Four Weeks and A Wake-up

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Hello on a cold and rainy April morning,

As I write this, I am not sure what is up with either the weather or my voice at the moment. Yesterday might have been the nicest day we have had thus far this Spring (or the end of the never-ending Winter). I am tired of cold, dreary, and damp. I need some sunshine and I need it now . . . not being as patient as I might be, but I am merely fed up with all of this. I am tired of the winter and what it does to my psyche. At least this rain today is not snow. It might also be affected by the fact that I have minimal voice today and I feel a bit under the weather. Very seldom am I cold, but I think I am today. I am sitting in my office with the heater running and with my jacket on. That is generally not a good sign.

It is hard for me to fathom that we are into the last four weeks of the semester. I worked so hard before spring break to get caught up and I walked into the second half of the semester in relatively good shape. Somehow that has all disappeared and it is not like I have been sitting on my hands over the last two-three weeks. I just wonder where the time goes and then how much more quickly it seems to go. I  know as a student I always found these last weeks to be a bit overwhelming. What I have found out in the last 20 years is that it is not any different on the other side. In fact, while it might be because I am experiencing it now and the other is a bit of a distant memory, I think I might argue that this side of that equation is more difficult. I think there is more responsibility and when we do not do something, the consequences are felt or seen by a lot more people.

Over the weekend I got a number of things done from schoolwork to small projects around the house. I felt pretty productive because there are things I had not really gotten to since I moved into the house. It is hard to believe that it has been almost two years since I moved to Lightstreet. I am pretty content with my dwelling at the moment. It was nice to have my niece there last week, as noted in my previous post. I actually grilled out yesterday and had dinner guests. It was a great evening, in spite of the cancellation of one, who, ironically, was the person who set it up from the outset. It taught be more the differences in people. I am always amazed by those differences, regardless of genetics. When my three eldest nephews and niece (two and one) were small, I babysat them a lot after my brother passed away. I was always astounded by how different they were. In spite of the same genetics, they were profoundly different in their personalities; how they managed their issues; and what they deemed important. To this day that remains as true as it was back then. It is simply the truth. I learned that lesson again this weekend.

During the next week, I have to put together my tenure statement and packet. I have been working on it and I have all my documentation in a pretty organized fashion. Over the next couple days, I need to write and tabulate, collate and whatever other kinds of “ates” I can manage. I am always stumped by the anxiety that comes with these sort of tasks. You know that other people have survived it because they are tenured; they are still here. However, I never imagine that I am going to survive this next gauntlet. I have survived everyone (with one exception or maybe two -Yikes, I better not start counting those!!) and I am still going. It is merely making sure that I manage things in a timely and orderly manner, but that is the secret to life in general. Except, it is not really a secret, though I am not sure one might believe that when they look at what some people do.

The title of the posting is a reminder that these next four weeks that should be my mantra “organization and timeliness”. I know that I have a propensity for that from the outset, but there are times I am certainly not as effective of efficient as I could be. This is certainly not a time for any inefficiency or procrastination . . . and before you say that this is procrastination, it actually clears my head and gets my fingers (which are hurting because of two small cuts on the very tips, which makes typing a pain) moving. I have learned that doing this writing gets the things rattling around in my head out of my head and that makes room for other things. So now to the other things.

Thanks for reading, as always.

Dr. Martin

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