Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Vegetative Musings

June 4, 2011

Contrary to what non-academics think, those of the professorial persuasion rarely have the summers off in any but the most mundane sense of the term.  Being off from teaching generally means that this is your one chance to a) recover from semester burn-out, b) breathe, c) do research or other scholarly work so that you can keep your brain alive and keep your job, d) read about and think about interesting stuff.  The 9-to-5-ers of the world may not understand that those of my ilk cannot draw a clear boundary between work and non-work. 

So I’ve been reading, among other things.  What I’m reading could affect what and how I teach next semester, the essays and other non-fiction I write, and of course my fiction.  No real distinction between work and play for me.  Not being one of those whose life can be divided into neat, waterproof compartments, I rejoice in leaping over divisions, boundaries and walls.

Apparently, so do plants.


Ruminations on a rainy night

May 18, 2011

I haven’t abandoned this blog, despite appearances.  I must have written a dozen blog posts in my head, missives directed at this site, in the past several months, like letters to a lover light-years away.  You know they’ll never get there in time but you want to write them anyway, if for nobody but yourself.  Unfortunately my barriers weren’t time and space but an extraordinarily difficult, rewarding, frustrating, backbreaking, amazing semester.  I’m including not just academia but life in general.  I feel about 300 years old in multiple ways and perhaps 3 years old in all the ways that are important…


Dog Days

May 27, 2010

It has been a long time since I last posted here.  I don’t generally post about my personal life but this post is an exception, and a somewhat rambling one at that, so bear with me.  The main reason for my long silence is that I am currently embroiled in various crises, the most immediate and exhausting of which is my dog’s recent back surgery.  Three weeks ago he had a problem with a vertebral disc, and post-surgery his hind legs are still paralyzed.  I have been caring for him round-the-clock, changing his bedding in the night, cooking him chicken and vegetable stew, giving him massages and keeping his spirits up to the extent I can.  A proud, handsome, willful animal like him (he is a terrier mix) does not do well with disability.  But in these three exhausting, sleepless weeks he has mellowed a bit, gradually giving up his role as Chief Protector of the home, accepting, perhaps, that for now he needs to rest and get well.  It is hard to see him so helpless.  It is hard to go for weeks without a proper night’s sleep (I have been taking care of him almost single-handedly).  I have learned a lot of things in the past weeks: how to express a dog’s bladder, for instance.  But mostly I’ve learned that people, including strangers, can be utterly wonderful in times of crisis. 

So this is a post mostly about gratitude.