Sunday, December 15, 2019

Let yourself go

"Let yourself go
Relax and let yourself go
You've got yourself tied up in a knot
The night is cold but the music's hot" 

I think Ginger has wisdom for all of us right about now.  Let yourself go, or "let it go" to quote a more contemporary role model. 

The thing is, a lot of times it's not up to us.

Annoying colleagues? You don't have to make their lives easier. You just have to be civil, unless they go from annoying to rude.

Colleagues trumpeting their own fabulousness until you feel as though you ought to climb into a cave somewhere? Congratulate them if you can. Ignore them if you can't. 

Christmas/holiday prep? Yes, it's stressful. Do what you can and leave the rest. The world will survive. 

If you're--ahem--morbidly obsessed with tales of disaster because of elderly family members (as I said over at nicoleandmaggie's), try to recognize that while the illness and death itself was sad but not traumatic,  being forced to have all the responsibility and none of the control over the course of years really was. Give it time. Try to let it go.

Start living life in 3D instead of 2D (computer screens). Maybe you want to take up knitting, or skate, or hike, or juggle.

Let yourself go.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Random bullets of as the semester draws to a close

How to keep everything going?
  • Shed some things. I unfriended (first time doing so!) on FB a toxic, performatively woke, and mansplainy colleague and FB, though still bad, is better because of it. 
  • Think about what you're doing re: student evals. Northern Clime has a lot of suggestions for bribing encouraging students to fill out the online evaluation forms, since evaluation numbers completely predictably fell off a cliff now that there's not a single time and place to do them. Right now it's the people who really like or hate you who'll do them voluntarily. But given the level of gender and racial bias in student evals, the subject of numerous studies, should we be propping up a system that is already stacked not in our favor? Especially when people think you bring this up not because of inequity but because your students must hate you? (For the record, they don't. I bring it up out of principle and then have to listen to bro-bragging about others' eval numbers, but I'm senior faculty and if I don't speak up, who will?)
  • Shed some more things.  I could barely make myself care about MLA citation format nine years ago, and since MLA changed to its latest system, I don't care at all. Do I painstakingly correct their MLA format? Or do I give them an example and give them credit if they attempted it? The latter. 
  • Give yourself a break.  It dawned on me, as I was standing in a passport line last week, that this seemed really familiar, because it was: I had gone to two international conferences in the space of a month. At that point I figured it's okay to be tired. 
  • Work on the things you can't shed. Like Christian in Pilgrim's Progress, I am lugging burdens, not of pride or anything, but of writing projects that I promised to complete in some insane rash moment months ago. I can't shed them, but I can get them done. 
Happy Thanksgiving!