Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tired, and worn

This has been a difficult spring. I don't exactly know why; I can't pinpoint any one thing.

I think part of it is that we've had a major administrative change in the past few years where I work, and the people who used to be pretty much content to leave departments that were working well alone have been replaced with people with a love of micromanaging.

(We got an e-mail the other day claiming that if we didn't follow the absence policy - in the case of sickness or accident - to the letter, it would be considered insubordination. That scares me, because I can totally see someone not following the policy perfectly because they were in pain, or seriously feverish, or had something else going on - and them being threatened with a revocation of tenure over it. I don't KNOW that it would happen, but "insubordination" is a very, very strong word.

And I think I know why this is, and this is just another reason why I resent zero-tolerance policies: The administrator in question is probably having problems with a few faculty members who are AWOL. But instead of manning-up and going to talk to those people, to deal with them individually, to say "You are violating campus policy," instead the admin in question spanks all of us with yet another harsh e-mail. This makes about four for this semester. And I'm NOT happy about it. I'm not sure if it's coincidental that the results of the faculty senate surveys came out and this administrator had an approval rate of about 30%, and that's why we got a nastygram, but it's possible.)

And inflation is bad. And gas prices are bad. And I just have a feeling that things are going to get worse before they get better.

(And I don't know how any of you feel about Donald Trump, but here's how I feel: If he is the Republican candidate in 2012? I will be writing in either Thomas Jefferson or Ronald Reagan on my ballot. Stupid, I know, and throwing away my vote, but I really think Trump would make a bad president - I mean, do we really want ANOTHER egoist in the White House?)

So I'm tired a lot of the time this spring, and trying to focus on the things I can deal with - planting a garden (Not that I have enough land, or enough time, to be able to grow an appreciable amount of my food), keeping up my house, keeping up with my work. And trying not to think about things like inflation and threats of insubordination and bad politics and all that.

Today was Palm Sunday. Our choir did its annual cantata. As always, it was well-done. I liked this cantata in particular because it incorporated bits and pieces of familiar hymns - even a bit of "Once to Every Man and Nation," which is an interesting old hymn (If I remember correctly, it was written essentially as an anti-slavery poem. (Well, it's more complex than that - I think it had something to do with the war over Texas...) It's a pretty stirring hymn though, and one that I like, even if some might criticize it for its moral inflexibility).

Anyway, they worked around to the time of the crucifixion. And launched into "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded."

And I almost lost it, sitting there in the pew. I was doing every "displacement behavior" I ever do when I'm trying not to cry - adjusting my glasses, scratching the back of my neck. I even went so far as to think, "Puppies and kittens and pretty flowers" (one of my friends in grad school said she used to do that when she felt ill and didn't want to risk vomiting; I've adopted the idea to keep from crying, because I'm a lot more prone to crying than I am to vomiting).

It's funny, though - and maybe I feel a little ashamed now - that I was trying so hard NOT to cry, during an reference to the most grueling event in the history of Christianity, and something that SHOULD be humbling to Christians. I guess my only defense is that I didn't want to risk drawing undue attention to myself.

Maybe it was just something in the air today. The woman who served as one of the elders at the table was also fighting tears as she said her prayer (And I remember that, several years ago, how I was just totally seized by something and actually DID start to cry, while praying at, I think it was, a Maundy Thursday service. And it's so hard to stop it once you start, and so hard to go back from it).

So I don't know. I'm just going to have to remind myself these coming days to be extra careful and extra kind with myself (And kind with other people, at least without becoming a doormat...because I am dealing with a couple people who would walk all over you if you gave them a bit of leeway).

1 comment:

Kate P said...

I feel weepy during Holy Thursday, too.