Monday, September 08, 2008

Freakazoid

You know, it's not that I haven't written posts since I saw y'all last. I write them, but they're both unfocused and banal, whinging without being specific, and I don't want to read that, so why would you?

In the sea of weirdness and disappointment that was the second week of classes (beginning to prep the tenure materials, meeting--twice--with a new administrator, following up on the progress of an a leftover proposal from the ACUN that's now 2 and 1/2 years old), there was a gem. I had dinner over at my colleagues' house, and it was delightful and tasty and relaxing. At the end of the night, the two of them were fussing over sending home leftovers with me, and debating who would perform which of the doggie-bag-packing tasks. One turned to me and remarked: "We're still trying to figure out which of us is the control freak. Right now, we just trade off." Now, these two could not be more calm and easy-going if they tried. Often, I feel guilty for my Eeyore-inflected, angry/resentful/sarcastic vibe and its possible long-term effects on both of them. Control freak?! I wanted to say. I'll show YOU a control freak!!

In a nutshell, that's what my last week boiled down to: all of the many things that I have little to no control over. I'm far from my best in these situations, and I think I have a terrible tendency to continue on, even as the signs read "stop." Worse yet, the bleaker things look, the harder I push. I'm only a few years away from being that screaming harridan that every faculty member hates. Need a visual? Try this:



Let that be a warning to all of us. My new resolution for the week: the only thing I can really do is articulate what I think (and most of the time, I can't even do that. Ba-dum-dum! Take my wife...please!). I can't hold back the tide, nor change what people think, nor sneak up behind them in a dark alley and hit them over the head with a trash can lid. To embrace the cliche of the day: the only thing I can control is myself (but only with a whip and a muzzle...Thank you! I'm here all week!).

Someone remind me that I said all of this as the week of contentious meetings begins.

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