Sunday, June 30, 2013

Potpourri No. 37

Current events from my life, made quick n’ easy:

Back in School
I’ve completed my first week as a TA for symbolic logic. This is the same course I taught myself two summers ago. The class is small. So far, there are only 9 or 10 students showing up regularly. The instructor for the course had to leave town for a wedding, so I actually taught Wednesday through Friday’s classes. That means I’ve taught more than the instructor at this point. In a way, it makes it feel like it’s my class. I feel some ownership of it, and it’s almost sad to be handing over the reins to someone else. The students have also been quite kind in their reception of me. They say they like my style of teaching and are concerned to see it go. I’m flattered. But it makes things kind of awkward, no?

Cold as Ice
A few months ago, the fridge in our apartment died. They replaced it with a fridge from a vacant apartment, but that fridge soon demonstrated problems of its own. The inside roof of the fridge would start dripping every once in a while, sometimes copiously. The bottom interior of the fridge would get flooded. The maintenance crew came by and messed with the fridge, but after a week or two, the problem would start again. Every time we called on it, the maintenance guy would come by, clear out our fridge, pull off some interior walls, and chip away panes of ice that had formed. He’d then say something like, “Let’s see if that solves the problem.” When Melanie pointed out that this is what the guy had already done and that it didn’t resolve anything, he told her he hadn’t. We knew he had, but he insisted this was a new technique. Well, finally, after reporting the problem again early last week, they gave us a brand new fridge. Like, brand spanking new. It’s basically the same model, but a slightly updated version that is enough to excite us. There’s an extra shelf in the door, and a high shelf in the freezer that allows you to put something above the ice maker and so utilize more space. It’s not taller, but it’s deeper and so has just a tiny bit more room. Fridge items have also felt colder than they have in a long time, despite the fridge not being turned up as high. It’s nice.

Homeward Bound
The deal is done. Melanie and I have officially purchased airplane tickets to travel to Utah in August. We’ll be there twice as long as we had anticipated, which is fun in theory but also slightly unnerving. I won’t get much (if anything) done on my dissertation during that time, so I’m taking a hit when it comes to productivity. The trip will also overlap with the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, both for me and for Edison and Peter (who are beginning 2nd grade and Kindergarten, respectively—holy crapanolli!). There wasn’t a convenient, cost-effective way to avoid this, however. We need to be in Utah for my little sister’s wedding, so that’s that. We toyed with the idea of me flying back to Florida and then returning to Utah a few days later, but that’s obviously ridiculous and not something we could even afford to do. And so we’re forced to have an extra long vacation. Sigh. What can you do?

Golden Slumbers
For whatever reason, I have slept better over the last several nights than I have in years. Our oldest child is about to turn 7, which means it’s been approximately seven years since I’ve had a full night’s sleep. It’s incredibly rare—rare enough that it’s safe to say “never”—that I don’t wake up multiple times in the night. Kids are one large part of the equation, but they’re not the only problem. Having my arms go dead, having too much light in the room, and other factors frequently come into play. But, somehow, I have slept more deeply and soundly during the past week than I have in the better part of a decade. It feels absolutely heavenly. I still wake up a few times in the night, but it’s brief and I don’t feel agitated and restless. I quickly slip back into a deep, heavy sleep, and when I wake up in the morning, I feel satisfied and as though I’ve just indulged in something. I hate to report this and somehow jinx it. I can’t imagine it will last, but I desperately hope it will. It would be a dream come true.

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