Friday Thoughts: Late Afternoon…

I missed blogging this morning due to sheer, unadulterated sloth. Just didn’t feel like moving off the couch. This has happened before and in the same time frame. The closer it gets to the start of the semester, whether fall or spring, the less inclined I am to do the work that’s required of me. Every semester I swear I’ll get an earlier start so I’m not hammering along as the semester starts. And, like clockwork, every year, two weeks before the start of the semester, I’m doing any but prepping classes. At this point in my career, I’m just going along with it.

I’ve been avoiding the news, aside from skimming headlines to make sure we’re not involved in yet another war, or that California hasn’t fallen off the continent after the “Big One” earthquake. I’m a much happier person if I just keep up with news and information versus dwelling on it and getting into meaningless Facebook arguments. And, I find that I like the happier me much better than I do the deeply involved and “very concerned” me.

This may seem like a “no duh” sort of statement, but actually recognizing that I feel happier is something of a revelation. It’s a lighter feeling; I have more energy to pour into other aspects of my life.(even class prep!). I pay more attention to what’s going on in my immediate surroundings and more attention to the people in those surroundings. I sat on the bus this afternoon on my way home and just watched the neighborhood go by, looked at the people on the bus and tried to guess where they were going and from where did they start (the family of tourists was pretty easy since son was holding a map and checking it as the bus made stops). Just idle speculation with no real purpose, but enjoyable nonetheless. And, bonus: I didn’t wind up with a crick in my neck from staring down at my phone. Win!

Home, doing laundry and looking forward to a quiet evening with Mike. Enjoy the weekend, all!

Friday Morning Thoughts: Jumping on the offensensitivity* bandwagon

Lately, it seems as if everybody is looking for reasons to be offended. The latest petty reason that’s come to my attention is the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.  Bored Panda had a short piece that highlighted an English teacher’s discussion (maybe it could be called a reverse fisking) of the lyrics of that song. In that discussion the teacher explains that given the social mores of the day (1940s) the woman in the song is trying to figure out a socially plausible reason for spending the night with the man. He’s also working on persuading her to stay. In the end, as the teacher notes, yes, it could be seen as “rapey” (the guy is working hard to get her to stay), but it’s also a level of empowerment for the woman as she wants to stay, but has to figure out a way to do so without harming her reputation.

I posted this link on Facebook with the simple comment that this provided an interesting take on the song. The reaction was mixed, but what stood out to me the most was the response of a college friend (really not a good friend, just one of those you happen to reconnect with on FB, but who was not a close friend during college). This woman is far to the left and swallows anything coming out from the opinion arbiters on that side of the political spectrum almost without thought. And, her reaction to my post was no exception to that. Full bore “how dense can you people be?!” response. I initially responded with asking if she’d read the entire post, and copying the images of the teacher’s tweet/instagram response. A few minutes later I reconsidered and deleted my comments hoping she hadn’t seen them yet and wanting simply to ignore her comments. No such luck. Another comment along the lines of “I can’t believe you’re such an apologist for this crap!”.  This one I’m ignoring.

This friend is typical of many on the left, or those who wish to be seen as on the left, who simply do not want to engage in any kind of discourse (while loudly proclaiming that they do). I know this is not a shock to many people, but when I run across it proclaimed so blatantly, it just sticks out; and most especially sticks out when it’s an otherwise competent and intelligent person. I am getting stronger about speaking out and holding my own ground as opposed to employing a go-along/get-along strategy. Mostly I’ve grown tired of getting yelled at for holding views that differ from what is considered by the woke crowd to be wrongthink. I’m just done. You want to be offended? Fine. Be offended. Spend your energy in a useless fashion. Me? I’m gonna be over here enjoying life.

Now, I’m off to ignore Facebook. 

*I first saw the word “offensensitivity” in a Bloom County cartoon. All credit to Burke Breathed and Opus.

Friday morning thoughts: Change

Sarah Hoyt had a great post about emerging from a cocoon and being a different person than you were at 7 or 18 or last night. That got me thinking about changes in my past and changes coming up in my future.

Right now, the Center of My Being and I are figuring out when we are going to move back west of the Rockies. We want to be closer to family; his parents are aging, all but one of his siblings and closest cousins are in California, my cousins are up and down the West Coast. It makes a lot of sense to move back. It is also an absolutely crazy idea. I have tenure; an impossible-to-fire-me job. Why the hell would I think about giving that up for the insecurity of adjuncting, or working in the “real world”, or, as I will be doing, writing full time?

There are many reasons for doing something that appears to be quite crazy on the surface. For one, I can’t expect him to remain 3,000 miles from his family when he put up with my parents in close proximity for as long as he did. Secondly, I made a promise when we first left California, that after tenure, the next major move we made would be because he found the cool job. Finally, I’ve come to realize over the last two to three years what my father was talking about when he fussed that tenure was a trap of sorts. I scoffed at the time and said, how can having a guaranteed job be a trap??

Well, I found out. You get to the point where you will put up with innumerable indignities because you KNOW you can’t leave this job…you have tenure! You fight the EXACT SAME battles again and again and again. A really ugly version of “Groundhog Day.” The same colleagues react the same way to the same battles…it really never changes.

I had a sabbatical last spring (OK, so tenure has some really great bonuses…sabbaticals are one of them). As I settled in to do research (the reason for the sabbatical), I realized that this just did not make me happy or interested or anything. I started teaching myself German (you have to totally check out Gabriel Wyner’s site fluent-forever.com…no, I don’t get paid for endorsing it, it’s simply that good) and had a blast and now I’m coversationally fluent. I also read my first ever self-help-figure-yourself-out book. Rather eye-opening. Then, I added an opening line for a book to a FB comment string…then I started writing…Now, 11 months later, I’m about to finish my first ever work of fiction. I have plans for two more in this series; I’m building another world for another series; I have outlines for at least three short stories.  I’m having a blast AND with indie publishing, I can do this. This makes me very, very excited and happy.

So, we’re leaving. Not sure exactly where to yet, but west of the Rockies or thereabouts.  And, I’m going to become a recovering Academic. And, I’m really very happy about it.