The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Response to Unknown & More


A busy day ahead for me today in terms of some more of the cleaning and reorganizing of my bigger laboratory room.  Even though cleaning and organizing is NOT a favorite task of mine, I think I will be able to have a wonderfully rejuvenated space here when I am eventually finished.   The lab has been in its prior configuration for the better part of two decades (since my prior refresh) and it will benefit from a modicum of purging of some things and reorganizing others.  Some facets of my research equipment will find more space in this rendering, whereas other research equipment will be moved and shifted to less important positions in the lab as well.  The organizational schemata I imagine in my mind for how it will be when finished, will give me and my students more elbow room for the equipment we use most frequently and also more clean, unencumbered areas for creative development of new research tests/designs.  I doubt I will be able to finish all I envision in this one day, but I think I will be able to put a sizable dent in the project.   

I should also do some grading, but I am feeling more like moving around than sitting at my desk today, so I may postpone some of the reading/grading that I need to do until another day.  Hah.... it is fairly easy for me to find just about ANYTHING to do that is more enjoyable than reading some of these papers.  Unfortunately, while the crop of students I have this Summer is generally very active and attentive and willing to learn... and they are doing well for the most part in terms of learning CONTENT, they are collectively suffering from what may be called "pandemic prose syndrome".... their writing is rather atrocious.  I have had to use an ocean of red ink to try to show some of them a form of how standard grammar should look.  Fortunately, as this is a science class, there are only TWO papers.  I believe I would be despondent if I were an English professor and had something akin to one-to-two papers a WEEK to grade, of this caliber.  

Other items:

  • It is SO MUCH easier for me to roust myself out of bed early on a day that I DO NOT have a timed deadline for arriving at the U.  I got up and hit the trail today at 4:52am and ran 13.1 miles (~21 km) this morning, and was still then able to get ready and get to the U and arrived at 7:55am.  But, yesterday.... when I HAD TO be at the U before my 8am class, I hemmed and hawed about getting out of bed.  I also had my first run of 2022 in "Sasquatch" mode (running without a shirt.... scaring damn near every person and other animal I would pass with my furry countenance).  Fortunately, at 5 am, there were only a few squirrels that I passed today.
  • My friend who goes by "Unknown" wrote in the comments yesterday that he "didn't think it would be right" to describe his experience with "Peter's Pleasure" pipe tobacco because he felt it would "deepen my internal conflict".  I would actually like to ask him to reconsider.  I think his describing his own impressions would NOT add to my conundrum in any sense.  I believe that if he were to describe how he found the leaf to be, that it would allow me to experience a modicum of either its wonderful beauty or conversely his disappointment if the leaf is not as amazing as it is described.  I do not know if Unknown has actually received the pipe tobacco yet or is still waiting for his order to arrive, but I sincerely hope he will choose to describe his impressions of it in robust detail so I may at least experience it vicariously. 
  • Last night, in the cool of the basement, I began to tear down an old, decrepit, grenadilla wood, five-piece alto clarinet I acquired more than a year-and-a-half ago.  It was in rough shape when I got the beast, but I am confident, that with patience, I am going to get it back to its former glory.  I am also trying to learn more of its history and precise age.  But, with the lower woodwinds, that is not always an easy task.  But, I shall persevere.  I tested one key that I removed already, and it is polishing beautifully, and the ancient, brittle pad on the key was removed easily and a new leather pad installed.  
  • It DID reach 100 yesterday, and it may do so again today! I suspect this will be wonderful for the garden.  
  • Oh, Unknown also suggested that I may want to trim my beard because of the heat.  My wife suggested the same thing.  However, for me, the heavier facial fur is helpful to protect my face from the sun, and truthfully.... the bushier I let it grow, it feels more cool in the Summer and more warm in the Winter.  So, I cannot see any benefit to trimming it down to its old, shorter length. 


Blogger Pat M. said...

I've heard it said that organizing one's surroundings can be a big help toward organizing one's interior life. Some people thrive on chaotic messes and piles of stuff, but others take comfort in knowing that everything has its place, and that everything is in its place.

Which leads to the obvious question, Professor: Are you the "pipes laying about everywhere" sort of fellow, or do you take the "each pipe has its own unique place in one particular rack" approach? I have known individuals who take the former approach, as well as others who take the latter. And I can see the benefits of each.

Wednesday, 22 June, 2022  
Blogger PipeTobacco said...

Organizing things is not a natural attribute I possess….. but is something I have worked to try to become. When the house or the lab or my office is orderly and tidy….. I do know I feel much calmer and happier.

In regard to pipes….. I am actually a MIX of both types…. I have my “better” or “more special” pipes neatly organized in racks, but, the general, “workhorse” pipes have always been scattered about everywhere…. at home, at my offices, in my labs, in my garage, and in vehicles.

Wednesday, 22 June, 2022  
Blogger Margaret said...

Organizing an area is difficult to get started on but gives one such a sense of accomplishment afterward. Pandemic Prose Syndrome--my older daughter has been complaining about that for the past few years. The writing at the college level is more like junior high or even grade school. Sasquatch running made me laugh. I don't get to do that! LOL

Wednesday, 22 June, 2022  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I don’t have anything particular to observe, but I do hope that you and your beard endure the heat well.

Wednesday, 22 June, 2022  
Blogger PipeTobacco said...

The more humid it gets…. The denser the curls get.

Wednesday, 22 June, 2022  
Blogger peppylady (Dora) said...

They're all sort of things on organizing a home. Now I wonder are they such thing for labs.
Coffee is on and stay safe

Wednesday, 22 June, 2022  

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