Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Busy day

Up at 5. Grading essays from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m., continuing where I left off at 11 last night.

Off to Reavis at 7:35. I usually go through Prairie Park on Tuesdays, walk along the Kishwaukee River and cross it at a footbridge. But after crossing frozen pond fields and running meltwater temporary streams, it came as no surprise to see the bridge flowing over. I had to backtrack and run for long stretches to get to Reavis by 8, but I made it.

Individual conferences went well. I'm an old hand at this, considering this is the sixth time I've done conferences. A few of the students even have interesting topics. I've steered them clear of tired topics (like capital punishment, abortion, etc.) and require them to talk to a local expert for a source.

My mandibles are tender from all that jawing today.

Conferences from 8-10 p.m.

Visit with Dr. Callahan from 11-11:40 a.m.

11:40 - 12:30 -- Walk home, change, eat, drive to Huntley MS

12:30 - 2:30 -- Teach 6th grade Life Skills class -- easy, fun

2:30 - 3 -- Park close to campus, walk to Reavis

3 - 4:30 -- Individual conferences

4:30 - 6 -- Spend entire time reading Neil Simon's "Prisoner of Second Avenue." Almost finish it. More depressing white guy angst.

6 - 8:30 -- For the first time ever, class goes close to its actual release time (8:40 a.m.)

Home by nine. Still wound up at 11. More papers to grade in the morning.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Lost time

I once tried to keep busy to avoid the emptiness of solitude. I found quietude uncomfortable and dreaded the end of day.

I forged another life of all the busy-ness, and even though it is compartmentalized as other, as somehow not the part of my real life, or the relaxed, unedited me, activity triumphs. It's no longer separate.

I got used to the loneliness and boredom, even as it carried me to the edge of madness.

Just as I once, in manic avoidance, stayed frazzled and busy with social activity.

A little older now. Still twitchy. Still bite my thumb and tap fingers. Mom's almost 70. So does she. But I've found a happy balance with all the busyness. I've learned not to overcommit. Seek peace and re-energy in solitude. Participating in a community validates my humanity and gives me a sense of worth and belonging. I can control my body language, take on a character of repose, even as I'm roiling mentally, and eventually mind conforms to body.

But energy is undaunted.