Friday, February 17, 2012

What I need

I think this weekend I need an extended period of time in my sewing room.

I have a quilt top partly done (as in, I was stitching two pieces of fabric together, the phone rang, I went to answer it, and then never got back to it other than to turn off the sewing machine).

Making quilts - like knitting and embroidery - are things that keep me from getting too "broken." It's what brings me back to who I am, and helps me forget the troubling things of the past week. (Like: one of my disabilities-concerns students called me up ALL ANGRY because I didn't tell him what room the lab met in, and he didn't know where to go. Um....we meet in the room where we always meet. The room that's listed on your schedule. This is someone who was absent for the past three labs and he acted as if I had deliberately moved the lab and not told him....he didn't even bother to check before calling if we were in the same room as we had been in the last time he showed up to lab. And yes, I realize, I have to discount some of the reaction because of the challenges he may face, but: I don't like having long, rambling, hostile, angry phone messages. Also, he called when he KNEW I was in class...actually called while the lab he "couldn't find" was in session.)

It also helps me shrug off some of the bad news that presses on me - like that there's a move afoot to abolish tenure for profs in my state (and apparently that includes ALREADY tenured people...and profs could be let go without clear cause, which is extremely alarming. I mean, I'm a good teacher and I do probably my fair share of research and more than my fair share of service...but still, tick off the wrong legislator and you're gone. Or maybe make a little TOO much pay in one year, and you could be replaced by a younger model. And while in some cases there'd probably be recourse in the form of appeals, still, that makes everyone's lives more difficult. We already have post-tenure review, with the aim of  "encouraging" people to do their best (I've never heard of tenure being revoked for non-performance, but the way our Policies and Principles manual is worded, it sounds to me like it could be).

I try to remind myself  that things will ultimately be OK (even if that "OK" means "only in the Afterlife"), but I'm a born worrier, so it's hard to shut that kind of thing off. But going and working on quilt tops - either sewing pieces together, or cutting a new quilt - does.

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