Thursday, September 4, 2014

one foot on the platform, the other on the train

I’m standing in the doorway of opportunity – people are waiting for my decision, which I promised to render by 4 PM EST tomorrow.  Do I dive into the deep end or continue to wade in the shallows?  The part of me who wishes life could be easy tells me to continue wading until I gather more information.   The YOLO part of me says to stop worrying and dive.  Just do it.  Do IT, DAMMIT!  The opportunity may not repeat itself. 

With not yet three weeks experience, I’m thinking to willingly commit to teaching two courses in the spring, one online and one F2F in a real classroom with real people.  It’s scary to think about, and exciting at the same time.  I don’t want to suck at it.  I might totally suck at it.  The thought of facing real students who ask questions and expect me to deliver intelligent answers on the fly is pretty frightening.


The most pressing worry is that I still have my real job…you know, the one that pays the bills for this family.  For the F2F class, I have to commit to being on campus Monday afternoons for 16 consecutive weeks (excluding spring break).  That means I will mark my calendar with vacation (real job) every Monday afternoon for 15 weeks.  If my boss notices, he’ll be wondering what’s going on.  Worse than that, I might get sucked into a meeting halfway across the country that starts on Monday morning.  It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.  You always have some young, studley-do-right manager-wanna-be who wants to demonstrate his promotion-worthiness by forcing everyone to F up their weekend by traveling on Sunday or Saturday.  It’s like “Look at me, I’m so dedicated to this company and my work is so important that I will donate at least part of my weekend to the cause and inspire others to donate theirs as well.”   But, as an employee with one foot out the door, I’m prepared to say “Oh, well, I have  vacation scheduled for Monday afternoon so if my attendance is required, you’d better reschedule your meeting…or perhaps you can just conference me in via phone? ”  It might work.  It would be like shooting my career in the head.  It’s OK, my career has been dead for a long time.  Still, the bonuses just get better every year, and I get 30 days of paid vacation every year, plus 10 holidays.  It’s hard to walk away from.

typical manager-wanna-be

I will take one more night to sleep on it, mull it over, and agonize over the decision.

My alcoholic brother is like a cat with nine lives.  It looks like he is recovering now, thanks to a horrible surgery.  They went into his lungs and surgically scraped the nasty gunk out of them.  They did that last week, he was in the ICU for days afterwards, and today they moved him to a rehab floor.  He expects to go home (or perhaps to a nursing home) in just a few more days if he continues to improve.  I think this was the 5th life he used up, or perhaps the 6th.

I visited him last night.  He insists he will never drink or smoke again.  He has been completely sober for nearly a month now.  His hands still shake.  He still has no concept of time – he doesn’t know if an event happened two days ago, two weeks ago, or two months ago.  We talked about things in the news, because all he does is sleep and watch the news lately.  He almost sounds like my brother again, which is kind of a sad thing for me.  I had completely given up on him more than a year ago.  In my mind, he was already as good as buried in the cemetery.  His death was over with, other than the formality of making arrangements and notifying people.  It sounds cold and heartless, but it was a good place to be, not having to worry about him or how or when it’s going to happen.  Now he’s promised to change.  He says as soon as he’s back on his feet, he’s going to look for a job.  If only he could keep his promise.  He just can’t.  I’ve been visiting a ghost in the hospital.

Well, this has become a pathetically depressing post for my poor blog.  Truly, my life is blessed and very good despite all the crazy shit.  I miss my daughters, but maybe I'll visit two of them this weekend.  My students are starting to figure things out.  The number of emails is decreasing (although I have several of their emails waiting for my attention right now).  I've started thinking more seriously about cleaning my house and clearing out junk.  In particular, the nether regions (dark corners, closets, and SCARY BASEMENT) need a lot of attention.  My goal is to have everything neat and clean by mid-November.  Place your bets.   

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