The Simpson Fall Semester officially begins on September 1st this year, but we have meetings and workshops that actually start today for me. What? Two weeks before school in the midst of my summer vacation I am supposed to attend meetings today? Ah, yes - meetings set up by those who hold 12 month contracts who expect those of us who hold 9 month contracts to "come on in to work" during our 3 months off. Such is academia. There have been a multitude of articles written about this over the past few years in terms of expectations, cultural norms at various institutions, the difference between 12 month and 9 month contracts, tenure vs. non tenure, summer 3 month research grants vs. duties related to the other 9 months, and on and on. Regardless, I am off to a meeting this morning involving content about the other 9 months because I am in town and can attend.
C'est la vie.
I'm still in my full vacation mode struggling to catch up with everything that needs to be caught up with having spent only a total of 10 weeks at home this year. I will admit my surprise of how the grief has hit me following Dad's passing. I'm not sure I was expecting the residual effects to hit as hard as they did hit, but I am happy that I seem to be crawling my way out of the worst of it. Trail work, IMBCS work, and directing the recent race at Center Trails at least got me into a bit of a routine to take my mind off of the loss. I was talking to Tara the other night and I think the addition of officially being empty nesters now that Zack is in Oklahoma, and having a beloved family pet who is on her last days also contributes to how I am feeling.
I imagine the upcoming routine of the Fall Semester in 2 weeks will contribute to moving forward. Routine tends to help in that way. That being said, the lethargy and fuzzy confusion has not been fun on the worst days, but is a normal part of the grieving process. Imagine my surprise the other day at Home Depot when I couldn't even recall the name of the street we have lived on for 12 years when the salesperson asked where they would be delivering the product I was ordering! That one blew me away, but it was that kind of day. I haven't been able to predict those days when I am down, and fortunately they are less frequent than the good days. The loss of the second parent can be compounded with the reality of being without parents. An orphan if you will.
Speaking of routines, I enjoyed my commute routine in Schorndorf during the Spring Semester, so with my Messenger Bag, I am looking forward to doing that this Fall as well.
This TIMBUK2 bag has been one of my best purchases to date. I used it every day in Europe, not only for commuting, but it was my carry bag on the flights and on the trains. I also hauled my groceries and goodies from the bakery with it in Germany. I picked it up last December on sale at Scheels for about 35% off and couldn't be happier with it. When I first purchased it I figured I would not use it as I had two other solutions (a Kensington Computer Bag and a rear rack storage solution that cost me an arm and a leg). However, it quickly became the bag of choice for my needs.
Although we have 2 rather steep hills to descend and climb between my house and work, a brand new bike trail along Highway 92 is about to open that has the potential of allowing me to get to and from work without fighting those hills. Not a big deal for me in a cycling kit, but when wearing a suit or nice clothes - it's hard not to work up a sweat climbing those hills. Going the longer, but flatter route has the potential to make my commute more enjoyable without having to worry about my choice of attire. It looks like they have at least another month or more of construction to complete that, so I will face the hills until then.