i’m looking at a class i want to register for. it’s with a professor i like and they are reading a book that i’ve always wanted to read but i don’t need the class and i’ll be home with my family for part of the term. will i be able to read 1,080 pages if i’m at home and distracted by siblings and nieces and nephews? a girl in her early 20s offers to show me the campus. she takes me away from the university buildings and across a country road into a harvested field. she says she has something to show me out there. the field is half frozen and bumpy. there are still dead stubs of stalks sticking out of the ground in places and it’s easy to trip. there is a row of old bent trees that she is moving toward. she tells me that she wanted me to see the tree, that she knows i like to take pictures and this is the perfect one. i look at the row unsure of what she means. they are gnarled and the sun has almost set so it’s difficult to see details. then she points to the left of them and i see it. growing from a big electrical box in the field is a very young tree only a couple of feet high. but it is perfectly proportioned and has the number of branches you would expect to find on an old tree. i try to take a picture of it with what little light is left but my camera is locked because i haven’t yet entered my calorie count into the university’s wellness program app. i can’t remember what i ate. i go back to campus and ask for someone’s meal totals to cheat. i try to customize it to something i would eat but the math is too much for me and i just want to get back out there to be with that tiny tree.