Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Maybe, slowly "unsticking."

 * Last night was a bad night. I think part of the problem was I worked too intensely and too hard - most of the afternoon and early evening was spent making the next round of biostatistics tests and getting them uploaded in Blackboard, and I think it just took what remained of my energy. But. Between reading the various run-up discussions of the debate (did not watch, sounds like that was a wise choice) and discussion of other unpleasant things on social media, I just hit a wall and wound up sitting there, my eyes leaking, wondering how I would ever make it with no fun and no pleasant casual interactions for....who knows how long at this point.

 one thing I have learned is I have to take a page from the books of the friends of mine who are in recovery: you really do have to take it one day at a time.

 * "Special" board meeting tonight at church: we are calling a new semi-full-time minister. The lay minister who has been serving is very good, but he also works ANOTHER full-time job and I can't quite imagine a person being able to do that. So it's good we get someone who makes this his main job, and good for the lay minister to get that load taken off him.

And it does feel like we are moving forward, that there's maybe some hope for the future.

* Also, I might finally get back to working a bit on my research the end of this week - I pushed through and did some grading this afternoon that I was going to do yesterday afternoon, and I could go back after lunch for a couple hours tomorrow and work, and then Friday afternoon I don't even have office hours so I could just go back and work.

 And then maybe I take Saturday mostly off. I will have *some* grading (gave an exam in the intro class and so will have to do the essay questions on that, but I tried to keep those to a minimum). But my exam for next week is already done (and because it's calculations, they have a full week to complete it, so no grading until the FOLLOWING week). 

* I'm also thinking about something I heard a few minutes of driving home from the meeting at church: the pianist Simone Dinnerstein was being interviewed about a new CD she has out, which was apparently made in her apartment during the NYC lockdown. But it wasn't that so much but some comments she made (paraphrased, because I don't have a transcript)

She said during the first part of the pandemic, she couldn't play the piano - that everything felt wrong, that it seemed almost disrespectful to play music in the middle of that horror. And that she was too scared and sad to do anything. But eventually someone - her producer, maybe? - suggested she "try" doing some recording and she was able to find her way back.

And a couple things struck me: 

- first, she was away from playing (almost entirely!) for months and was able to come back and play well again. Granted, she is a far better pianist than I ever could be, and she's probably been playing far longer than I have. But she was able to come back.

- second: this is literally her career and her calling and she struggled with it to the point of not being able to do it; maybe I am being too hard on myself for not teaching "better" - I am going in every day, I am getting grading done, maybe not as fast as in normal times, but certainly within a week of the stuff coming in. I'm mostly coherent in class and most of my students seem to be learning? so maybe I need to just count it as the best win I can get in these times and keep going.

I still will be glad if some day we can go back to regular, 100% in class teaching again. 

* And yeah, I am slowing being able to play piano a little better again. I started working again on Bach's Invention #1, which I learned a long time ago but never was totally satisfied with, and I can feel it starting to come back to me, to be able to do it again, even the small trills (I have never liked playing trills). Maybe eventually I will get back to the couple of sweaters I'm working on, and other long term projects. That "not now" doesn't mean "never."

1 comment:

purlewe said...

I had to re-train my brain to read. Which sounds ridiculous. But I started by listening to audio books for 15 minutes at a time until I wanted to actually listen to them again and then I found I could read books and give attention to them in ways I hadn;t for months. so.. I find that pianist story helpful too. And I think it is very good for you to remember you are teaching. and that you are doing a good job.