Good evening from my office,
I am working on grading and my own writing, but realized I have not posted for a few days. I had get ideas of getting more done today and felt like most of the time I was hanging on by my rather short fingernails. I often find myself proclaiming, “they are no long, but they are strong.” That is what they feel like tonight. I am back in my office after working on a variety of things today. I began my morning at the car dealer to get my car inspected and take care of a couple of recalls. I also got my oil changed and tires rotated. The cost of all of that: $0.00. I was stunned, but one happy camper.
When I got back to school, there was a number of things to do. I met with a few students who need to work harder this last part of the semester. It was good to see them take some accountability for their situation and, at least, for the moment say they need to turn it around. Now, merely to do it. I am always excited when the light seems to go on. That is what needs to happen. Students, and really all of us, need to realize that most things that are accomplished come through hard work. They do not just happen. They do not merely fall into our laps. It would be nice, but my father did tell me rather emphatically, there are no free lunches. He had a way of getting to the heart of things. I still appreciate that trait of his.
This afternoon, I was trying to revise the program documents again and I will be with Mark yet again tomorrow to get them explained and examined once again. I have decided that having a number of writing people looking at your writing is like going to the dentist every day for about a month. This afternoon, I was working on my flash cards. I have a great tutor, who as a native speaker and will help me with my pronunciation. I really struggled with some of the vocab this afternoon. I hit that proverbial wall and it seemed I got more ridiculously unskilled by the second. It was a bit disconcerting. I do not have those moments often, but I certainly had a moment (or twenty) today.
A few weeks ago I made a decision to get rid of processed sugar, or certainly to severely curtail my intake of it. In addition, I have cut gluten out of my diet. The result is an 18 pound drop in weight in three weeks. Almost a pound a day and that is without exercise. I do know that I will probably hit a bit of a plateau soon, so I have to add the exercise component again. That is not a bad thing. There is also another issue on the horizon in May, which I just remembered. I am having a gum surgery done called LANAP. It is a laser surgery for my gums versus a cutting and suturing surgery. All of this is actually a consequence of my Crohn’s, and so managing this will have a number of positive consequences. It does mean there is a two week period in May when I will be on liquids and soft food. I imagine that will have some consequences too.
Tomorrow, I need to be focused again and make my list. I am looking forward to the weekend as I am going to Swan Lake on Saturday. I will have attended to amazing performances in two weeks. That is exciting also. I was reminded again in a conversation today about how our circumstances and our environment has such significance for what we hold important. It is hard to believe that it is soon another year anniversary of my sister’s passing. I remember the difference between elements of my family from time to time and her funeral was one of those times. It was a rather strange and sad situation. I am reminded that my own upbringing was a rather interesting dichotomous pairings of cultural awareness and total lack thereof, or at the very least a rather apparent of appreciation for some of those things. It is an issue of culture and understanding the culture in which and from which one came. I do not think we consider those issues nearly enough, but then again, we claim we are inclusive. There is so much we could do more completely when it comes to culture(s). That is only one of the reasons I am working on Spanish. What I am finding as I work on it is I am forced to again consider my own language or cultural choices.
Culture is such a profound part of our identity, and too often we do not really take the time to understand it. If I am correct, then, by extension does it mean we do not really do enough to know ourselves? I would like to say this takes things a bit too far, but I am afraid the consequence is exactly what can be implied here. First we cannot even know ourselves in this situation, let alone know others. I could push the conversation or paragraph and say that social networking and our willingness to merely dash things off versus take the time to really think and ponder exacerbates the circumstances even more. I find learning about another culture to be terrifically interesting and invigorating. It changes one’s life because it forces him or her to think outside of themselves. That is always a good thing. To do this means you have to quit looking inward to search outside of yourself. I do not believe we can seriously enter into this process and not be fundamentally changed. While I appreciate my culture and this country, for instance, the world is so much more complex and diverse. That is what makes it interesting.
There is so much more I could say, but I think I will sign off for the moment and study my vocabulary cards one more time before calling it a night.