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Naps are good. My spouse always proudly proclaims that he got As in nap taking when he was in 1st grade.

My spouse is still an A+ nap-taker. For years he defined a nap as sleeping across the bed to differentiate it from sleeping which was lined up on the bed with the sheets and pillows like you would normally sleep. He was on the receiving end of more than a little good-spirited chiding on this one but held his ground that if you slept sideways it was a nap.

These days he goes for full-bore sleep-naps. I suppose that is a good name for it. The sleeping involves lying north to south, not east to west, on the bed. I asked him a while back what the difference between sleeping and napping was these days and he sheepishly looked at the ground.

I know the difference. Napping these days is accomplished with a huge pile of University student exams in your lap.

My faculty spouse and my faculty sister maintain the old ways and still give written exams and grade them with written feedback because they believe it is important to the students to have the chance to express themselves in words and use critical thinking skills to complete their tasks. Of course, these days class sizes are exponentially larger than they were in the “old days” so exams are hard on the students and on the faculty too. Grading 100 essay exams seems overwhelming to me. I used to teach statistics and felt daunted by 25 written exams to grade.

So, grading and nap-taking are intertwined. One would think that the naps are from boredom but that is not true in the case of my spouse the history professor. He is genuinly intrested in what the students have to say so he spends his time carefully reading each student’s work. After a dozon or two your eyes start to burn and your muscles ache from being at the desk so long. Moving and stretching only does so much. Your brain is as tired as your body. A cat nap helps revive the brain like a cup of tea does the soul.

This trip I have practiced the fine art of nap taking. After spending the day busily going from one place to the next I am exhausted by early evening. Each of the past three days I thought I would just rest a little before cooking some supper for myself. Each evening I wake up and the cook some supper.

There is a delicious sort of grogginess that goes with nap taking when you know your work is done for a while and you have a chance to relax. Finding yourself emerging from the unexpected sleep of a nap, checking the environment and settling in for a bit more nap is a true luxury regardless of which way you are turned on the bed.


We like white sheets and duets. Sometimes when we are not looking Sophie, who likes them too, rucks up a fine nest for herself before she is summarily sent to the foot of the bed. The purple blanket beside her is the one she is supposed to sleep on at her end of the bed. Sometimes, like the photo, she is so cute it is hard to fuss with her.

sleepy dog burrowed into the pillows on a bed