Feliz Pascua

Scan 177

Buenos días del restaurant de Bloomsburg Diner.

Me levanté un poco más tarde de lo habitual porque me quedé despierto y vi el baloncesto Wisconsin-Kentucky juego. Anoche Jerry y Julye acercó a cenar y tuvimos un tiempo maravilloso. Pronto iré a conducir a Nueva Jersey, a las afueras de la ciudad a ver a mi cuñada y a la familia y cenar con ellos. Será la primera vez que realmente he ido por ahí, así que creo que estará bien. Me recuerda a los domingos de Pascua en el pasado cuando era pastor de una parroquia. Al final de la semana Santa, con todos los servicios, siempre estaba agotado. A finales de los servicios el domingo de Pascua normalmente estaba completamente incapaz de pensar o procesar nada. . . .

It is hard to believe that another four days have gone by and I am trying to manage finishing this post again.  The week is totally out of hand. I had a pretty tough night and then had tests run again this morning.  I am honestly not sure what to expect for the CT scan and the other blood work this time around. If I am honest with myself, I know that I am managing things pretty well, but I do not feel that I am making as much progress as I would like. I am in my office until wee hours and back early, but it seems that is what the end of every semester and even more so every Spring demands. Yesterday I think I probably ripped into a student worse than I have every done before. He is such a capable and fundamentally good person, but he is, by his own admission, incredibly lazy. It has shown up in so many ways. What is so different for students now is what it cost them to fail their courses or merely choose to be average when there are 15 million undergraduates out there. It is sort of mind boggling. I did follow up with someone else on that situation, so hopefully together we can get something accomplished. It is actually a Monday and a week and a day after I began this posting and again I am languishing trying to complete it. It has been the story of my life over the last weeks and couple of months.

As noted a couple of weeks ago I went to see my friend, Peter. I got a text on Friday and I spoke with Stephanie on Saturday and the battle with ALS seems to be in the last days. This is both sad and frightening to me. It restates to me with such ferocity, “You are mortal; you are fragile; there are no promises!” It screams with a roaring definitude, “Pay attention; be gracious; make a difference!” I reminds me again of the profound mortality we face daily, with little or no recognition. As I ponder his imminent passing, my eyes once again fill with tears because I am staring headlong into the passing of a person who has been a friend and a significant part of my entire life. We have grown up like most; foolishness and a sense of immortality characterized some of our earlier shenanigans. When we were together a couple of weeks ago, we laughed and cried as we reminisced about some of those events. We spoke about what he hoped to accomplish before he passed, but I am not sure that either of us believed it might be within the next weeks. Now I feel like I am waiting for the call or the text to inform me that a childhood friend, a life-long friend, a father, an amazing musician, is no longer part of this world. It make my entire body feel like it is experiencing something outside my body.

This is one of the things that matters to me as I write this. I want to from a distance provide as much support as I can because I have a job here to accomplish. Today I think I am heading into another all-nighter. It is not my preference, but it is a necessity of my life at this point. It is what I need to do to provide my students with the feedback and information they need to manage the end of the semester as successfully as possible. It was interesting to me that today on Facebook, I was pondering the passing of another and had flown back to Wisconsin to manage that time. It was a rather cute moment because Melissa was staying at the house and keeping an eye on things and could not figure out how to unlock a door to get her pizza. I wish I could have been in the corner to see that. I am sure she is quite glad that was not the case. It was a crazy weekend because I was across the country in only three days and back. It reminds me of how life changes in so many ways, and sometime so amazingly quickly. It is only four months into the new year and already there are significant changes in my life. Most of that has been in the loss of people. I will write more about that again, but now I am thinking about the end of the year. I again have students that I have known since they were summer freshman and are now graduating. It is quite stunning if you consider the differences they have made and the growth they have gone through in this past four years. It is also a bit gratifying to see those changes.

We are now at that point where no one can procrastinate; it matters not which side of the blank stare you are on. I need to merely focus and plug away. I both dread and love this time of year. It is the time when my office is full of students and the requests for more time seem unending. This past week I had a couple of student situations that both surprised and dismayed me. I wonder how it is that some students are so recalcitrant about doing their work in a reasonable manner. I had a student this week tell me that going to the writing center (paraphrased) a ridiculous waste of his time. I was almost dumbfounded. Not so much that he thought such a think, but that he had the audacity to say such a thing in class. It is not often that I am left speechless. I was speaking with my niece at Easter time and she is a second grade teacher and she noted that even the change of respect levels at that age is noticeably different. What is it that has caused us as people who were raised to be polite have allowed our sons and daughters to be less than polite. How did it happen that we have abdicated our responsibilities as parents and put it on the back of the teachers or school system. The other day at the diner one of the regulars told me it was my job to teach my students to be better behaved. I told him I had no such obligation. He then noted that the president of the university should do more about controlling things like Block Party, which is coming soon. Again, while there might have been some jest in what he was saying there was enough of reality in those comments that I have been pondering them ever since. Since when did it become a need for me to put something about decorum and behavior in my syllabus. Really?? I could write an entire posting on that.

This past two weeks I have begun to play trivia on my phone. It is a way to relax for me and it is still something that stimulates my mind. I have learned that not having a television for the most part of 15 years has certainly had a consequence on my entertainment category. Otherwise I do quite well. I think it is because I have so many interests, but that has always been a blessing and a curse. I always say that having an interest has never been a problem, but focusing it has been.  Well, I am going to run. I do hope those who see where this post began had a great holiday and I hope your spring is going well.

Until next time.

Dr. Martin

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