Friday, December 01, 2017

Random bullets of December 1

  • First of all, look at "End of Semester Bingo" at You won't regret it.
  • Spending a month and thousands of dollars in travel taking care of--and trying to keep healthy via preventing them from smoking as part of that care--an elderly family member with multiple breathing-related illnesses and pneumonia drains your brain of energy and crowds out all writing juice. Then when they start smoking again the day after you leave, airily declaring that they're an adult and can do what they want, you realize that your efforts may have been well-meant but are ultimately futile, that the deadlines you blew by this action are now more pressing than ever, and that if you don't get your brain back to work instead of worrying, you'll be in worse shape than before.
  • That high-profile professors such as Jay Fliegelman and Franco Moretti have now been held to account in some way is good news. But (speaking rhetorically now) in how many cases has the perpetrator been allowed to quietly leave ("pass the trash"), or retire, or go on leave and then come back as if nothing had happened, with no information given to the community even about cases where the finding was that abuse had occurred? How often has time, like moss, been allowed to grow over the finding until the perpetrator is honored again because no one remembers what happened? How often have we (generic we) been cautioned not to bring up findings because of fears of retaliatory lawsuits or that they're not germane to the proceeding at hand?
  • But there are good things:
    • Another Facebook break. For those of you not on FB, it used to be 90% politics and 10% pictures of cute animals and funny stuff (as nature, God, and Zuckerberg intended); now it's about 45% fundraising for causes, 50% politics, and 5% cute animals. 
    • Decent weather.
    • Nearly the end of the semester, and the students and classes have been terrific.
    • No travel for a while.


Janice said...

Thanks for the first and my heartiest sympathies on the second. It's hard to disentangle yourself from someone near to you who does something so self-destructive, I understand.

More cute animals pictures should be our rallying cry for the month.

Dame Eleanor Hull said...


Massive sympathy re the elderly relative. Mine doesn't smoke, but the whole thing is nonetheless recognizable. Nine years ago I decided to let my parents go to hell in their own way since they were so determined to do so, and I did stay out of things for a long time, but a recent health crisis has dragged me back in. Good luck reclaiming some brain. If there's a central depot or lost-and-found, please direct me to it!

undine said...

Thanks, Janice. More cute animal pictures needed! Here's a current favorite:

undine said...

Dame Eleanor, thanks! They think they are independent, but as my sister says, it takes a village to keep that illusion intact, including our time, energy, money, and brainpower. A health crisis brought on through that "independent" behavior is especially galling. I keep trying to take some charitable or positive view of it, but all I can come up with is "this is what you are supposed to do, and you would not forgive yourself if you didn't do everything possible." Good luck with your reclaiming your brain, too.