Showing posts with label World. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World. Show all posts

Friday, September 30, 2022

all set to start

 Navaratri celebrations tonight!


"Take homes" (snack boxes and gift bags) and our miniature magic forest "Golu" are ready for guests!

Thursday, September 29, 2022

hard first step

Titled "Out of Reach," this installation really spoke to me. 

It's part of this year's campus-centric Art Prize and the student creators indicate that it's a representation of accessibility issues in our world. 

How many things are impossible because that first step is so insurmountable...

And then looks like procrastination, intractability, or delinquency...

It's a good reminder that I am an elder in this world and can reach out when people don't show up. (Just in case it's because they can't show up.)

Also it seemed so faraway when we postponed the visit in August, but now SD is here! SD is here! SD is here!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

diminishing

Every morning as I wake
swimming with dreams
wrestling with the dark

our world is ready to stack
before me, crisp towers
of lists and leftovers 

from the night behind me
and so I enter the strange 
thing that is the day 

like an all-you-can-eat buffet 
the return of my appetite 
some bright miracle




Pic: MSU's spirit rock in honor of the Iranian women's protests. The highschoolers walking out over Virginia governor Youngkin's anti-trans policies, a lunch-time walk-and-talk with AK, my capstone students brilliantly knitting news with readings... I am grateful for decency and beauty showing up in this world.

Friday, September 23, 2022

"I saw the sign(s)"

A midday stroll with JG today and this was her front yard when I drove up--a veritable forest of election lawn signs! It includes at least two of our colleagues from work too. As always a lovely chat and I left feeling loved and full of ideas.

Back home lots of hangout time with Big A whose "Boss Day" it is and whom we'll have to  return to the train station and thence to Milwaukee Saturday morning. 

All these trips to the train station really remind me of residency days when Big A worked at Bellevue and I'd put two kids in the car to pick him up at the Summit train station. Seven-year-old At used to call those trips "midnight adventures." 

Now here we are again 16 years later, thanks to the magic of there somehow being 25 Emergency Medicine residencies in MI and only 2 in WI. We've come up with a plan (wish?) to renegotiate his contract for the next academic year... And although all of it is a long ways off, it's a hopeful sign on the horizon. 
 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

*three thoughts *on the third day *of the work week

*Lots going on in the world outside and students were on fire today, discussing--the Hijab protests in Iran, the Venezuelans trafficked to Martha's Vineyard, the floods in Pakistan and Puerto Rico... 

*I felt buoyed today by an internet friend becoming a more IRL friend, work friends finding non work ways to connect, and my sister's glee that her birthday is "just four months away."

*When I need to laugh, I come back to this picture of "Kangaroo Huck" with her feet rudely positioned on Scout's butt, her "dress" askew, looking at me for pets. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

look up

I had to run an errand on the far side of town and found myself getting dejected by it as I always do... the houses seem to be falling down a bit more than normal, the cars seem rustier and noisier...

And I say this as someone who lives in a house whose roof has leaked for at least three years and has not been fixed although roof-work started [... and stopped] at the beginning of summer and as someone who drove a car with a busted-up headlight for nearly six months this year after my 'deer incident' as there were no replacement parts available.

But I know it's not really the same thing. My dejection is because how that is yet another nudge about how we live in a world of inequity, recognizing how huge this is, and coming to terms that it's not something I can ever begin to fix by myself. 

And then on my way home I came to this crossroads (It reads: ML King Jr. Blvd and Malcolm X St). That made me smile so big because sometimes I talk myself through social situations by asking myself if I want to do it "like Martin or like Malcolm?"

Dr. King's uncle was a local Lansing pastor and Minister Malcolm, of course, grew up in Lansing. A gray-ish day and an unexceptional photograph, but a good reminder of a moment that lifted me up.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

time begins to hurt when

the leaf's green and the river's green 
hesitate on unripeness 
but I am sun-warmed and life-bound 
and have to try it

for you are taller than I can remember
stronger than you know
yet here I am trying to keep the monster
hidden... and quiet

O hush little baby, let's flee this moment 
in its blossoming bruises
for my mind is still trapped underwater
and cannot anchor it 

 Pic: Red Cedar, earlier this week. (I needed a reminder of calm after some particularly horrible hours this morning. I'm thankful for Big A being there and community help.)

Friday, September 16, 2022

five Friday yays

Got a shoutout from the wonderful Melissa at Stirrup Queens... that always makes my week!

Finished up work for the week--even got in a couple of things ahead of deadline (to make up for the things past due). 

Nu and I got home around the same time. We're watching Riverdale together per Nu's request. It's so over the top, we keep laughing--so I guess that's the good part. 

