Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Wednesday Morning Things

* This morning on the early news, the weather guy was talking about how we "set our clocks back an hour in five days" and immediately followed it with "NO DON'T DO IT YET." I don't *think* he was making a joke - it was like someone warned him "there are people who will do it."

I wouldn't be surprised, actually.

* I finished "Moonfleet" last night. Highly recommended if you like adventure stories. Oh, it has its share of bad things happening (There is, for example, an allegedly-cursed diamond in it). And one sympathetic character does die. But in the end there's some sense of redemption, a character does something good and beneficial, and the thing is, they do it out of a desire to do it rather than a fear of the curse. (Isn't that fundamentally the two motivations behind much of the good that's done? Either fear of retribution, or doing it out of love? And of course, the second way is better....)

I dunno. I need stories that end with some sense of redemption, where a sympathetic character gets to have happiness in the end despite all the hardships they faced. I know that's perhaps not very 'sophisticated' by modern standards but I think I see all too many cases of people who do bad prospering and people who try to do good never catching a break, and I want to believe that there's some kind of justice on this earth.

* Well, apparently the Big News story of yesterday has sunk below the waves. I guess maybe it was decided by Those In Charge that it was About Nothing - probably because the offending parties were not faculty or students, I think (cynically).

But yeah, this year. If we lived in Brady-Bunch-land I'd say they needed to go back and return that tiki to fix things. (Would that it were that simple.)

I hope this just melts away on campus also and that we aren't asked to (for example) cancel classes for a day of Workshops or similar - effectively punishing people who had nothing to do with the incident for its existence.

*And a reminder that there are decent people out there: one of the boards I frequent, a regular member who is on disability (I think, or at least, the person does not have much income) had their computer die. Someone else set up a "secret" fund to buy the person a new computer (they are in-person friends with them.) In a couple days, there was enough money - mostly in the form of $10 or $20 donations made - to easily buy a very nice new laptop for the person.

It's just that the random a-holes like those who showed up on campus yesterday tend to be the ones who get the press.

* I think I need to go antiquing or something on Saturday. I commented on Twitter yesterday that one of the sad things of adulthood is that I can't think of anything now that would make me as happy or as excited as being a kid getting ready to go out trick or treating. Going out antiquing or going somewhere like that might come close, though.

A little discussion going on on ITFF - the idea that if you give up too many things you enjoyed (either because of money or time woes), you can develop something not unlike situational depression. Oh, I can feel that and I believe it. I've taken on way too much this fall - teaching what is technically an overload, doing extra tutoring (though that does seem to be showing an effect), doing research, doing the usual round of volunteer stuff at church....and also, with the construction requiring a roundabout way to get to the only nearby "better" shopping....I haven't gone out antiquing much. And I haven't had the energy for some of the big projects I had in mind, and even some of the little stuff never got done (I still have to call the fence guys). And I can see myself losing some level of motivation for some stuff; there have been days where it was just that I had a list of "it will be bad if I don't get these things done" and I just grimly worked until everything was checked off the list.

A long time back I wrote about seeing a friend's phone daybook and how she had marked in an appointment for a pedicure, and that made me sad, because I would never think of doing something like that - the only appointments I've marked down are meetings or doctor's appointments. (Well, okay: if I am meeting up with someone like Laura, I mark that down, too, because that person is counting on me to be there). But if it's just me thinking of going and doing something on my own, I at best pencil myself in, with the idea of "if something more pressing comes up, you won't do this." And maybe I need to change that. Maybe I just need to say "No. Saturday I will go antiquing (or: stay home and knit. or: go to that small-town attraction I heard about) and if I have grading, it will get done later."

Maybe I also need to reinstitute a Friday night movie night, where I either watch the backlog of dvds I've bought and never watched, or re-watch movies I love, or borrow dvds from the university library (I think they have lots of Shakespeare).

I'm not good at drawing a line between "you should be working" and "you should be relaxing" and I need to get better at that. I know that was one of my father's faults, that he worked too long hours and was too much of a perfectionist about it, and in that way (whether learned or genetics, I don't know) I am like him. I get too wrapped up in the idea of "If I don't do Thing X it will be very bad and I will lose my job" where Thing X is probably actually pretty minor.

* Almost done with the first mitt. I think some of my frustration is that it does seem that it takes forever to finish anything any more - part of that is just having more responsibilities, part of that is having less energy than I once did.

* Added, about 10:30 am: apparently more has come out about our "guest" of yesterday on campus:

- he is from Indiana and apparently it is his mission to drive around to college campuses and upset people by preaching what I regard as false Gospel.

- There was no student violence; the near-violence was from the outsiders

- a student of a colleague was there, she said that he was as anti-women ("There are no virgins on campus!" which I know categorically is not true) as it was anti-African American and anti-Muslim.

- One African-American student got understandably angry but his buddies kind of held him back and told him, "He's not worth it, dude, just let the cops deal with it." 

But yeah, what I said about being needlessly unpleasant and ugly. One of my mottoes in life is to not cause more distress than is absolutely necessary (and if possible, not to cause it at all. I mean, sometimes you have to tell someone who is wrong they're wrong - and I might have been one of the people shouting back at this guy if I had been there - but you can do it without being ugly to others. (Actually, if I were in that situation now? I might just get down on my knees and fold my hands and close my eyes.))

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