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.

Friday, August 11, 2023

This & This & This... Uh


Some thoughts related to recent comments:

Margaret and AnvilCloud both responded to my discussion of "Oppenheimer," the movie....

  • I agree with Margaret about the great acting... and that it is hard to NOT "see" Matt Damon as "Matt Damon".... even though I still thought he did an excellent job.
  • I also actually agree with AnvilCloud.... I did NOT really WANT to see this movie.  It sounded long, at three hours and it was a subject I was already fairly knowledgeable about.  I went primairly because several in my family DID want to see it.... and I was both impressed with the film, and I did enjoy the film quite a bit.  
  • It is interesting, this seeing of a movie I had not really desired seeing also occurred when I went with the family to see both "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" and its sequel "Spider-Man" Across the Spider-Verse".  I GENERALLY do NOT like comic book movies of any sort.... but, I can say I am a "bit" of a convert to this particular Spider-Man franchise pair of flims.  They were both (in my opinion) more poignant and philosophical.... and INTERESTING than any other comic book movie I have been dragged into seeing.  The only other "comic book" movie I have actually enjoyed was the delightfully satirical "Lego Batman" movie.  

Margaret, Anvilcloud, and Liz all commented relative to my "Trump" discussion.....

  • The only point I wanted to be sure to clarify is that I ONLY hope for Trump to be the nominee or a 3rd Party candidate..... because.... I hope for a continuation of a Democratic President following the next election.  

In my eyeglasses discussion, Pat, Anvilcloud, and Margaret commented..... 

  • Pat has suggested I SHOULD arrange an occasional trip to the beloved tobacco shop that is ~45 minutes from here.  I am very seriously contemplating doing so.  It would be a wonderful and delightful experience in all regards.  Except..... I am truthfully rather nervous that it could/will easily devolve into a pattern I will very much want to repeat at intervals considerably shorter than several months.  It is very traditional in all regards and is truthfully the only remaining REAL pipe tobacco shop within a 2-3 hour drive of here.  The truly local one that used to be in my close proximity closed perhaps 7 years or so ago, and was reopened as a shop that caters to folks who vape, and folks who indulge in cannabis.  
  • Pat also asked about my having had tried "half-rimmed" oval glasses.  Indeed I have.... since my prescription has not changed for a number of years, I do have a pair that is "half-rimmed".  However, I wear them only sporadically, as they "feel" very fragile to me.... with a simple fishing line holding the underside of the lens in place.  I can be rather rough on my glasses when I get into various activities, so I only wear the "half rimmed" spectacles on special (read as rather formal, quiet dinners and other similar functions) occasions.  The new ovals I have ordered are metal all-around and are (fingers crossed) going to be robust and hearty so I can wear them quite often.  
  • AnvilCloud commented that it seemed I did not like being alone at all.  In some ways this is true.  During the workday (in which I think about as a combination of my dawn runs and my U work).... I very much enjoy the periods of time where I have solitude and can be alone to think and reason through things.  But, by the end of the workday, I WANT to be with my loving wife.  Whether that is swimming together, preparing dinner, eating, or simply watching television....I very much want and crave her to be at my side.  Having an evening alone at home.... feels.... limited....  feels.... boring.... feels.... wasteful even.... and usually ends up with me either retiring to sleep early.... or doing U work on the computer.... neither of which is "exciting".    I guess I could try to do something "fun"..... play more on my instruments, or do more instrument repair work, or something of that sort.  In the past, I have often watched reruns of my favorite classics "Cannon" or "Manix" or "Mod Squad".... and that is enjoyable.... but that somehow feels "wasteful".  Sometimes I would have a drink or two.... and that too is enjoyable.... but without a pipe, seems uneventful.... or worse.... a drink or two could potentially wear away my fragile resolve just enough that I would pick up a pipe wantonly at home.  
  • Margaret mentioned rimless glasses.  I admit they do look INTERESTING and I have never had them before.... but I worry they would be just too damn fragile for my rather "heavy-handed" use and demeanor with my glasses.  I suspect they would look more akin to a pretzel in a manner of a few days.  

