Monday, October 14, 2013

A note on the death of my colleague

First, I'm doing fine. As I said in my last post, this wasn't someone to whom I was particularly close, although s/he was in my division (and I'll be talking to the Provost about how to staff his/her classes this afternoon). Thank you all for your condolences.

What I want to say is that this death has made me me--and, I suspect, many of my colleagues--think, painfully, about the importance of kindness.

Our late colleague, although s/he had a good heart, was sometimes hard to work with; s/he could be a little...lost in space, seemingly, at times. S/he was never prickly or difficult, but we got impatient. I got impatient.

None of us was responsible for what s/he did. But we could have been kinder. I could have been kinder.

In the last week, I think that we all learned a lot about him/her that we never knew--good things; things about the love that s/he had for his/her students, and how meaningful that was to them. I would have liked to have known these things before. And I would have liked to have had the patience, and the grace, to appreciate them as I ought to have done.

So I hope that I learn that. Because, honestly, there are a lot of people that I could write this stuff about. As one of my co-workers put it: Will this make me less of a bitch? I hope so.

Monday, October 7, 2013

My problems are tiny

We walked into work this morning to discover that a colleague committed suicide last night.*

I don't know what else to write. I keep deleting things.

It's a pretty weird day.

*No one I was particularly close to, although I did have pretty frequent contact with him/her.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Getting better

So we more or less got the daycare situation worked out--we have less coverage for slightly more money, but it's fine, and we're able to go to classes without the baby.

The refrigerator door is holding strong. The garage door still usually won't close unless you push it shut, but that's no big deal. The cat is healthy again (although the other cat continues to pee in inappropriate places). We replaced the broken blender part and the broken wipes warmer part. We're hanging in there.

And I've only graded at home once, so that resolution is mostly working out.

I pretty much stopped working on my own writing for about two weeks there, however. I'm trying to start up again this week. Scratch that--I am starting up again this week, since I've actually done some reading and writing more or less every day since Sunday.

I don't know how to add one of those little meters on the sidebar of my blog, and I absolutely cannot be bothered to find out, so I'll just say that I have now written about 4,200 words of Book Two, and I got a good idea (I hope) for another chapter/half chapter last night. (I mean, I have chapter ideas, but they're not all very fleshed out; I'm a process writer, or something. I have a plan, but I mostly just have to start working and trust that it will all come together; if I wait until I truly know where I'm going, I'll be in the position that I've been in for the last three years: idly jotting down disconnected notes and imaging that I'll write another book some day.)

So here goes. I had a lot more faith in my dissertation, frankly, but it had a tidier structure (one chapter per author) than I want to go with this time around. Anyway, I don't need a second book for...well, anything at Field (I don't need a first book, in fact), so I'm free to plug away and see what happens.

--Unfortunately, I was asked to be on what promises to be a super dull and annoying search committee today, and I didn't have the wherewithal to say no. And so it goes.