Good morning from my office on an increasingly chilly day,
Understanding our fate or realizing our finitude is not a bad thing, at least that is what I am learning. Today is the 19th anniversary of George’s passing. While I never met him, I have heard so many things about him. He was a survivor of Dachau and one who actually escaped that dreadful, horrendous place. It was evident from what I know that we was meticulous, focused, and insightful. I have learned from those who knew him that, not surprisingly, he was also very guarded and private. Not surprising considering his experiences in the war. On the other hand, it is the birthday of the eldest child of my adopted Dominican family. While I know the age, it is not polite to reveal those things, particularly about young ladies. While I do not get to see her as often, and I did not meet her until some time after the others in the family, she too has a way of finding her way into my heart. She has worked hard to learn from the things she has or has not done, and I believe she is quite an amazing person. She has the charm and beauty of her mother and some of the personality of her father, which makes her a most exceptional person. It is ironic that two important people in the bigger scope of my life have a birthday or passing that have a corresponding date. That is not the only case of that happening in my circle. Lydia’s birthday and the passing of my adopted mother are also on the same day of the year. That one is even more ironic to me.
It has been a busy, but productive week. I have been grading like crazy and I have more to do, but I think I am at least able to keep my nose above the surface on things again. I have midterms to give back today and other things to work on with my Bible as Literature course. I have a lot to work on for my Foundations course and I have some significant work to do with managing their work, but I think I can get that squared away in the next week. My 400 level students are busy working on project and I think their work will be fine. There are some really outstanding students in that class. If I get the grading I hope to get accomplished in the next week, I think I will be in pretty good shape for the remainder of the semester. The other day I was looking at my next semester schedule and I think I have my schedule already figured out. That is something I always worry about. I am rather obsessive about schedule and when I plan things I probably unrealistically just expect they will happen.
It is now actually Saturday and I am headed out on the road. I am hoping for a productive week in a variety of ways and in a variety of venues. For that to happen a significant list is being developed. This past week was a week of surprises. I am always amazed at how things are either much simpler than I think and I complicate them at times, or I over- simplify then when they actually need more consideration. In either case, I seem to create some sort of difficulty. I am also glad that I stood up for myself in a couple of instances this week. My trip to the Dominican Republic in August was one of the highlights of the last probably 20 years of my life. It was the first time I was out of the country in almost 25 years (not counting Windsor). I want very much to go again, but I need to work on a couple of issues to feel that I would be able to go a next time. Interestingly, I am comfortable with my standing up in this instance.
This past Friday I got news that I have been recommended for tenure at all levels (which are required) before going to the president of the university. I did get some notation about my lack of publications and that is a fair concern. My work on the Professional Writing minor took its toll on my writing for publication and I need to work hard on that for the foreseeable future. I think if I focus and get some other things off my plate, I can get this accomplished. Reflecting on my work. I found it amazing to consider what has happened to the minor in 5 years. Yet, there is so much yet to do. I am hoping to merely focus on the specific things which relate to my teaching, my publication, and the program.
It is now even later and I am managing things for Lydia. She did recognize me today and actually smiled quite a bit, but her ability to communication beyond a single word is gone. She comprehended what I said in German much better than she did when I spoke to her in English. The sparkle in her beautiful eyes is pretty well gone. There is much more gone than there are things present now. . . . Yesterday she did not know me at all and today she held my hand, but I doubt there was much concrete recognition. I am glad I am here because I am not sure how much longer she will continue this way. I sat and watched her sleep in a recliner this afternoon and she was quite peaceful with the exception of some labored breathing. I had the opportunity to catch up with another person today for a few moments. Sometimes we are not really mindful of how amazing people from our past are until we see them in person again. This individual is so astounding and phenomenal both as a professional and as a person. It was a gift to run into her today. Tomorrow I have a couple more former colleagues and friends to spend some “moments” with.
I had dinner with the administrator of Lydia’s facility and with my neighbors also . It has been nice. I did keep a low profile and got quite a bit accomplished. Still more to do and hoping to spend time in the hotel tonight working hard. It is in the 20s here in Wisconsin and I imagine it will be chilly today. At the moment getting an oil change for yet another long drive. Sounds like I am being the snow out of town.
Need to post, so thanks for reading.