Tuesday, June 26, 2007

You might think that when left to my own devices, with nothing in particular to wake up for, that I might develop a summer habit of sleeping in. Nope, my schedule has been set to “random”. I woke up at 3:30 (a.m.) after a very restful slumber and am now up for the foreseeable future. I’ll go get breakfast in a bit at some all night place, probably Uncle Bill’s. The up side is that if (when) I need a nap later I don’t exactly have to clear my schedule. You should consider teaching as a career, there are definite perks.

I suppose house worries are partly to blame for my early morning consciousness. Worry isn’t exactly the right word, as I am very excited to become a home owner. We close on this house in six days. No, worry is exactly the right word. To say that I have a lot going on right now would be to traffic in gross understatement. New job in the fall, new house next week, baby on the way, less than a year married: that’s a full plate. All of these things are shifting my identity somewhat. I am not overwhelmed by the changes, but I am definitely whelmed.

As a side note I had to take a break in writing this to research the etymology of “whelm”. You’ll be happy to know that it has come to us across the gulf of time from Middle English whelman (to overturn) and Old English hwelfan (which meant “to cover over”). The modern meaning has gained association with submergence in water in particular. If you’re a general word and you want to survive, my advice is that you should develop specific associations as fast as possible so that subtlety and specificity of meaning can carry you forward as the language evolves.

It’s interesting that we don’t say whelmed anymore, but we do say overwhelmed to convey the sense that we are drowning in stressors, that the stressors have crested the dam. All language is in a sense metaphorical, a comparison between world and idea without the use of like or as, but some words really go the extra metaphorical mile. I’ve known several poets who have a preference for the Old English terminology as the Latinate words have a precision that can be more clinical than poetic. I don’t agree with them, but I can appreciate the argument.

Anyway, I am very excited at the prospect of getting an office in which to putter. I don’t have an office at my new school and my classrooms will be shared, so having a home office is essential. We’ve been packing our books and are up to fifteen boxes. We have quite a few books to go and are thus contemplating hiring movers. Jes can’t lift more than thirty pounds as part of the standard pregnancy cautions; so as the prospect of moving all our crap falls to me, I am thinking that a little splurging on movers might be in order. When you have as much stuff as we do, beer and pizza for the friends doesn’t exactly cover it. One up side to our situation is that we are only moving five minutes away and essentially have the whole month of July to move. Maybe several beers and several pizzas will get the job done, even if I am just buying them for myself.


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