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, March 22, 2023


I have been away.  It has been difficult.  Life feels like I am mired in quicksand.  Not much time, so a brief list of bullets.  I apologize if some of this may be redundant.  I did not check what I last wrote:

  • MIL acquired Covid.  She recently came out of isolation.  During isolation was difficult because of her dementia. Fortunately, her Covid symptoms stayed mild. 
  • I know I already mentioned the garage door opener breakage.  That took a lot of wind out of my energy as well.
  • SIL was hospitalized.  She had a foot infection.  The clinicians said it had spread to a bone, and part of her foot had to be amputated.  The infection is related to the neural and vascular decline in her extremities due to poorly regulated diabetes.  The amputation was very traumatic for her and for all of us, especially my wife.  My SIL is home now and recuperating as best as she can.
  • Spent most every day and evening last week (other than class, hospital visits, limited sleep, 6:00am running, and Mass) working well into the post-midnight timeframe with students in order to get them prepared for this past weekend's research talks they were to give.  
  • Went to the Conference (and the Executive Board Meeting of the Conference).  Chaired my section and listened to a lot of research talks, including my student's talks (some of which were in my section, a few in other sections of the conference).  I had to apologize and scurry to another building twice during my section to go hear my own student's talks.  I am fortunate that the vice-chair of my section actually attended the afternoon session this year (in the past, she has been rather spotty about attending).  So, when I had to scurry away, she took over for those brief periods.
  • The conference was ~4.5 hours away by vehicle.  That meant I did a numbing 9 hours of driving in the span of a few days.  I am not fond of long-distance driving..... especially since I have been refraining from my pipe.  
  • Our priest caused a "kerfuffle" at Mass.  We have a variety of folks who read the first and second readings at Mass.  We have laypeople do this, and the Priest reads the Gospel reading prior to his Homily.  Our priest wanted an especially long reading of the "blind man" passages this past weekend and wanted to have this Gospel read with voices of Narrator, Blind Man, and Christ.  Normally when this happens (usually near major Church holidays), the readers of the first and second readings divide the Gospel's narrator part and the Blind Man part (or other part if it is a different reading) and the Priest reads the portion where Christ speaks. One lady who is  a regular reader was one of the people designated for reading the first reading and another lady the second.  But, Father spoke to his secretary and asked her to tell ME that he SPECIFICALLY wanted ME to read the part of the Blind Man.  He wanted a deep, resonate, male voice for that part.  The secretary texted me that information.   However, one of the two lady's who was set to read then non-Gospel readings is a person who is a little bit "bossy" and she decided that SHE and the other non-Gospel reader would decide which of THEM would read the part of the Blind Man.  Honestly, it made no difference to me, so I said.... "Sure."  I knew it would keep the peace as I know how rather grumpy this one person gets if her idea is not adopted.  It was not any big deal to me.  Father's secretary heard our conversation and went to let our Priest know of the change.  Father was NOT happy.  He came to me and said that he wanted ME to read (for the reason I stated above) and that he was going to go and talk with the "bossy" lady.  I actually asked him to NOT do this, as I knew it would cause her to get actually grumpy.  But, he was insistent.  He went over and talked to her, and she WAS grumpy.  I am not sure if she is grumpy at ME or our Priest, or BOTH.  I will see how it goes this weekend.  I am hoping she is not irate at me.  I was not involved in this, other than to read the part Father had asked.  
  • The meeting preparation put me behind in my grading of exams. I am now working late, late into the night to get those caught back up too.  
  • During this time, we had TWO unfortunate challenges with the person I can no longer talk about here as well, which made things even more stressed.  
  • NOW, as of this morning, my BIL was admitted to the hospital today.  Significant blood in the stool.  Stool is pitch black, suggesting an upper gastrointestinal cause.  He is scheduled for an upper GI and a lower GI tomorrow.  He is in significant, unremitting pain.  His abdomen is distended as if he were carrying a pregnancy.  CT scans show no blockages.

I am tired of stress.  I am tired of worry and anxiety.  I am tired from less sleep than usual, and usually I am under-rested.  The above is a brief glimpse into my life since I was here last.



Blogger peppylady (Dora) said...

Sorry about your SIL. Wishing her a speedy recovery.
Coffee is on and stay safe.

Wednesday, 22 March, 2023  
Blogger Unknown said...

Am I misreading, Professor, or do you have a deep distaste for even the most necessary and helpful of confrontations? From the bossy woman who is spoiling your mood at Mass, to 'she who must not be named' you seem to show a tendency to sacrifice your own inner peace in order to avoid difficult conversations. Which means that you bottle up your emotions and let them stew and fester, instead of releasing them healthily so you can then relax and move forward.

We both know that what you REALLY need is a pipe. But that's a stale subject by now. I empathize with the stresses you are facing, but it's clear that at least some of those stresses are yours by choice, by not dealing with the root causes of the stress. Still, I hope and pray you will make the best of it!

Thursday, 23 March, 2023  
Blogger Margaret said...

I'm so sorry for all this stress, PT. It feels like piling on. I too am dealing with some unpleasant family issues and an estrangement between my two daughters. Breaks my heart. :( Hope that the medical issues can be figured out and treated.

Thursday, 23 March, 2023  

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