And, finally for today's effort, I refer back to the discussion I had about my cataracts and AnvilCloud, Margaret, and PeppyLady commented...

  • Yes, as we age the risk of cataracts dramatically increases.  And, even though I KNOW and even extensively LECTURE about cataracts and cataract surgeries in two of my courses.... and focus (pun.... hah!) on how simple and successful the cataract surgeries are..... I am awfully damn glad my cataracts are staying stable and are still (thank God) below any sort of level to impinge visual light gathering or acuity.   And, I have to also admit that even the IDEA of actually HAVING cataract surgery IS rather terrifying to me.  If I have to have this occur in the future.... I know that I will be beside myself with fear that I could be one of the extremely, EXTREMELY rare cases where a problem occurs.... and I already have imagined in a nightmare one time the horrible and virtually IMPOSSIBLE possibility of my eye literally "collapsing" during surgery and having to be removed.  I remember in the dream having to wear an eyepatch afterwards and I remember waking up in terror.  Stupid, I know..... but it was a horrible dream.  

What else?

  • Hoofed out 6.3 miles (just a smidge over 10 km) this morning to complete my 50+ miles (~81 km) for the week.  It was a short enough run that I did not get far into the trail where I normally see the various creatures... well, other than a few bunnies.  
  • As I was running, I was thinking that I should try harder to be more consistent in how I organize my workday this Fall.  Typically, other than my mandatory office hours and the scheduled teaching hours, I would have the rest of the day be a sort of "ebb-and-flow" experience of simply doing whatever seemed most "urgent".  I am thinking that I should map out a particular time each week for several repetitive tasks that will make them more formalized.  Things like.... a particular day and time when I update our damnable electronic classrooms (aka "Learning Management Systems" with new stuff each week..... a continuation of the adopted habit from this Summer of checking e-mail at ONE prescribed time each day and then ignoring it (I have done this, perhaps 75% of the time the last two months.... and when I do it... it has been wonderful.).... a particular day and time each week to always GRADE papers and exams.... a particular day and time each week to write non-email correspondence (more formal letters, letters of recommendation, etc)... a particular time each week to "explore" the literature for grant writing purposes and research ideas.... etc.  I believe that if I could develop more consistency, it would improve my life and would improve my ability to get things needed..... DONE more.....readily.  And.... ultimately, I keep imagining that it may also give me ultimately more free time as well.... but, perhaps that last part is only a pipe dream.


Blogger Pat M. said...

Thinking of the upcoming semester workflow, have you made any decisions about some kind of automated email reply to help students (and others) have an accurate expectation regarding your response time? Simply knowing, for example, that you don't need to reply same-day to any emails that arrive after 9am could be a big pressure release.

Even if you don't set up an automated reply, I imagine you could include in your class syllabus a statement making clear your email-handling policy. That could free you to spend discretionary longer blocks of time on other priorities.

In the meantime, might there be some very responsible graduate student available who could help you by taking on some of your undergraduate-facing duties -- LMS updates, routine grading, etc.?

And as far as establishing a routine, have you considered setting aside a little bit of time daily to play your instruments? Perhaps even 10 minutes of play could help lift and bolster your mood for the remainder of the day.

I hope you enjoy your weekend, Professor, and that you make some progress in your search for a new permanent parish home!

Friday, 11 August, 2023  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

You do find appropriate graphics to add. It's your thing. I never think of doing this although I suppose on occasion something falls into my lap.

Friday, 11 August, 2023  
Blogger Margaret said...

A pipe dream! I liked that last sentence; it made me smile. Thank you for clarifying and responding to our comments; I appreciate the follow up very much.

Friday, 11 August, 2023  
Blogger jenny_o said...

Just dropping in to let you know (if you did not already) that Geo. from Trainride of the Enigmas posted today :)

And it appears I missed some good posts here! I do understand your worry about cataract surgery. For me the decision was made easier by knowing they would do only one at a time, and by the fact that I was having so much eyestrain I just needed something done. You might find that discomfort or downright disability in seeing will eventually change the balance of pros and cons for you.

Sunday, 13 August, 2023  

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