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Skip This Post; I’m Just Exercising

7 Oct

The temperature became warmer as we traveled into the evening.  From the Cumberland Valley into the Shenandoah the temperature increased ten degrees, even though it was four hours later in the day, and into the evening.  The warmth seemed to beckon me and say, “welcome home; have a little extra summer”.  I drove in my VW with the baby, and the HD drove behind me with Young G.  The trip took two days (potty breaks and a nursing baby) until we ended up in Charleston.

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Civil War of Red and Blue

15 Sep

I wish politics weren’t so divisive in my generation.

There are some people I know (Facebook contacts, I guess) who are so against whichever party they oppose, that they revile anyone who supports them. Their thought process sounds something like: if you are against Candidate A you must therefore support Candidate B. Or even more frustrating, if you are supportive of Party A then you must necessarily support Candidate A. The latter assumption is the most prominent, and my greatest pet peeve (probably because I hate being labeled).

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It’s Hard to NameThis Post without Quoting Hootie

30 Nov

My last post was written on Thanksgiving, using the iPad app, and I just realized it never posted. I think I sound pretty ungrateful in it! It’s pretty mind-numbing business being in limbo, and it is difficult to feel anything on a deep level, even gratitude. I sometimes miss the painful feelings of longing I once had at the beginning of this deployment, because even they have subsided and given way to this new-normal. My mind plays tricks on me all the time. It’s impossible to make sense. I crave simple things, and have come to question whether I deserve them or not.

Time has always interested me. It is an illusion, and does not exist in actuality. We like to talk about the “effects of time” when we see rusted vehicles and wrinkled faces. There are also “signs of the times” we mention when talking about violence in the news or hear political rock n’ roll. Sometimes we longingly reach back for “simpler times” as we embellish our pasts and become sentimental for romantic memories that are most often inaccurate. Because time is so illusory, we work so hard to measure it, mark its passage, weigh its value, and schedule within it. If you put five dollars in an envelope and forget to use it, then in twenty years you still have five dollars somewhere. If you put five minutes aside on your calendar and forget to use it, you’re screwed; it’s gone.

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Ignorance

7 Jul

I’m in love with home, and it doesn’t even bother me that both my parents are here together.  I missed the smell of the South East, the sound of cicadas, and the reserved classiness of the Atlantic Ocean.  Normally my parents — who have spent only two occasions together in the last ten years, one being my college graduation and the second my wedding — getting together is a stressful event.  But today I didn’t mind because they were here to just be family.  The Baby is all they care about, and that through me, so them being with their Grandson is all I care about too!

Getting here was arduous, though.  What was supposed to be a mere eight-hour flight became a twelve-hour one, and that only got me to my lay-over.  Fortunately the final leg was a 44 minute hop.  Young G doesn’t like to be held for long periods of time, and he doesn’t normally fall asleep while being held (unless he’s being worn and I’m walking).  So I had to wait until he was too weary to possibly stay awake any longer, at which point my neighbor was thoroughly dissatisfied with her misfortune of being seated beside us.  Well, I assume she was.  She never said one word to me for 12 hours.  Even when we were parked on the ground in Oklahoma City for two hours. Continue reading

Expert

27 Mar

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent trying to make a simple DVD for my parents.  It’s not very complicated; I’m using the software on our Mac to put it together.  But for some reason  — perhaps it’s the size of the contents — nothing is burning properly.

Often I feel like I know just enough about something to frustrate me, but never enough to expertly finish anything.  I can crochet, sew, … write.

Graduate school was a personal study in just how difficult I find becoming an expert.  One professor saw me for who I am well enough to compare me to sparse, long-range synapses in the brain.  He said there is some activity which covers a short distance, making quick, rapid-fire connections between neighboring neurons.  These synapses carry detailed information to fine-tune a process.  Then there are the synapses of which I am one: they carry information across long distances, connecting seemingly unrelated neurons by sharing necessary, but general information.  This long-range firing of activity then sets off a new set of dense, rapid-fire connections in the new area of the brain.  This professor said I was good at making connections (he spoke of interdisciplinary observations as I attempted to form my own degree combining the psychology and linguistics departments.  I didn’t succeed and the one professor who Saw me moved to Australia), or carrying information from one party to another.

Which might imply I’m not necessarily any good at making sense out of the information myself, just in transferring it.

So this is what makes me  a good teacher, I suppose.  This is what helped me counsel my students, too, because I could connect them to ideas, people, and information that answered their questions.  I never really had to have the answer.

I think this might be what helps me be a good mother. Young G has begun to notice he has hands.  He’s begun to develop expectations, anticipation, and delight.  If I can connect him to the good things in the world I’ll be a good mother!