A quick dinner prep and then off to the train station. Nu DJ-ed through the train delay and then finally we got Big A home. We'll have him for about 36 hours.

Pic: Big A and Huck who are bestest pals reunited. 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

what was I thinking?

I wanted to (re)read some Mary Stewart, who's been a comfort read since my teens, and picked Wildfire at Midnight, which was my first Mary Stewart and a book I'd originally picked somewhat serendipitously from the untouched hardback section in the Holy Angels Convent library. I was so taken by it, I retold it frame-by-frame to my sister and cousins at our sleepover later that week.

Anyway... So I had very good reasons to pick Wildfire... And yes, the language and descriptions were just as flawless and the murder mystery just as intriguing. But of course the historical moment is a key player too--the conquest of Everest by Tenzing and Hillary and... the coronation of QEII.

I guess subliminal colonialism is a thing.

Pic: Reading my Mary Stewart compendium with Scout and Huck.

Thursday, September 08, 2022

hymn

now gone the silver hair
in the dusk to dust 

the theft and the torment 
how they abide

amazing--go ahead, ask
about our dead

while symptoms, suffering
in the event hide

all we lost and never found 
rippling under water

#QEII 



Saturday, September 03, 2022

repair and respair

Orientation today at MacCurdy. Yes, it's a Saturday, but when you have the kind of wonderfully idealistic, engaged activists MacCurdy attracts, it doesn't seem like work at all. 

We covered a lot: residence rules, a calendar of events for the upcoming year, possible collaborations with other groups, and participatory protocols. I'm super excited. And as always, some of the questions they came up with made me think hard and rethink entrenched beliefs. I suspect that in a way, they do keep me young. 

Sadly, some of the Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter posters they'd had in the windows were vandalized over the summer (Pic). They plan to repair them with gold paint kintsugi style. ♥️ I took a walk during break and came back wondering if we could offer restorative justice options for the offenders.


Friday, September 02, 2022

(long)winded

My mom told me that her dad told her that Napoleon Bonaparte could will himself to wake at whatever time he wanted to by repeating the time firmly to himself before he went to bed. I don't know why this handy knack needs to come prefaced by Bonaparte because I would guess that most people (like me) don't particularly want to conquer swathes of Europe or be imprisoned. (Also, I just googled and can't find anything that supports this factoid. What did my early-twentieth-century grandfather in India know that the rest of the world doesn't?!? Ha.)

For the most part I can will myself to wake when I want to too. I'm up 5-ish most days, but I can make myself wake up whenever it is that travel or work necessitate. I always still set an alarm as a backup though.

Anyway, all of this to say, I'm not setting an alarm tonight and I'll wake up when I wake up. I do have an orientation to run tomorrow, but it only starts in the afternoon. The first week back after summer and sabbatical has been... a lot.

Pic: Fuzzy parking lot sunset clouds. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Say "ah"

Quick visit to the doc for a second series of shots for Scout and Huck. They were so excited to be in the exam room squeaking and panting, they kind of took my mind off earlier this morning... 

...which was full of durm and strang with Nu just refusing to go to school. (Not asking, plain refusing.) When I called the school, they advised me to call the police, and at that point I just gave up. I'm not sure what good could come of calling the police on a trans kid. I'm so out of my depth over here.

Friday, August 26, 2022

que sera, sera

I didn't realize how much the Chipotle union election was weighing on me until I woke up this morning with the worry lifted off me. I'm so happy... and relieved it went well. I don't know how I would have begun to console At and all those other young people, if things hadn't gone right. 

Some tangential stuff has been so sweet... from colleagues messaging to say they heard At on NPR; his old YDSA colleagues chuffed with success; my family, friends, and students trying to connect this to me, etc.

So a day of relief. But my body has been tense and tired for a long time. Last week, I'd booked a massage for myself for today. I remember booking it and wondering what state of mind I'd be in when I got to go in: Would I be happy? Would I be crushed? And here's what I said to myself: Whatever will be, will be; I'll need this either way.

My kids' teachers would often make them write letters to their future selves--this massage felt like a present from my past self. 

Pic: The offering I took to the temple the day before the election.

P.S. It seems I jumped the gun on International Dogs' Day--it was today not the day before yesterday.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

HUGE exhale; halellujah

At and his coworkers did it! They are now the first unionized Chipotle (and possibly first labor union at a fast food restaurant). So proud of this very young crew for accomplishing something so historic and moving the needle in the direction of solidarity and justice. 

