There aren't many things in my life right now that make me happy, but there are some bits worth mentioning. They are few and far between, but that makes them stand out to me even more.I've been feeling pretty small and insignificant lately. Maybe I can turn that to some musical advantage, and give myself a nudge at the same time.
- While walking around Ghosttown, I bumped into a student from the last semester. She smiled when she saw me, and told me that she and a friend of hers – another one of my former students – both still talk about what a great class it was, "even though you were hard on us." She thanked me again for a great class, and then went on her way.
- A student I've never seen before came up to me in the dining hall during lunch and said admiringly, "You're always so well dressed, man!" I thanked him, and said, "I have to impress my students." He nodded and said, "Keep it up, man, keep it up!" I suspect he took me for an over-dressed student, and didn't expect me to explain my tweedy appearance that way. On the other hand, maybe he just appreciates a sharply dressed man. Either way, I'll take the compliment.
- I got a phone call from a long-standing friend and colleague, in which we discussed hir career moves and mine. Zi has a tenure-track job, but is interviewing for another. And I...well, you who read this blog regularly know my situation. My friend has served on several hiring committees in recent years, and repeatedly assured me that I am a strong candidate for a job, especially if I get this manuscript finished and under contract. That sounds kind of like obligatory pep-talking for a friend, I know, but it was still good to hear. Certainly better to hear than my family making the same claim on the basis of zero understanding of my career.
- I'm practically knocking on friends' and colleagues' doors nowadays to do dinner. I've concluded that my sense of isolation here in Ghosttown is, to some degree, my own self-perpetuating creation, and I need to work harder at socializing with people who could just go home and spend time with their families. As much as most (maybe too much?) of the conversation can be made up of my bitching about all the ways in which my life currently sucks, it's good to be able to trade off the bitching with colleagues. It's also nice to get out of the house so I don't have to look at my own walls for a while. Also nice to trade tips about pedagogy, grading schemes, etc. Having dinner and drinks with colleagues = tonic.