Monday, May 17, 2010

Almost There

The semester is slowly, slowly surrendering. Final grades for all the independent studies and one class submitted. All the grading done for another, just trying to double check all the records and figure out the final grade distribution. For the final, biggest (of course) class, the grading is virtually all done except all the mopping up around the edges: the make-ups, the people who didn’t submit a paper except they think they did, the disaster that is Compass containing a corrupted set of grades (“uploading from a spreadsheet does have some issues), etc. Those details always take forever to resolve. However, though it’s a full week later than I’d like it to be, I think it’s almost--almost--history.


So still not much time to think or write, but here’s a recent thought: in recent months, hearing about my continuing issues, a recurring response has been “how do you know it’s not just aging?” So, maybe all this has done is accelerated normal aging effects, so the forgetfulness, energy issues, etc., are all just a concentrated form of what would have come to pass anyway?


This idea seemed especially powerful as I was driving home from a meeting on the other side of town on Saturday, listening to the radio. It struck me then that my life used to have a sound track. At every stage of my life, there’s music I associate with it. That has completely vanished and I seem to be in a silent phase of life, as I can no longer concentrate if there’s any music going. Not on work, not really on conversation. So there’s really no music I associate with this part of life. It’s strange. The sound track vanished about the same time as all these other effects began, and since it’s harder to notice an absence than the vexations of daily life, it hadn’t ever really hit me, as hard as it did in the car this weekend, what a big change this has been.


Maybe, if you follow that train of thought, that this is just accelerating normal aging, I’m just more “me,” a bit earlier than usual? Maybe the balance stuff, and the crowd stuff is just my inner curmudgeon expressing a strong preference for solitude?


Maybe not.


In any event, the bookkeeping beckons. Not to mention the conference planning, the proposal writing, the.... It’s a drippy, rainy, grey Monday here. Perfect for concentrated work! I hope each of you is having a sunny, cheerful, care-free day. That’s my personal goal, so if I can’t have it, I hope you can.

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