Saturday, April 14, 2007

I have a blogwalk pattern in which I move through the blogs in my neighborhood, jumping from one to the next using their links. As part of my effort to re-enter my life – from which I have been absent owing to the thirteen hours a day that I either spend on the road or teaching in another city – I have been updating my links and such. This is the internet equivalent of dusting and then inviting people over.

I’ve deleted a few people who have dropped off the planet. Death-in-the-afternoon decided that blogging no longer fit with her post Yale Law School life. Jane Dark has had some ongoing problems making a radical break from an abusive family and dropped her blog, for those and other reasons. Neither of them had posted for months and I hardly noticed as my posting patterns were much the same.

Anyway, I am getting back into posting as part of this resolution/realization that I need to be–here–now (Baba Ram Das reference rather than the Oasis album/song). I wrote the other day about adding Mike and Christie. Today I added Ben and Tempe. I am eliminating the middle steps in my blogwalking and starting the process of reconnection with my St. Louis life.

The be-here-now thing is a philosophy that I’ve returned to again and again. As a verbal/intellectual (terms used loosely) guy, I can live in my head and in abstractions. It can take an effort sometimes to show up where my body happens to be. I started thinking about the philosophy of be-here-now in relation to my grading and procrastination habits. I can lecture on anything or facilitate discussions or group activities with ease. I have no trouble quickly making lesson plans and developing appropriate assignments. However, when it comes to sitting down and grading sixty freshman worksheets on parallel sentence structure, I’d rather shoot myself.

As a consequence of this resistance, I would let work build up and then do these marathon grading sessions that make a root canal seem preferable. My be-here-now self-improvement plan began with an attempt to get all of my grading done at work, so that when I was home I was free to be home. I generally wouldn’t grade at home anyway, but I would put a lot on energy and thought into thinking about what I should be grading, such that even though my body was at home, my mind was still at work: not a good lifestyle for newlyweds with a baby on the way.

This is slightly related: I was thinking about adding a baby-ga-ga pregnancy ticker to the sidebar, but it looked really odd and was simultaneously sweet and sort of creepy. I’ll post it in a regular post and you can tell me what you think of it. It lets people know based on the due date what is most likely happening developmentally at that point in the pregnancy.

Anyway, I’ve stopped bring work home with me and I’ve been doing a much better job of getting it all done there. Sadly, soon there will be no there, there for me. With a job change immanent, I am saying my goodbyes to a student population, coworkers, and town that I’ve come to love. I need to remember to bring these new habits with me when my job is closer so that I don’t fall into the same old pattern. Ah well, be-here-now… be-somewhere-else-later… be-nowhere eventually.


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