Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Fragments: Advent Administrator Week

Despite long, long hours at the office, the week has zoomed by.  Some highlights:

--Last night, we took our Advent wreath to the front porch.  We lit the one candle along with some others in other candleholders.  My spouse played his violin, and I picked out chords on the ukulele, just as practice, not to play along.  I always love to see the pedestrians and cyclists, some of whom hurry along, others who look around to see what out-of-the-ordinary sound they're hearing.

--Several people now have thought my spouse is playing some kind of horn when they can't see his violin, but only hear it.  What kind of acoustics do we have on the porch?

--We came inside to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas show.  I always forget how moody and sad the show makes me.  I think of it as being composed of Linus reading the Gospel in its old-fashioned King James language--but that takes very little time.  I forget how much of the show is composed of everyone telling Charlie Brown how stupid he is. 

--Over Thanksgiving, I bought 2 tabletop trees for my office.  I have not seen any other types of holiday decorations in my new office complex apart from trees and plastic winter greenery.  No menorahs, no nod towards other holiday celebrations.

--I can now tell who has done accreditation work in the past and who has not.  The ones who have not are the ones who wail, "But I already wrote it that way--why do I have to write it again???!!!"  Others, like me, just write new chunks of text.  I remind myself not to spend too much time revising, since the text I'm working on may disappear with the next version.

--I'm also the only one on my campus who has had as much grad school as I have had--another factor in my ability to get work done on accreditation documents.  It's not the training my professors may have thought they were giving me, but there it is.

--I think back to grad school, when I said that I didn't want a tenure track job with its publish-or-perish expectations.  I wanted to do real writing, writing that would change the world.  Back then, I thought that poetry or fiction could change the world, if enough readers came to my writing, and I knew that scholarly writing usually got about 28 readers.

--Back then, I didn't know a single thing about accreditation writing.  It occurs to me that I have spent much of my professional life writing documents that are life-changing for students, even if they don't know it.  Yes, I'm casting accreditation documents in that light:  no accreditation, no degrees.  This writing matters, even if it's not the kind of writing that I thought I would be doing.

--At the start of the week, when I still had so much writing and revising to do, I saw a rainbow on my way to work--well, more like a rain column, since the colors didn't arc across the sky.  I still took it as a good sign.  I thought of all the stories of rainbows from my childhood churches.  We were taught that the rainbow should remind us that we will be safe from destruction.

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