It has been a tough week at work: a training session that lasted almost 5 hours that repeated common-sense information (treat people with respect, don't record anyone without permission, don't have sex with people whom you supervise) that has been conveyed at other training sessions, a fight between students, a student murdered in a break-in off campus, and other ugliness of more mundane varieties. I haven't slept well all week, and I've felt uneasy during the day.
But let me record some moments of happiness. It's good to remember that even in a week of unease and ugliness, there are many moments of grace.
Yesterday was the best day. I got an e-mail in the morning from a small church that asked if they could use an image of my fabric art for their Pentecost bulletin. Of course I said yes.
I should have asked for more information, since I've been wondering which image they'll choose. I hope it is this one:
I met a writer friend for lunch. I confessed to feeling that I've been in a bit of a malaise state. I feel like I haven't quite gotten back on track after my laptop crash. Right around that time, we had the change in office hour policy which has meant less writing time. And then there's the "What is this all for?" feelings to deal with.
I've known this friend since she was a student in my upper level English classes in 2001. She assured me that my life has not been for nothing. It was good to hear her say it.
I went back to work and evaluated some transcripts. I thought about the student who had come to see me on Thursday to explain why one course should substitute for another. He was calm, not combative. Oddly, we discovered that he had been at the same South Carolina community college where I taught, and we'd been there at the same time--what are the odds of that? He talked about his military service, and the training courses he'd taken. I thought about requiring the student to bring in the papers he'd written or transcripts from the training he'd gotten through the military. Then I decided not to do that, to just use a course that was on a transcript we already had. I simplified his life and mine and felt good about that.
Yesterday afternoon I took a break and read an e-mail from my current student who is taking an online course I'm teaching. It's English 1101, a Composition class in an accelerated time frame, no easy thing. Yet she wrote to tell me how much she's enjoying the class and to see what I'm teaching in the Fall. I was touched, I kid you not. In an on-ground class, I have more of a sense of how I'm doing and how the class is going. In an online setting, it's not as clear.
And then, at the end of the day, a surprise party for a friend and colleague who is turning 60. I had a major part to play in keeping the colleague friend busy while the party assembled itself elsewhere and then getting her there. I wasn't sure I could pull it off--but I did!
Ah, that drama training of my youth pays off!
So, finally last night, I slept an easier sleep. I'm happy that I have a week-end to relax and to unwind. I'm happy that the universe sends gentle reminders that, in the words of Julian of Norwich, all will be well.
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