Saturday, June 25, 2016

Reassembling the Wreckage

Yesterday began with news of the Brexit vote.  I thought the day and week couldn't get more tumultuous--but then came news of the move to "de-recognize" ACICS, an accrediting agency which accredits 245 colleges, according to this story.  It's not a done deal, but it's a mostly done deal.

Of course, ACICS can appeal--and if that doesn't work, then the schools that are accredited by ACICS have 18 months to find new accreditation.

Why do I care?  ACICS accredits my school.  We have fairly rigorous policies and procedures, so I have no doubt that we could secure accreditation with SACS, the regional accrediting body.  But the thought of that process makes me weary.

Maybe it shouldn't.  We've just come through an ACICS visit, so we have various narratives and supporting documents and such ready to go.

These past years have been a harsh schooling in the importance of living in the present moment and waiting to deal with other issues that are further off in the future.  And so, I went about the work of the day, finding adjuncts to teach classes that are suddenly without a teacher, reassembling the wreckage of the week.

As I contacted possible adjuncts who have stayed in touch with me, in the off chance that an adjunct position opened, I thought about how someone's wreckage so often transforms into someone else's blessing.  The adjuncts that I spoke to this week have been happy to have this chance.  I am relieved that they are still interested, while also wishing that I could offer something better (full-time positions, benefits, that kind of thing) to us all.

In the evening, I wanted the comfort of the PBS News Hour--as the opening music played, I thought about how often I've tuned in.  I first started watching this program regularly during the first Iraq conflict, back in 1991; then, as now, I appreciated the calm analysis that is so absent in other shows.

As I watched, I thought of my dad, who also watches regularly.  That reminded me that my mom is in the hospital, after having had a pacemaker installed on Thursday afternoon.  I called her cell phone, and much to my surprise, she picked up the phone.  And then she passed the phone around, and I talked to my dad and sister too.

Last night, as twilight deepened into night, I floated in the pool and thought about all the changes of this humdinger of a week.  I thought of our backyard cottage neighbor--last night was her last night in the cottage.  Today she will get on a plane and head out to her new future.

I thought of all the times that I've moved, which involved lots of boxes, a truck, and often lots of miles.  What would it be like to set off with a suitcase?

In the aftermath of a week like this one, setting off with a suitcase towards a different horizon sounds especially appealing.  But like monks of all sorts, I am vowed to place, a vow taken because my beloved spouse loves South Florida so deeply. 

And so I will sift through the scraps left behind.  I will make careful stitches as I try to create some sort of quilt that won't be the one that we had before, but nonetheless will be functional and beautiful in its own right.

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