Friday, April 23, 2010

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

...Teddy Roosevelt, April 23, 1910

Thursday, April 15, 2010

You know that commercial where the people are in the workplace and they are trying to quit smoking and they have this "suckometer" thing that shows how much quitting smoking sucks at the moment? I was thinking about inventing a "crap-o-meter" and have it on my desk so that when someone comes in and feeds me a load of crap, the little arrow will sense it and move up on the scale. I wonder how high that crap-o-meter would go if placed in certain strategic locations on campus, places that shall remain nameless, but are well known to every single person on campus. Oh yes I'd also place one of them in the editorial office of the campus newspaper. No doubt in mind the arrow would spin the entire thing twice before stopping at the highest level.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sometimes I tend to go off the deep end, not in a really bad way but well I get annoyed at certain things, at certain times, quite easily. For instance when a faculty member asks me what he is teaching this semester. I mean my normal reply is "don't you know?" How can you now know? You've seen the schedule, you ok'd teaching the class.

Other annoying things are when students walk into my office and say, "I'm looking for my instructor, he teaches a class about plants?" well WTF? The rest of the conversation is me asking them for the course number (which they don't know), the instructors' name(which they don't know) and finally their ID number so I can look up their schedule. And then when I tell them where their class is, they argue with me saying they were in the room but nobody was there (turns out they were there the wrong day/period) or that it moved and they don't know where it is and the system isn't updated. Well hell, I'll admit, I have psychic powers and I know exactly where your class is but since I have these magic powers, how bout I just save you the time of going and tell you what you're going to earn in the class

"You're going to earn a big fat "F" because you're an idiot!" so just save yourself some time and money and drop the class now.

My friend who is a professor in our department, we also work together, well, he sees me get annoyed at times. I see how calm he is and think I should be like that, but sometimes I just can't handle the lack of common sense. But I have improved, I don't jump out of my seat and fly off the handle like I used to and most of the time I don't lose my mind until after they've left my office. I do have the Star Wars Light Saber mom gave me for my 40th birthday last year and I could pull that out and wave it around (trust me, would be very intimidating!) but I'm saving that for orientaiton in fall when all the new students arrive. Usually my boss tells the students that no matter what they do or who they piss off in the department, the one person they don't want to do that to is me. That's about the time I'll bring out the light saber and begin my thing...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's been thirteen months since dad passed away and I find there are days I don't even think about it anymore. I still think about him, but I no longer feel overwhelming sadness as I did in the days and weeks after it happened. I miss pa like crazy but I guess time does heal. There are still moments I cry over him but they just aren't like they used to be. It's still hard to believe he's gone. I mean, damn, there wasn't a time he wasn't there. So it just seems unreal still that he's no longer with us. Have you ever eflt that way? Someone so close to you is gone and you're still some what shocked that they really are gone forever.

Death is not the best topic of discussion though my Christian friends are ok with it because in their eyes, after they die they go to a better place. I find it difficult to believe though that they don't have some regret over leaving "life" behind. I mean, once you die, everything changes, you no longer experience the things in life that you once did. I guess it's better when you die, at least I'm told it is, but still I think that it is normal to be a bit scared to "miss" life and even though the world has its problems, for the most part, I think life is good. I have often thought about death not because I'm a morbid person but because I wonder what it will be like. And I know there is only ONE thing none of us can ever escape and that is death. I think about not just my faimly but my friends, people I have known and cared about for so many years, will I ever see them again after we all go? I mean, I really do care about them and they hve made my life so good, I can't imagine not seeing them after we're all dead. See that's the problem, you can't think about death from a "life" perspective, which is what I am doing.

Speaking of death, since we are on the topic. It is really an awakening to open the paper and read the obits and find there are people dying left and right who are your age. Normally the people my age who are listed in the obits died from cancer. People my age just don't normally die from anything else. I mean they have accidents and all ,but cancer seems to be the big one with them. I've often wondered what my obituary would look like and hoping that mom or Deb or whichever of my closest friends or family who would write it, would include a good picture. Go figure there I am worrying about the picture that goes with the obituary! That and hoping that my best friend in the whole wide world--Deb-- will be sure to give a eulogy that brings down the house, and gives a party afterwards where everyone is drinking, eating and having a good time. A gal likes to have a good sendoff. I'm Irish, Italian, English, Scottish, Sicilian, German, and Romanian---there's no way you can send one of those off without one hell of a party!

Life is short, even if you live to be 100, it's still short when you compare it to how many years you are dead. Eternity is a really long time. I often ponder the unknown, not because I plan on going anywhere anytime soon but because it's the one big thing nobody will ever have figured out. It's fascinating to say the least...

More on this topic later!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I've felt good this past week and hoping it continues. I completed the last chapter in my Economics textbook today and all that remains is one more paper in my US & German Exceptionalism course. I've read most of Shivelbusch's "Culture of Defeat" and the chapter on Germany's mastery of Propaganda was rather interesting. Their propaganda was their greatest strength. Go figure. I still have to finish Dan Diner's "America in the Eyes of the Germans" and Olick's "In the House of the Hangman" but the latter two are not due for another couple of weeks. For now I can bask in the joy of being nearly finished with the semester. I'll celebrate with a glass of wine and some reading tomorrow night before the new episode of "House" after which I will just relax and go to bed around 9 pm. That's something I haven't done in awhile--go to bed at 9 pm. Summer will be a joy because I'll be hitting the sack at 8 pm!

I'm still having strange dreams. In last night's dream, a professor friend I work with was teaching a management class two days a week and I signed up for it. But instead of being management material, it was a workout class. Weights on one day and cardiovascular the other. Also, I had a car in the dream that looked like an older Rolls Royce, it was light blue on the outside, white on the inside, very clean and sleek. I recall telling my friend and others that I bought it "new used" because it had only 300 miles on it when I purchased it from a rental car agency who had no further use for it.

Strange isn't it? Maybe to you but not to me. I rather enjoy going to sleep every night because I look forward to the most extraordinary interesting dreams. I bet I have the best dreams of anyone I know. They are in color, sometimes in sequence (night after night the dream continues), and they are so vivid I remember the smallest minute details the next day. In fact, I can remember my dreams for days, months, even years.

Can't wait to see what happens in tonight's dream.. Stay Tuned!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I watched "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" recently and I enjoyed it. I'd read the book a few years back and thought it was well written. After "Tuesdays with Morrie" I'd become a fan of Mitch Albom's work.

This was a heartfelt, tearful movie about a man who dies while saving a little girl, and in Heaven he meets five people whose lives he impacted during his lifetime. Prior to this he had always believed he never accomplished anything in his life and that his existence on earth had been a waste of time. It took those five people to show him he was wrong, and that every person is connected to every other person and every life is affected by those connections.

Both the book and movie made me sit back and think about something I've often said--that I haven't accomplished much in my life. I am not sure how I was measuring accomplishment. I suppose that I assumed by 40 I would have finished my degree, gone into the career of my dreams, had lots of money, and done so many other things of which I've often dreamed. A few friends reminded me some time ago that while I was busy wondering how I was supposed to make my mark upon the world, I was already busy making my mark on the world.

I just never stopped long enough to realize it.

Every now and then it is good to be reminded, don't you think?