Mi Terquedad

Buenas Días,

Es 3:30 y la lavadora y secadora son una vez más en uso. Es probable que lo qui quiero y lo que quiere mi cuerpo están en desacuerdo. Llamé un doctor antes de ayer y era capaz de conseguir una cita el lunes. Parece que otra serie de pruebas sanguíneas están en orden. También continúo perder peso. La semana pasada estaba perdido alrededor de cuatro libras. Una especie de había mantenido por casi 2 meses, fluctuando sobre 2-3 hacia arriba o hacia abajo, pero lo hemos codazo nuevos orificios en las correas.

Okay, writing that paragraph has taken me about a half hour. Unfortunately, I have not been able to work on my Spanish as much as I would like. One of the classes I am teaching this semester is a Bible as Literature class. It is actually one of the favorite classes I have the opportunity to teach. Some of that is because it ałlows me to use significant pieces from my humanities classes that I took as a freshman and sophomore at Dana College. I still have all those study guides and my notes from that three semesters. I remember taking the Oxford Entrance Exam at the end of that series of courses and scoring well enough that Dr. Nielsen said I would be “offered a chair”. Those were the words he used. I was stunned to actually hear that a person who had only had a 2.8 GPA out of high school could be considered for such an opportunity. Back to the class, perhaps some of the affinity for this class is because of the phenomenal experience I had my first semester here at Bloomsburg. That group of about 10 students were not the smartest (a couple of them were), but they created such an amazing learning atmosphere together. It was a three hour class and the time flew by. Yesterday in class I had one of the same things occur in the group as happened many evenings that first year.

I teach the class with higher expectations than a 200 level course and the department has encouraged me to do so. That being said, the course has been observed (with the exception of my FYW classes, which is half my load) more than any other class. One comment that I have most appreciated was that I am able to take complex material and present it in a way that students are able to grasp it readily (evaluation 2011). Yes, I know I cited, but I tell my students they must do it, so I must set an example. We were considering the inter-testamental period in scripture (the deuterocanonical books) and I was providing the corresponding secular history. It is the time from about 750BCE up until 100AD or so. This is the time in which Rome was found and becomes the empire and the period called Pax Romana existed. Pax Romana is actually longer, but I did not cover all of that. However, as I explained this period I got peppered with questions about a variety of things and as I provided answers without looking at notes, one student said, ” how do you know all of this and you can just remember it?” Before I could answer another student, one who has been in a previous course with me, chimed in, “You have no idea how much stuff he has in that gray head.” The class burst into laughter and I turned about 15 different shades of red. There are about 17 students left in the class. I began with about 23 (5 or 6 dropped when they saw the syllabus). Those left are an interesting combination of personalities and backgrounds. There are 5 or 6 who are members of CRU and they actually watch the movie on their own because they have CRU on Thursdays. The remaining 8 who were watching the second movie last night got to come to my house and watch it (The movie was Godspell and the earlier one was the Ten Commandments.). As we talked about the movie from the 70s, their comments were interesting, engaging and even amusing. The movie is 20 years before they were born and when I first saw it I was about their age.

It is now Sunday morning and I am trying to get a great deal accomplished this next week. On Friday evening, I had an almost three hour conversation with Melissa and her father. That conversation was difficult, but significant. It was also another experience I can add to the list of reasons that I am blessed to be considered part of their family. The last thing I said to Sr. Galán before I left that night, while standing outside, was I am both blessed and petrified by their love for me. Let me provide this overview of the conversation (the conversation was Friday and I spent the Saturday, in NYC , with Sr. Galán. I had also written part of this before on my iPad, but over-rode it with my iPhone, so I am re-composing). In the 6 weeks since school has begun, both Melissa and I have been confronted with the demands of the semester. I will only write about my side of this at this point. While there were hopes, and from my perspective a commitment to try to check in with one another that did not occur as I had hoped or believed we (and I use the first person plural here intentionally) intended. Then, as I have a penchant for doing, took that more personally than I should. The typical consequence for me then is to be hurt. I am much more fragile than most realize. If I look at the bigger picture that hurt caused me to react in a way I felt I could hoping to get out what I needed and keep my head on somewhat straight. As you who read know. That was to write. However, words written in hurt, words written while feeling hurt, can be problematic for two reasons. First, the hurt might cloud what you actually heard and as a consequence, what you write is not as accurate as you might believe it to be. Second, as a larger and more significant consequence, it could cause, and I have created, a larger difficulty.

