Monday, October 09, 2017

I don't know

Ugh, so much bad still in the world, and I still feel (this feeling may be permanent, sadly) that whatever tiny good I can do in no way counteracts the bad; it is swallowed up like a drop of ink in the ocean.

Reading around, I ran across a story on the guy who shot up that church in Tennessee (which no one remembers now, despite it being only TWO WEEKS AGO) may have done so to "get back" for the shooting at the church in Charleston in 2015. (And yeah, I get that that might not be the real motive, and there may be other things going on here, but: what an awful thing. You saw the agony of the families harmed in that massacre in Charleston, do you REALLY think your doing that to more families solves any problems?)

And I'm saying it once again: an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

(And yeah, even though I just said "trying to do good has no effect to fight back against the tide of badness in this world," I STILL think a preferable response to an event that disturbs and angers you is to go out and do something PRODUCTIVE to try to FIX at least a little bit of the problem. If nothing else, I think it protects your own soul from decay, and maybe that's the best we can hope for in this world).

And I'm still tired and peopled-out. (And at another place I hang out online, a person is bringing ugly drama and honestly I hope someone - not me, because this person already dislikes me for some reason - tells them to SHUT IT and stop acting like they are the Victim of the World.) Part of this is just my feeling like, I shut up and put up an awful lot of the time; I keep my opinions to myself an awful lot of the time. I don't know.

I think a big part of my recent distress is how I've kind of lost my sense that "though I might not see it, what I am doing has a good effect" - that kind of started to die over a year ago when a colleague told me about a former student of ours who wound up in disgrace for fraud committed on the job, a job we helped the person get. And yeah, I know, we didn't make the person do that, and perhaps an 18 to 20 year old is already too "formed" for us to have much good effect in re: ethics on, but it still hurts an awful lot and makes me feel like....I don't know.

As I said a long time ago: if life were more like the good old movies (or cartoons) I like, either an angel or a fairy godmother or a magical creature (depending on the type of movie) would decide that "that one there is getting discouraged; she needs something to build her up" and somehow I'd be shown the good effect I was having. But life isn't like the movies, so we just keep pushing on and trying to do good because that's how we were raised, even if we've lost any faith that it has any effect.

I wish I could clearly see, even for just one day, if what I'm doing has ANY beneficial effect. That's the hardest part of stuff like teaching: all you ever hear, it seems, is the people who got upset ("I earned a D on the first exam! That is unacceptable! I studied really hard! You make the exams too difficult!") or the people who neeeeeeeeeeed you and who will take everything you have to give, and who then don't thank you for it. Or the endless "Oh hey, here's some paperwork that's sat on my desk for four weeks, you need to fill it out, I need it by the end of the day today" from some upper admins.

I dunno. I guess I'm just tired. But I would have loved to have had a day off today, which of course we do not get. (Then again: not even the local trash pickup gets today off. Just the banks and the Federal offices, I guess. Oh, and the Legislature, though they still haven't figured out how to pay all the bills coming due....)

I would very much like to be at home, with a string of good old movies coming up on the TV, and my owl sweater to knit on. That's what I'd want most in the world right now.

And tea. Nice hot green tea.

And a blanket, if it ever gets cold enough to need one.

(And now I'm thinking of "The Jerk" - "I don't need this or this. Just this ashtray... And this paddle game. - The ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need... And this remote control. - The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need... And these matches. - The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control, and the paddle ball... And this lamp. - The ashtray, this paddle game, and the remote control, and the lamp, and that's all *I* need. And that's *all* I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one... I need this. - The paddle game and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches for sure. Well what are you looking at?")

But I don't need that much stuff. Just some time off and my knitting and some old movies and maybe a pot of hot tea.

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