We've all been holding our breaths because At really poured himself into this effort and sacrificed a lot. (We've all missed him for months at this point as he worked himself ragged with food service, unionizing, and DSA leadership.) So I'm so glad this thing that is good for the world happened AND I'm happy that At's dream came true. 

I'm still catching up to all the media attention this is getting with Bernie Sanders tweeting about it and At quoted as "union organizer" in this Washington Post article

(Just last year I was worried about his "impromptu gap year;" he's done more than I have in any one year.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

dogged

I heard today is "National Dog's Day." Happy Scout and Huckie Day! 

I'm not sure if these guys know they're dogs, and I'm guilty of treating them like eternal toddlers, but I'm always happy to celebrate everything. (I used to get At and Nu those "Every Day is a Holiday" calendars for a few years, and there were some pretty wacky celebrations for a while.)

Big A sent me a heads up this morning that there's a mysterious illness that has killed dozens of dogs in Michigan. Turns out it's a parvovirus. Usually my babies are fairly isolated from other doggies, but I'm taking them to the veterinarian tomorrow for their shots, and that's making me anxious. 

(I'm also anxious about attending opening convocation tomorrow, meeting my new first-year advisees, and making it back in time to take S and H to their doc on time.)

Monday, August 22, 2022

just another manic Monday

This picture was shared on the college's social media, so I suppose it's ok to share. I was going to joke about looking for me on the far left in this picture... but I can actually espy myself (it helps that I'm so brown and am wearing a mask).  

No one at work said a thing about my facial piercings, which I took as a sign that people either didn't notice it or were too freaked out by it. I miss besties KB, JG, CF being at work because they would totally have blurted out questions... and it would be fun coming from them.

Long day: lots of new info and expectations for the upcoming year + some initial prep for a travel course over boxed lunches with CC.

Then I took care of my babies. Nu wanted to spend a couple of hours at the mall with a friend (I counted mall-walking as exercise today); drove to At's Chipotle to morale boost the unionizing crew with some old-fashioned conversation (all the "Union Strong!" orders I'd been placing via the app for $1.67 chips kept showing up with my name on it--unsure of that's a glitch or corporate interference); and now I'm curled up with Scout and Huck. Scout just did his happy sigh, so all is right with the world in this moment.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

up! ahead!

We're back!

And that was both the last trip and the last weekend of the summer before school starts.

Fall Conference starts tomorrow, Nu goes back to school on Tuesday, my opening convocation and At's NLRB election are both on Thursday... It's quite a week, so I went ahead and booked myself a massage on Friday.

Then I can spend the weekend getting prepped/psyched for the start of term.

Pic: Nu and Big A at the Milwaukee Museum of Art.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

s/unlit

In the midst of mounting excitement about the start of the new school year, it was a shock to hear two people who'd been at the college died unexpectedly on Monday. I didn't know either of them very well, but I knew of them; I feel their loss. 

Tall T, a student who graduated about five years ago was a basketball star and while I never saw him play, I knew him from his work in the admissions office, met him when he accompanied new students to my office, and appreciated how he helped me troubleshoot software problems more than once. I am particularly grateful for the way he tried to reassure me that these problems happen to everyone. I can see his smile as he says we shouldn't worry about it to me and the students we were assisting. I hadn't seen him in a few years, and it makes me sad that now I never will. I'm sad his smile--that used to dawn slowly, indulgently--is no longer in this world somewhere...

J worked in the janitorial department--I don't think I ever met her, but her four kids go to college here and E, her oldest, was in my environmental literature class. I remember J through the concern E had for the chemicals her mother was exposed to on a daily basis. So this is a tenuous connection, but that's how I met her--through E's words; that's how I held her in my head, my heart, and classroom. 

I'm grieving for T and J and their families. Death is so weird in its finality... and yet we're such a small community that every person presence reverberates in us all. 

Pic: Huge and droopy sunflower

Monday, August 15, 2022

India at 75

After a few writers shared it on FB, I've been reading this WONDERFUL collection of 75 writers on India's 75th birthday from PEN all day and bugging my cousins to read it too.

Each piece is so beautiful in its own way and every piece is so poignantly regretful about the way the promise of India--a secular, multicultural, pluralistic democracy--is sliding out of grasp. 

The slide towards authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism in my country of birth (and my country of residence) makes me sad on a daily basis. I nearly cried when one of my cousins said that since everything is only about Hindu values now, we wouldn't have the friends--Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Parsi, communist, atheist, etc.--we'd had if we were growing up in India today. 

I tried to share something from the PEN anthology, but how could I pick just one? 

all set to start

 Navaratri celebrations tonight! "Take homes" (snack boxes and gift bags) and our miniature magic forest "Golu" are read...