Thursday, November 3, 2016

First Week Fragments

My brain is darting in many directions this morning.  Let me try to capture some thoughts.

--The Cubs win a World Series.  My first thought was that good things come to Cubs fans who can wait--and then I thought about all the fans who died without seeing their team win a series.  I'm trying not to see this as a metaphor for the publishing life--at least, not the last part.

--My spouse says that Cleveland played better baseball; they deserved to win.  I'm trying not to think about what that might mean for the political campaign.  I'm hoping that's not a metaphor either.

--The episode of The Walking Dead that launched this season has given me nightmares, even though I didn't watch it.  Thanks, social media!  Or maybe I read a full-blown article.  In any case, I wish I could get these images that I didn't even see out of my head.

--The new job continues to go well, I think.  I do worry that I think it's going well, but that I'm making missteps that I don't see.  But that's been a pervasive worry my whole life.

--This is the first morning this week that my feet feel somewhat normal.  Yesterday, my left foot was so tender and swollen in the morning, and I wasn't sure how I'd make it through the day.

--Why are my feet sore?  I've been wearing new shoes this week and spending lots of time on my feet.  And I've spent a lot of time during the week-end moving boxes--I suppose that could be it.  I did more exercise than usual last week.  My feet are often sore these days, even before I am more active or standing more than usual.

--It is nice to be back at a small school.  There's a lot we could do to ensure student success--but I'm trying not to be that person who rushes in with all sorts of ideas about how we must change.  I'm trying to listen.  But I am that person with 5 zillion ideas who wants to launch them all without thinking it through in the hopes of being helpful and useful--at least I realize this tendency in myself.

--I do know of one thing we will need to launch soon, if I heard what I think I heard yesterday.  I think that my campus has not been offering as many developmental classes as we need to do and students haven't been taking these classes right from the start.  There are many reasons why we might not have done this, so let me not speculate here in this somewhat public place.  A student will not be successful in our programs without the reading, writing, and math skills in place, and if they're not in place when they come, we need to provide them.

--How nice to be in a school that talks about the moral duty to students to bring them up to speed.  Unlike public colleges and universities, we do not have our hands tied by legislators who say, "Hey, those students should have gotten those skills in high school, so you are not permitted to teach them anymore."

--I am surrounded by poem fragments that I don't remember writing--from my old office, and yesterday, in a Critical Thinking textbook that I pulled out to give to a faculty member today.  Where and why did I take that book with me when I wrote down fragments?  Here are some lines--no idea where I planned to go with these:  "Trained in dead languages"  "we measure hemlines"  "the bees have taken over the foreclosures"  "the pilgrim who chatters on about how it used to be on past pilgrimages"

--I am surprised by how I can read with the World Series on, which is not my normal experience with TV.  This week I have been reading The Road Back to You:  An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile.  Fascinating stuff.  I haven't done much with the Enneagram--well, I've done nothing, actually, except to be aware of it.  I'm not sure it's telling me much that other self-awareness tools haven't told me, but it's good to be reminded.  It's very readable, hard to put down.

--I got this book because of this blog post by Martha Spong.  She says, "Suzanne and Ian Morgan Cron have created an elegant and informative primer perfect for the beginner, but also helpful for those who have studied this ancient system, the aim of which is the care of our souls."  She points out the solid Christian credentials of the writers, which made me decide to buy it.

--And now, let me take care of my soul by wrestling out an ending to my apocalypse story--no, it's not the apocalypse we might have been expecting.  I've been wrestling with this ending for weeks, if not months.  Perhaps I needed my own ending at the old job before I was ready.

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