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.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The Lost..... is Found

It is that time in the semester that things get even more busy than usual. Only a few weeks until the end of the semester and  of the primary academic year means that in addition to:

  • regular teaching
  • regular research
  • regular exams
  • regular service

There are a whole helluva lot of additional "add-ons" that permeate all that I have to do:

  • preparing FINAL EXAMS which (at least in all my classes) are CUMULATIVE across the entiretly of the semester, much to student's chagrin.... but to their ultimate benefit in learning.  
  • all sorts of "pomp-and-circumstance" sorts of events that I unfortunately "need" to attend.... because I have student researchers in damn near every category..... Honors Convocation, Fellowship Award Dinners, Multiple Campus Poster Sessions,  Special Guest Speakers from an annual biological colloquium, Honors College Awards Ceremonies, and of course Graduation itself.  
Plus of course, I have the usual things related to the end of all semesters (not just the one at the end of the regular academic year:
  •  Research progress reports
  • Animal use progress reports
  • Accounting reports for grant funding usages
  • AND.... in the midst of all this I have to mathematically compute grades, finish grading the sh*tl**d of papers I have to grade, 
  • AND.... I have to get my SPRING CLASS (starts mid-May) up to snuff.
  • AND... I have to put out an advertisement in our U's job listings for the undergraduate student worker positions I received some funding for a few weeks ago.
  • AND.... probably more that I am not remembering at the moment, but will likely come back to bite me in the behind.... unless I remember it in a timely fashion.

So.... I am feeling a bit harried (not hairy.... although I am also that (or my wife refers to me as being rather "furry")).  

Easter was generally nice.  Mass, to me, was the highlight.  However, we also hosted as much family as were healthy and able to attend over for dinner.  My SIL is back in the hospital, and has been since a few days before Easter.... due to combined kidney/congestive heart fluid buildup in her body.She *might* be coming home today or tomorrow.  

My oldest daughter also had her birthday at Easter.  We had carrot cake for her cake.  

* * * * *

  • Running is a conundrum at the moment.  I *KNOW* it is the only thing that is keeping me somewhat close to sane at the moment.  But, when the alarm goes off at 5:00am, I curse vehemently under my breath.  I actually feel a sense of hatred about running at the moment when the alarm goes off.  But I have NO OTHER OPTION to fit in my run currently.  If I do not get my miles in BEFORE 8:00am, I have no damn hope of getting in any miles these days, as I work like an indentured servant from that point on until I get home at increasingly later hours during this time.  And, without a working treadmill anymore, I cannot make up miles in the basement, nor is it light enough at night to run outside.  So, I force myself out of bed and curse and curse all the while as I get to the track.  And, the first three miles or so, are usually rather unpleasant, as I want to be back in bed and I continue to curse under my breath.  But, finally as I get to the higher mileage and I feel a bit more relaxed.... partially because my muscles have limbered up.... partially because I am relatively close to being finished... and partially because I know I will have accomplished the damn task for the day and am staying on track (Ha!  Pun was NOT intended, but had me grin.).
  • After running, I feel more settled for the above reasons... and my stress abates a bit.  
  • On Easter Sunday, I had a rather pleasant surprise as well.  I was roaming around the house placing candy filled plastic eggs in several "hiding spots" for several "little people" who were coming to our Easter Dinner.... when I opened our (seldomly used) front closet near the front door.  And.  I found a favorite pipe of mine that had been lost for perhaps roughly 2.5 years!!!!!  It was sitting on the main shelf in the closet!  It was a beautiful Butz-Choquin Ultima Dublin pipe.  It is a beautiful pipe!!!!  It also has been a wonderful smoking pipe!  It looks just like the image at the top of this post.  B-C pipes are French pipes, and I have always loved its artistic, graceful shape and coloring.  Usually I am not particularly fond of diamond shaped shanks, but for this pipe, it is a perfect fit, and the stem is broad and relatively thin, so it is tremendously comfortable between my chompers as well. 
  • I last remember having the pipe perhaps ~2.5 years ago during one of the periods of time where I was carrying around a pipe in my various sport coats as a bit of a "pacifier" during a more pronounced period of cravings.   And, I remember having it and taking it out to my MIL's house  (this is of course, prior to her move to assisted living) which was ~45 minutes or so away,  to hold while I was talking with her. We were both having a glass of Diet Pepsi, when she suggested I "add a bit of flavor"…. which was a phrase my father-in-law often stated when I went to visit him…. to indicate his interest in adding a shot or two of whiskey or bourbon to our regular drinks.  I smiled at my MIL...  and complied with the suggestion.   She, though, (like my wife) is a virtual tee-teetotaler, so she did  not want any added "flavor" but I appreciated (and I think she did too), recalling the memory about my FIL.   When I eventually was on the way home, I stopped at a State Park that was close to where my MIL’s home and walked through the heavily wooded trails for perhaps an hour.  
  • The next time I was wearing a sport coat, I looked around a bit (including all the pockets of my sport coats) for the Butz-Choquin.  I could not find it.  And, I did this on several different occasions over the course of a few months.  Since I never found it during all those times I searched, I grew convinced (and frustrated at myself) that I had lost it... most likely somewhere on one of the trails in the State Park.... thinking it must have fallen out of my pocket.  
  • It makes me very happy to have found this pipe.  When I went to Des Moines on my unfortunately failed pipe adventure, I thought often about my Butz-Choquin and how I wish I would have been able to bring it to Des Moines.  

* * * * *  

Routine things:

  • 10 miles this morning (~16 km)
  • PCS = 8.5.... would be higher, but I don't even really have much time available to day-dream at the moment.  I am simply going from task-to-task, treading water.  


Blogger Margaret said...

What a crazy schedule! I'm glad you had a pleasant Easter though. Mine was completely uneventful.

Tuesday, 11 April, 2023  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

You must be a fast blogger to write all that when you are so busy.

Tuesday, 11 April, 2023  

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