May
2013

T.G.I.M., Sabbatical edition

It’s Monday. It’s the first Monday of summer break, or as I choose to look at it, the first Monday of my sabbatical. I know that technically my sabbatical doesn’t begin until the fall semester, but why put off until August what I can call sabbatical today? In honor of this eagerly awaited time, I thought I’d write some simple goals I’m looking forward to during this time.

Starting today, by my count, I have 245 days to try and replenish and accomplish much. My first goal is to:
Read 35 books while on sabbatical. It’s a modest goal– a book a week, so let’s cross our fingers that we can do it.

Goal number two:
Watch a movie each day. I do teach film courses after all and will be teaching a new film course when I return in January 2014, so this seems a tad significant.

Goal number three:
Focus on me. Make me happy. I don’t know how I can quantify that, but just this past week I feel like I’ve done more for myself than I have done in a very long time. That needs to continue.

Goal number four:
Travel.
dalai
Yes, indeed.

This is a good list as far as I’m concerned. I shall take it all as I am able and see fit. I am so very, very grateful for that.

Apr
2013

T.G. for Flowers

It’s April 1st and four peony plants are already coming up through the ground. I can’t remember a time when they were so tall so early– even for early season peonies.

I’m grateful this Monday for the spring sounds of birds chirping; for the sight of buds filling tree branches; for the gorgeous smell of green and reborn nature.

Thank goodness it’s spring.

Mar
2013

T.G.I.M.

Today was the first official day of Spring Break and I am so very, very grateful that I have a break for the next five days. I am always amazed at how many people openly mock the teaching profession, saying we only do our jobs because we couldn’t do anything else. Teachers must have it easy because they get their summers off, after all. Debunking those silly myths and more is for another day. Today I am simply grateful for rest and restoration. The ability to breathe and be still in your daily life is sometimes a rare, rare thing. Today I was able to do so. Today I was able to tend to the smallest things that make life comfortable. Today I was able to relax and restore order to my mind and spirit, so that I may tend to my chosen life of education and learning.

I am thankful for this Monday.

Mar
2013

Thank Goodness It’s Monday

I know the expression is T.G.I.F. in honor of the end of the traditional work week, but for a while now I’ve thought I should give thanks for Monday, give thanks for the beginning of the work week. I figured that today was as good a day as any to do so. Today, my fellow faculty and I received our appointments (contracts) for the next academic year. Too often we may grumble about raises and our wishes for more recognition for the work we do in the form of monetary reward. Today, I almost signed my contract as soon as I got it and returned it pronto to the appropriate office. Even though I didn’t, it doesn’t mean that I’m not grateful for my job.

Yes, in this economy I’m ecstatic to be a tenured Associate Professor. However, it’s more than that. I’m grateful that when my knee hurt this morning (the vestige of playing high school basketball) that I was able to sit down and lecture to my students about communication conflict. It is a privilege to sit down when I am physically in pain on the job.

I’m grateful that I have colleagues that make me laugh.

I’m grateful that I have colleagues who do care about me, in the midst of sometimes feeling like John Donne was wrong, that I am in fact an island.

I’m grateful that I work at a school that has worked so very, very hard to insure that it has no debt.

I’m grateful that I have food on my table because of my job.

I’m grateful that I know I don’t have to choose between paying my electric bill and the phone bill.

I am very grateful, despite appearances to the contrary.

Thank goodness it is Monday and I recognize the many things for which I can be grateful.