In an hour, I'll be on my way to a Hindu house blessing. For more on the theological/ecumenical aspects of that, see this post on my theology blog.
At the end of October, my Hindu friend suffered a devastating house fire. She has persevered, and the house has been rebuilt. Today we bless it at a time the Hindu priest has deemed auspicious 6-7:30 a.m.
Last night was the first night she slept in the new house. Yesterday, I sent the first of a series of good news e-mails to let our department know of her happy news. I've been sending out so much bad news that it was good to send out a happy e-mail.
If you want to read more about this process of reclaiming a house, my friend has been keeping a blog for years, and she's written eloquently about her journey. I'm hoping that great art will come out of her loss and pain.
Like the writerly vampire that I am, I, too, have found inspiration from her ashes. If you want a writing prompt, see this post. My friend has always been generous, and she doesn't seem to begrudge being this kind of inspiration.
Yesterday at work, I also got to let my department know that one of our colleagues successfully defended his dissertation. I am in awe of people who can do this: have a family, teach a 5-5-5-5 load, and do graduate work. Astonishing.
And then, I was able to send out my own good news: I will transition into the new position in the restructuring of our school. I have been the Chair of General Education, and now I will be the Academic Coordinator of Humanities and Communications. My sister says it sounds like a more impressive title. I'm seeing it as a lateral move, although our restructured school has directors and coordinators who report to directors in the Program areas. I will report to the dean.
So, technically, it may not be a lateral move. But I am not suffering a cut in pay or benefits, so I'm not going to quibble over titles. And quibbling over titles would do no good.
Besides, my title just doesn't matter to me--unless you're giving me a title that says something about my good personality traits. If you titled me Kindest, Most Understanding Administrator Ever, well, I'd like that title. Least Hypocritical Christian We Have Known--how I strive to be worthy of that title. Generous, Patient: some days I master those titles. Poet of Extraordinary Figurative Language: I'd love that title. I strive to avoid this title: Poet Who Inserts Line Breaks Into Mundane Prose.
I wouldn't know how to put any of those titles into a resume or CV. But those are the titles that spur me, not the more mundane titles of the world.
Best Essay Collections of 2017 by Women Authors
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