Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gung Hay Fat Choy and Big Choices

Well,  I reckon that at least my sister read the last post - she sent me a Chinese New Year's Card.

So, that makes it official - I can finally tie off the loose ends of last year and begin moving forward into the new year with some new projects. The last great act of last year was our Mauimoon in Hawai'i, from which we returned two days ago and in which you can share by clicking here or on the new Pog and Vodka link in the right sidebar. That was a heck of a way to close out the season and the year, and, of course, it presents me with a collateral challenge.

To review what I have been waiting to begin:

1. I still won't know a "normal" week for a while. In the seven weeks between now and the start of my teaching Spring quarter, I am scheduled to work 12 days as dean. On the one hand, cool; on the other hand, weird.

2. All that free time (see #1) will allow me to get purchase on those new and different creative, artistic, and self-improvement endeavors.

However, it's one thing to begin a new writing routine or workout regimen, or to finally get serious about learning the instrument you've been fooling around with for with several years, or to stick to a blogging schedule, and it is another thing entirely to contemplate a major life change.

What ho, you say - doesn't #1 cover that? Doesn't moving from dean back to instructor qualify as a major life change?

Well, yes and no. It will certainly be a major change in many aspects - schedule, responsibility, daily routine, income, and so forth. But I will still be an educator, still in higher ed, and still at the same institution. From a certain perspective, the changes are trivial.

Tut-tut, you say - why bring up this major life change business at all? Wasn't the whole point of this new year whatsis just to jump-start some personal productivity?

Well, yes, but then there was Maui. And when you're in Maui, you naturally start thinking how great it would be to just never get on your return flight and stay forever, folding T-shirts at Crazy Shirts in Whaler's Village or the Lahaina Cannery Mall and hitting the beach every day. Then you remember you're not twenty-three anymore and can't live in a crappy apartment with three roommates, but the seed has been planted and you start trying to figure out how you got where you are. And you remember that when you were in grad school, having a tenured position in an English department was not one of your explicit goals and that you kind of wound up here by accident, and you wonder what to do about that.

Or at least I do.

And that's the collateral challenge: even as I construct this new-old life as a college teacher, filling it with stuff that is important to me - reading, writing, creating, and so forth - I am questioning where it is leading in the long run, which for me is getting shorter every year. Maybe this blog won't just report on the progress of my projects, but will help me reflect on that big question out as well. Here's hoping.

Up, up, and away.


jes ketcham weber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jes ketcham weber said...

So what was one of your explicit goals in going to grad school for English? Don't leave us hanging! ;)

robynlee said...

buckle up

Walaka said...

Jess: becoming an astronaut. Or a pirate.