During the conversation,I am not sure Melissa and I accomplished as much as we might have hoped. At least that is my perception. I cannot and should not speak for her. Her father listened intentionally, thoughtfully and carefully. After what I felt was more of an argument than a conversation between Melissa and me, her father asked to interject. What he shared next on a variety of points was insightful, helpful, and striking. As has been the result on more than one occasion, it ended up with me in tears. I am well aware of his ability to see the heart of people. I am always stunned when he demonstrates that ability. He again noted my importance to their family. He also posited that he does not believe that Melissa’s positions or descriptions were meant to be hurtful or offend me. I must admit that her decisions about attending the conference were based on incomplete knowledge of a situation and I cannot hold her accountable for a choice that was made with the information she had at the time. She has never been accepted, nor slated to present at a national (actually international) conference. Nor, like 99% of undergraduates, her research is not subjected to things like IRB approval. She has a ton of stuff on her plate and her decisions were made primarily in response to that. Long story short: we are committed to the paper and co-presenting. Her willingness to follow through on that, realizing the consequence for me, is something for which I am grateful. I also understand the larger consequence of the past couple weeks and for the difficulties or harm I have caused a relationship I so value, I offer this public (at least in this venue) apology. As I told her father yesterday I would do, I have gone back and edited blogs and revised entries composed over these past weeks if it was shown that I mistakenly wrote something. At this point, we will work professionally to create a strong and scholarly presentation. I think the paper and the research will be revealing to us both. I can say as I have looked through the the first 350 pages of data, they demonstrate our both taking a chance and trusting what was there from the outset. It is ironic that in the course of a couple weeks I have so damaged that. For that, again I apologize. I should note that I believe the damage is because I let my emotions speak for me more than my brain. My pain allowed me to be stupid, to say things I shouldn’t of said. I would also note that such an occurrence seems to take place when I feel hurt or rejected. When I have invested so much of who I am in that situation. I think a regular reading of my blog will reveal that flaw in me also. The consequence for me is that I’m not as unconditional as so I would like to believe. I’m sorry for that failing. I understand it is my humanness, but I still can strive to do better. Mr. Galán said it is due to something much bigger. As often seems to be the case with both he and Melissa, they are correct.

While I have a meeting yet tonight for a second trip to NYC within a week, I am also headed to the Fog and Flame to continue to work on this research and do some grading. I am also meeting two students who I had in class as summer freshmen, and they are graduating this semester. We are going out to dinner. They are so enjoyable individually and together is merely exponentially better. As I noted in passing, I went to see the musical the Last Ship yesterday. It was stunning and there are not enough positive adjectives to describe it. At one point, I was crying as I watched. There was no weak performances by anyone in the company. Every element of the musical was simply phenomenal. My two friends are going next week. I am so excited for them to see it.

Well, as I noted, and was actually one of the earlier exchanges in the data being analyzed, and as noted in the title, I am stubborn. That can have consequences. My stubbornness and pride kept me from loving and caring the way I have been loved and cared for. I let both Melissa and her family down. I should note that is my assessment. They, in fact, demonstrated that their love is more profound than I am often able to comprehend. In spite of my feelings, my failings, they still love me. All I have created for myself is a difficulty. I need to be better. Ironically the things that I said were done to me, instead I did. Lately I have been more self-centered and selfish than I realized. I have read through our texts I realize the amazing relationship that has been created. I saw it as a gift from the beginning and so it is. It is precious and fragile, yet enduring. The Galán family has changed my life. They have helped me to grow, to trust, to love. I am truly blessed by their presence and I pray that I have not lost too much nor damaged something so precious that it is beyond repair. Time will tell.

Thank you for reading,

An imperfect Dr. Martin

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