Thursday, December 8, 2016

Book-ends: Bloodcurdling Screams and Writerly Inspirations

Yesterday was another day of administrative firsts for me.  First and foremost, I played a victim during the EMS mass casualty simulation at my new school.

I didn't have a dramatic "injury"--just a contusion on my cheek and gum bleeding.  Others had fake gunshot wounds.  We had mannequins in the parking lot to represent dead victims.

We sent out e-mails to the whole campus and the rest of the building to let them know what we planned.  Still, I worried that someone might call the police--from a distance, some of it looked real.  And one of the victims had an amazing skill with bloodcurdling screams.  Even though I knew it was fake, I got chills.

I was supposed to wait in my office--one thing I learned yesterday is how frequently people, even deeply injured people, leave the scene where help might arrive early.  Eventually I was led to the green area, where my "wounds" were treated and my blood pressure was taken.

I was impressed by how well the EMS team worked--the instructors with their years of experience in real situations and their coaching of these students who had likely never experienced anything like yesterday's simulation.

The rest of my day felt more like a normal administrator day:  observing a class, contacting people who might want to teach, looking at accreditation documents to do some minor revisions.

At the end of the day, I met one of my good friends from the old job for dinner.  I was happy to be able to bring her my essay from the book I got Monday on female writers and mythology, where I make reference to her poetry; the introduction to the whole book also refers to her work, calling her one of "vibrant voices in the field."  Cool!

Once I might have thought that these kinds of references in literary criticism could help when it comes to the longevity of creative work.  Now I'm not sure.  But when my friend saw the passage that the editor of the book wrote about her, she said, "I really need to start writing again."

Much of her writing energy has gone to her search for full-time work to replace the one RIFed from her in June. Much of my writing energy has gone to my online classes and accreditation documents.  But I remain hopeful that writing that is done with the small scraps of time left over can be important too.

It was an interesting set of bookends to the day:  bloodcurdling screams on one end, a writerly dinner at the other.  What will today bring?

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