Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Week 3/66: Where Does Time Go?

It's week 3, and I've been busy, but not accomplishing much, if that makes sense.  And feeling a bit worried about that.

And then yesterday, I got an email from campus announcing the death of a colleague.  I didn't know D well at all; they were in a different department, doing very different work.  But they, too, were involved in the union, much more than me, so I knew them through that.

And in the campus email, it told when D was born, and they were about a year older than me.

A couple of years ago, my cousin M(2), my age, had a heart attack.  I felt disbelief.  Last year, my friend M had a heart attack.  I felt less disbelief.

And now D.  I still feel like people my age aren't supposed to just die.  Yes, famous people my age die of drug stuff, and lots of people die in car accidents and such.  But not of health stuff.

I just can't quite wrap my mind around it, and at the same time, I feel so trite and self-absorbed feeling that way.

The memorial is this afternoon.  And then I have a violin lesson.

I've done better practicing this week, and feel like I'm making progress on some of the hard stuff.  There's a passage in my current Seitz piece (the second in Suzuki Book 4), where you're supposed to play basically by mostly rotating your wrist to change strings.  But at the same time you have to do fingering, putting fingers down on the A string without touching the E string your fingers are "bridging" over.  It's hard.

I've spent a bit of time just working on the wrist rotation, and then once that's good in a given session, working on the bridging.  Breaking things into small bits helps a lot.

Tomorrow, I'm signed up for the campus professional development day.  If you'll remember, I posted in April about our levels of diversity training.  In May, I got an email saying that my Level 3 project had passed.  That meant I only had to complete my 10 level 2 training sessions to get the campus certificate.  On one level, yay for diversity training, because it's so very important.

And on another level, I'm sort of cynical.  But I really want to finish this certificate because I want to go up for promotion in fall.  This year I went through the Review After Tenure process, which felt a whole lot like going up for tenure again.  And my results were fine.  The thing is, a year on, I need to show that I've been busy, doing important stuff.  So the certificate thing is one small way to show that.  I have three more sessions to complete the certificate, and there are three sessions tomorrow, so I've signed up for all three.  It's going to be a long day!

The more important is getting an article out there for review.  I have one I should have sent out a while back, but didn't.  So now I need to put in a solid week and get that into better shape.  And then send it!


  1. Not being able to wrap your mind around the idea of people your age dying is, I think, the human condition and a natural defense mechanism. Consider the past centuries we both study, and what a lot of effort even highly religious people seem to have put in to accepting the idea of death and preparing for it, though they saw it far more often than we do now in the first world. It takes work to be able to contemplate death with equanimity, as the Stoics also demonstrate.

    Good luck with the article. Will you be joining TLQ again? The summer session starts this weekend; I'll be putting up the first-week, introduce-yourself-post tomorrow.

  2. Yes, please! I forgot to join last time, and was frustrated at myself!

    And I think you're right about the contemplating death thing. I just learned this morning that a colleague recently had massive heart surgery. (But it's the sort that once done, it's very successful, so two weeks later he's walking around at the farmers' market.)

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your colleague. I keep going back and forth between thinking that I'm still so young!! and that people my age die.

    I'm so pleased for you that you're going up for promotion during your sabbatical year. It will give you time to do all the paperwork and small but important things, but then you'll also have the winter and spring afterward to do the stuff that you want to do without that hanging over your head.