Bad news first. I am sad to acknowledge that for the second time in 18 months, a chair search for English & Journalism has been halted by the WIU administration. This void is particularly painful since an offer was extended, accepted, and once-incoming chair Derek Parker Royal formally introduced to the faculty and college. The department was visited by the provost August 19 and was visited by the president today, August 30. Information is scarce, like last time, and that’s deeply frustrating. My department is really hurting, and I can’t help but feel guilty about stepping away to focus on my research. Though I have mixed feelings about it, I will disengage–I skipped a faculty meeting last week, the first time in years–but it’s very hard to ignore what’s happening, and impossible not to be simultaneously outraged, sickened, and ready to walk away.
Add that to Lumper’s death and other family matters, and that’s why I wrote on Facebook: Dear September, I see you out there on the horizon. Please be less intense than August. Thanks! With that in mind, let’s shift to the many things in my life which, like my girls, are pleasantly intense:
- I am getting into a good rhythm for sabbatical leave. Each day last week, I did some research and writing, worked on the house, did a little busy work (like sorting old files), and enjoyed some family time. Yes.
- Being on sabbatical and still on campus is a little weird. The usual busy-ness is just a backdrop, not a force pushing me forward. I am not participant, only observer.
- Amelia’s first week of day care went extremely well. She’ll be in Horrabin thre days a week. When I dropped her off Wednesday, one of the student workers laughed, “Here comes the party!”
- Not surprisingly, Madelyn also had a fantastic week, though we had to hold her out Thursday because of pinkeye. She’s over that now (and hopefully I am too). This fall Madelyn will be in four days a week.
- Yesterday I ran 4.25 miles, alternating quarter-miles walking and half-miles running. This morning, none of the foot pain I was dealing with since mid-April. I still have two splinters in my right foot, and those spots hurt a little. But nothing else. My GP should take care of those in a week or so. Hopefully I will be able to continue to add miles and get back to regular running. I have missed it terribly. I’ll be keeping it slow and short for quite a while. No speed work until November, at the earliest.
- Our annual August home repair push, focused on our front and back porches, is almost complete. The front porch is finished, and we’ve got one finish coat left to do on the back porch. I’ll keep investing time in housework every week, but don’t plan any of the 12-hour days I booked in early August any time soon.
- Erin and I ate at Shiloh’s on Saturday, the restaurant which replaced Il Spazio. There were a few more glitches than we’d hoped for, but the food was quite good: I had blackened fish, and it was fresh, well-seasoned, and nicely presented. I hope they make it, given that Macomb continues to be restaurant-challenged.
And now back to that reading and writing.