Monday, January 03, 2011

what i didn't get to do, this holiday.

i have one more day until the spring semester begins, two more days before i give my first lecture.

this winter holiday seems very short, more so than in previous years.
the fact is, i lost close to a week when the winter storms hit, two weekends ago:

my tuesday flight out of jfk airport, last week, was among the hundreds (thousands?) of flights that were canceled, due to snow.

it wasn't until new year's eve (3 days later) that i boarded a flight home.
to be honest, i missed working. there's something about family that sucks away from you any time or willpower for work.

it's one thing if i lived close to my parents, visited them one or two evenings per month. the units of measurement here are hours; i can budget that sort of time.

in contrast, living 400+ miles away means that every visit is a prolonged investment of time, measured instead in days or weeks.

there's no daily, regularly-repeating schedule either, and i might as well be taking appointments.
one day we're off to see my paternal grandmother; another day it's my maternal grandparents. two days later, we're celebrating the solstice or it's a family shopping trip.

my friend from high school wants to meet for breakfast sometime, another evening is an old friend's birthday. social media is crippling: if i don't go, i'll probably offend someome.

then, for a few mornings, it's nothing but shoveling snow.
i like seeing my family .. at first. averaging out over a week's time, though, i quickly get the sense that i'm visiting out of obligation, not out of enjoyment.

all of that said, all i "wanted for christmas" [1] was to be left alone for a week,

work out research ideas in the mornings,
perhaps write a little, in the afternoons,
and in the evenings, either meet friends or catch up on my reading ..

in other words, i just wanted a break from teaching so that i could .. well, work. it's not like i'm asking for a tenure-track job, or anything ..

.. right: the joint meetings. there's that to prepare, too ..

it never really ends, does it? \-:

coming up: what i'll be teaching, this term.

[1] i'm actually an agnostic, in the sense that religious principles seem like axioms to me (so you can't really verify them, one way or another). this would explain, for example, why atheists and believers never seem to agree on anything: the logical systems are inherently different, and probably incompatible.

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