the whole world. If it's not illegal and won't get you fired, you should start posting your students' best (and by best, I mean worst) writing examples.

    I think we should all love that very much.

  3. Ooh. I agree with Nemesis. Those were the highlights of my days teaching freshman comp--sharing my students' writing with the other instructors.

  4. .


    Not bad.... not bad at all....

  5. In conjunction with Nemesis' comment, I think you should make your assignments specifically designed to return hilarious writing.

    Make sure to use code names, and then you can't get fired. I'm all about code names. They protect everyone.