Friday, December 09, 2011

Thoughts of home

I was brushing my hair this morning, gearing up to come over campus. My hair has gotten a little bit long and shaggy, but since it's so close (like, just over a week) before I go visit my family for Christmas, I'm just going to have the woman who cuts my mom's hair do it for me - she's good, she charges a reasonable price, and it will be easier to do it when I'm on break than it will be now.

And then I thought about it.

I thought about going to the little barber shop (yes, it's an old traditional barber shop: neither my mom nor I have elaborate hairstyling needs) in their town. And walking down the little old main street with my mom...and going shopping in some of the little shops there...and seeing the Christmas decorations that are up.

And I said out loud to my reflection: "Over break, I'm going to go shopping with my mom. And I'm going to bake cookies. And I'm going to decorate the house with my parents. And I'm going to wrap presents. And I'm going to knit. And I'm going to read books. And I'm going to make candy."

I'm going to do all the things I like to do, but don't generally get to do, because of the responsibilities I have.

It's been kind of a brutal fall here...I taught a new prep for the first time in 10 years and had totally forgotten how much more work that is than just updating regular classes. And we had issues with an adjunct...luckily, not someone involved with any classes I'm in, but one of my colleagues is going to have to delay his travel to visit family because she couldn't get her labs graded in a timely fashion. (This, kids, is why I don't like the idea of going to a cadre of low-paid adjuncts: you can't get good people, because the good people can literally make more money waiting tables). I don't know what we're going to do next semester, I haven't heard if this person is fired or not but I'd not be surprised.

And we've had some administrative shake-ups on campus that leave a lot of us wondering what's coming next.

And just what's going on in the world is frustrating and sad-making. I really have given up watching more than a minute or two of news at a time. I wish I could find a source of news that wasn't given to all the crazy WHARRGARRBLLL MUST CREATE OUTRAGE or that spins stuff so sickeningly. Even the local news is awful; they run poverty-porn a lot of days, or have poorly-reported health stories on how everything we thought was good for us isn't.

So I watch a lot of cartoons now. Even if every "Phineas and Ferb" episode has pretty much the same plot. Even if I think "The Adventures of Gumball" is kind of stupid. Even if some aspects of "Adventure Time" creeps me out and makes me sad.

And I watch cooking shows. Paula Deen throwing a stick of butter in a pan is more interesting to me than hearing about the latest missing housewife.

So what I'm looking forward to over break is trying to leave all the local crap - the irresponsible people, the snowflakey students, the meddling administrators - behind. And also ignore what's going on in the world to the extent I can. And hang onto the things that make me me, that the stupid geopolitical situation can't affect.

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