I have just discovered something about myself.
I don’t like schedules, at least not very rigid ones. That’s why I don’t like the nine-to-five routine and why I have struggled against that cubicle life for so long. One of my favorite things about life in academia is that there is so much variety.
No two semesters are the same. You don’t teach the same courses two semesters in a row. Even if you did, you don’t get the same students, so it’s still a difference course. There are always new theories to read about, and ways for you to contribute to those conversations if you’re felling so inclined. And you can always create a brand new course that doesn’t exist in your organization’s curricula, addressing a gap that you are uniquely qualified to fill.
This is not something new, either. I have never appreciated routine, especially if it is extremely rigid routine. Variety has always been the spice of my life.
And yet … and yet, every now and then, I discover that stability is good for me.
Once upon a time, I lived in the Catskill Mountains, in a little city (town) called Oneonta.
No matter where I was and no matter what I was doing, all I had to do was look out the window to know just where I was. The terrain around Oneonta and in Oneonta is distinct, and I’ve been looking at the same views for close to 20 years.
Now, I’m not in Oneonta anymore. It should come as no surprise that the place I inhabit doesn’t look like the place I used to inhabit. Upstate New York — at least, the part of it that I lived in — was easily distinguishable by the rolling hills and wide, shallow valleys of the Catskills, which you could see from pretty much anywhere you happen to be. The place I live in now doesn’t seem to be in any way distinguishable from anything else.
Observe the view from my living room couch.
“THE INTERNET GOES DARK AT 5PM.”
That’s the message I just sent to those of my kids who I think will care most. My social media presence will be silenced for a little while … well, for a few days.
Tomorrow, we’ll pick up the truck and load it up. Gina and Kimmie and Frankie will get their rental SUV and pack it up. We’ll all spend one more night in this house and then we’ll climb into vehicles and drive off in different directions. Gina & Co. will drive south and west, and the rest of us will head due south.
Truth to tell, I don’t absolutely have to be completely silent while I’m on the road. I’ll have my laptop with me, after all.
On the other hand, by the time we pull into the hotel south of Richmond on Thursday evening, I’ll be too pooped to do anything except eat, shower and sleep … in that order. Continue reading
Transitioning ain’t pretty.
And then there’s my hair.
It’s possible that you didn’t notice my hair when I posted those progress pictures. That’s deliberate. Generally speaking, I don’t do anything with my hair except to drag it back and pull it up into a clasp or a barrette of some sort. My hair is sort of designed to not be noticed.
That is because I am in transition — and mighty uncomfortable it it, let me tell you. (That is not a picture of me, by the way.)
For those of you who are unfamiliar with natural hair, being in transition means that I am growing out my natural (and naturally curly) hair after using relaxer on it for about the last 40 years. Eventually, my hair will thank me but right now, it’s a half natural, half relaxed mess.
I’m not ready at this point to go for the Big Chop, because it has only grown out about 2-3 inches so far. I’m going to want to do some healthy hair stuff to beef it up and get it to start growing a bit faster. Besides that, I’m going to want to spend some time training my hair to behave itself once I am able to cut off the last of the relaxed bit. The hair I was born with was basically 3C but decades of mistreating the stuff has left its mark.
Fortunately for me, last night I happened across Rosío and her YouTube channel, Risas Rizos (Spanish for “laughing curls,” I think). Continue reading