This period of the season just after final exams means only one thing: a long space of time left open to do anything under the sun – or on top of the snow, depending on what part of the world you occupy. Holiday means days without school, without classes or volunteer work at the Institute, without work at the Foreign Language Lab, without driving (much) and without Blackboard postings. I need that. I looked into my book drawer yesterday and found almost two dozen books I’d bought without reading more than a few pages.

Just yesterday, two more arrived: Richard Feynman’s The Pleasure of Finding Things Out and Wole Soyinka’s Art, Dialogue and Outrage. The latter was a text that had dominated much of the many conversations and debates with mates and scholar as an undergraduate in Ibadan. Obviously important to understanding the thoughts of Africa’s first Nobel Laureate in Literature, the book has always been a reference point. Spending a few minutes on the preface has however convinced me that I should read it only when I’m well fed, and in a most patient mood for deliberately difficult writing. Feynman’s collection of essays is a delight, like many of his earlier publications. Much of the book are transcribed from his BBC interviews as well as from many of his published essays and speeches. Another one of his books What Do You Care What Other People Think now lay somewhere in my bag. I can’t wait to devour them.

The other crazy idea in my head, encouraged – no less – by Mohamed is that we get in the car and drive to California during the winter break. If I wasn’t considering it myself, I would have said that he had gone nuts. Now I’ve given my (almost) word and may have to do it after all. The only obstacle is a stretch of road 2000 miles long which may most likely include black ice and heaps of snow many miles long. What do you think? Is it worth it or would a good old flying do? Oh, there’s still the TSA scanners and grope-downs to worry about.

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