Posts Tagged ‘Fun’


Posted: November 23, 2016 in Uncategorized
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By Tricia Lunt, English Faculty



My fun-o-meter needs frequent re-calibration.   I love to laugh, but I’m not naturally playful.  I go through life as if there might be a pop quiz any moment. I need to be encouraged out of my daily rigidity and regimentation, invited to participate in the gleefully goofy. Luckily, loved ones in my life bring me these indispensable opportunities in abundance.

About a decade ago, I began a holiday family tradition of Christmas games with my entire family: my mom, six brothers and sisters, their six spouses, and their fifteen offspring.  It’s a full room. My intention was to encourage my family to enjoy the time we spent together, not just get in each other’s way in the buffet line. Nevertheless, my inner educator tended toward handouts and formal games, amusing, but still somewhat restrained. Game playing has been expanded and enriched by my more mischievous relatives.  Last year, my sister Barbara lead a ridiculous game that involved lying on the ground and manipulating candy canes without using your hands for no apparent purpose. The image of my family members wriggling around on the floor is, in a word, unforgettable.

Spending time with my favorite seven-year-old in the world is all fun and games. He has limitless energy. We play every minute: Boggle and Scrabble and hangman, indoor basketball, and anything outside when the weather is warm, and made-up games aplenty. At Cubs games, we climb up to the top of the stadium to enjoy the view. In order to get back to our seats, we spread our arms like airplane wings and soar down the ramps at Wrigley Field; I can’t imagine a better afternoon.  After a few hours in his adorable company, I am energized and exhausted, younger and happier somehow, too.


One of the most lovable attributes my friends share is silliness. I’m not sure how these bizarre people found their way into my life, but I remain forever grateful. This past Sunday, I enjoyed a living room filled with laughter as I hosted some members of my Urban Family for Friendsgiving.

When I invite my friends into my home, they invariably find the opportunity to tease me (which I long ago mistook for affection). Their antics are nothing if not inventive, tormenting me via remarkable means.  For instance, when my friends Jenny & Jen visited the spring after college graduation, they waited until I fell asleep to hide the elaborately decorated Easter eggs I specifically asked them not to touch (foolish mistake). They sought out places that no sane egg hunter would ever consider; thus, I was forced to locate the eggs and then re-hide them, much to their fiendish delight.

My Urban Family in Chicago has taken a cue from this strategy, and in my absence or distraction, they have collectively re-arranged the artwork on my walls, stashed candy canes all over my apartment, replaced knick-knacks on different shelves, and even re-positioned large furniture. The fact that I find these stunts hilarious is hardly a deterrent, but I confess their absurdity makes every event more enjoyable.


To encourage conversation in my classrooms, I bring a ball of yarn or a set of light-up balls (spheres, if you prefer to avoid the giggling the word “balls” can produce, even among adults). Throwing spheres around class may seem childish, but I don’t consider that an insult. Letting silliness enter into our work and learning and relationships provides a tremendous way to simply enjoy being alive.

In dark days, laughter becomes even more crucial. When the world becomes too heavy, remember to add a little levity.



By Tricia Lunt, English Faculty.

I’m on my quarter off from good ol’ RMU, which means I am free to do whatever I like, as long it is within budget, which unfortunately excludes my top choice—yachting in the Mediterranean. Nonetheless, I am doing my best to enjoy my time off, even though relaxing is not my natural state. Somehow I have stumbled onto the most cliché of writing assignments—“how I spent my summer vacation.” However, it is with true delight that I begin this self-assigned task.

I read a lot. I have read all but one of the titles on my “Radical Summer Reading,” list. I am currently moving unhurriedly through As I Lay Dying, which is awfully brilliant, and, unsurprisingly, extremely depressing; such is the way with literary masterpieces, and I find reading tragedy is too overwhelming in the winter. When Faulkner gets to be too dark, I switch to something lighter, including The Lady Woolfs selection for August, Fraud by David Rakoff. My “want to read” list on Goodreads gets its due attention in the summer months when I don’t have to accommodate the grueling grading schedule that exists during the school year. Reading anything I want, for as long as I want, indoors at home, or at a favorite café, outdoors on my (new) deck, or at the park, ah, that’s luxury, yacht or not.

One of the easiest ways to enjoy the summer is to behave like a 12-year old: spend time outside, play with friends, attend picnics and BBQ’s, ride a bike as often as possible, preferably to the pool.

The Chicago Park District boasts an impressive number of indoor pools for use year-round, but swimming is much more fun in the summer. I love my pool, love it, Imagelove it. I am not telling you where it is; it is too crowded already. Open swim times are limited to a scant 9:00am to 10:00am Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Thus, three days a week, I ride my orange Huffy cruiser, Orangina, to the pool. I always arrive early, kick off my shoes, stow my bike helmet and towel in a locker, affix my gigantic (over-glasses) swim goggles, and proceed to lane six. I choose the far side of the pool in an effort to avoid the many older ladies who ultimately spend most of the hour wading and chatting between sporadic bursts of water aerobics. These ladies begrudgingly allow me use of my swim lane, rushing back and forth as I swim directly at them. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see older people in bathing suits. Once, a geriatric walker was parked next to my bike.

Another spectacular summer truism relates to frozen treats: if they are available, by all means get some. My friend Tammy just introduced the Urban Family to Paciugo in Lincoln Square. I went crazy for the salted caramel gelato three weeks ago, and I am still thinking about it. I recently discovered that Miko’s, a Logan Square favorite, is a straight shot from my new apartment. There, a sign encouraged customers to try a combo, so I did: mango and kiwi. Kiwi was the winner. I haven’t walked up to The Ice Cream truck that rolls through my neighborhood, but summer isn’t over yet.