Thursday, September 3, 2015

Hegelian Dialectics and the Modern Workplace

I began yesterday by hearing about Sept. 2 in history:  Japan surrendered, thus ending World War II, and Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam's independence from France.

I thought about what I had learned about Hegel and social movements and reflected how very long ago it was that I learned those concepts.  I thought about the old axioms that warn us that the seeds of the next conflict often emerge in the closing days of the present conflicts.

I wondered what might be in the process of being birthed right now that will haunt us for decades to come.

I thought about trying to make a poem of it all.  I wondered if it could be a metaphor for my current work life, but then I decided I was being a bit of a drama queen.  But my poet brain returned to it periodically.

It's been a rollercoaster kind of week at work:  meetings where people's behavior may have been a mystical text to interpret or perhaps just the result of end-of-quarter tiredness, celebrations of birthdays (donuts!) and babies (cupcakes!), reports due, accreditors coming, the always endless stream of paperwork . . . and on and on. 

Yesterday, in my ongoing attempt to drink more water, I had a full glass of water sitting on my desk.  How did I knock it over?  But still, there it was, running towards the computer.  Happily I had brought a roll of paper towels to the office, so I leapt into action and saved the electronics.  That surface needed a cleaning anyway.

I'm still trying to think of a way to a poem that combines spilled glasses of water, the modern workplace and declarations of surrender and independence.

This morning, as I'm writing this blog post, I'm hearing news stories about teachers in a Pennsylvania school district who teach even though they don't have a contract or paychecks yet and about college students learning Arabic.

I think of my dad who always said that if he had learned Arabic in college, many doors would have opened to him.  Instead, he learned French, as I did too.  Like my dad, many doors might have opened up for me had I known Arabic and retained it better than my French. 

But would I have wanted to walk through those doors?

Still it interests me that for several generations, the ones who know Arabic have been in a minority in the U.S., and how much the nations which speak Arabic have been influencing the country.  Should be a poem there too.

Perhaps I will write a poem today, as I sit in my office, waiting to see if the visiting accreditor has questions for me.

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