Promising I will get back to the main theme, soon

[This is the second post for the month of November. This is just a dump.]

My brain feels shredded up into little pieces, between my brother and work.

Bro had a cardioaversion today after a physical last Friday that was so worrisome that the hospital fast-tracked him into second place on their schedule this morning. They did an exploratory procedure and then decided to go ahead. Then they had to oversedate him (the normal sedation didn’t work for some reason) and after a few failures, on their final shock attempt at the highest level, the adversion finally worked.

Normal sinus rhythm. Praying that it holds, that he resumes taking his blood pressure medicine, and that they can clear up the other heart-related problems that he had.

This is why I was afraid to fall asleep last night.

And then all the minutiae of registering for classes. I had two months free of constantly watching enrollments, but now it’s resumed again. I want everyone in the right classes for them. I take extra care. Twenty problems, each with a dozen small moving parts. A phone that won’t stop ringing. Five kids who want to declare a history major, three of whom are convinced history professor is the coolest career ever and that pursuing it will be much easier than majoring in economics.

A call-back from an administrator on a computer bug I diagnosed last week in a flagship program. The programmer said, last week, “If you had a STEM degree, you’d be unstoppable.” The administrator said, “why are you working in the humanities? That’s pretty pointless.”

Ah, yes. I was already annoyed last Friday but this kind of took the cake. I thought, yeah, you pay me to spend all this time on counseling students in the pointless humanities and you get my mad debugging skillz for free.

Money, always money.

Forgive me for the gloom. I’ll be back to my normal level of melancholy soon.





~ by Servetus on November 3, 2015.

42 Responses to “Promising I will get back to the main theme, soon”

  1. It seems wrong to “like” this post, but I see it. I’m with you.


  2. It sounds very serious about your brother, I wish him well.


  3. A yes…the ever present bashing of the Humanities. Nothing like a little bowl of “your whole career is pointless” to start out the week.


  4. Best wishes for your brother’s recovery and health. I hope you reach your normal level of melancholy soon. Your gloom is well earned.


  5. Sounds like a rough week. Hang in there. Hugs!


  6. Sending you virtual hugs. From your description sounds like atrial fibrillation? My stepdad and my father-in-law have been through that a couple of times and it’s so scary, especially when nothing seems to work. My prayers are with you and your family.


    • yes, exactly. My dad has atypical v-fib, so this was to be expected, potentially, but for various reasons my brother’s situation is more serious.


  7. (((Serv)))


  8. I hope your brother will get well soon and that things at work will get better for you too!!! {{{hugs}}}


  9. Oh my, that sounds so scary – hope your brother gets better soon! Thinking of you!


    • I’m really frightened — both for him, and because a lot of things will change in unexpected ways now, so for me, too.


  10. So sorry to hear about your brother. I hope he gets well soon.
    Sounds similar to my mother’s condition; she’s on beta blockers and blood pressure medication. But your brother’s young(ish). Is he exercising on a regular basis?

    There’s nothing wrong with aspiring to a career in history (interesting I should think), BUT (and it’s a massive ‘but’) I just hate when young people say they assume it’s easier than something else. That’s no proper reason for a future (career) – any future. Sorry, didn’t mean to rant.

    You’re going through a rough patch at the moment; I hope it all improves.


    • Bro inherited really high blood pressure (he’s been taking meds since he was seventeen or eighteen) from my grandmother through my mother — but he hasn’t been following the regime.

      I find it frustrating, too — people come in and tell me that it’s an easy life. Then I tell them that all of the history professors in the US who have permanent positions come from about 20 grad programs, and that they are harder to get into than law school …. it’s like they don’t think we’re very smart or something.


      • The field of humanities doesn’t carry as much weight as economics par example; not as much prestige. It bugs me like (h…)!

        I’m delighted to hear your brother’s condition is stable. I hope it lasts, and I understand you’re worried. Odd, my mother’s condition is also hereditary…I don’t expect to have inherited it, because I haven’t got the arrhythmia.

        However, after Easter last year, it became clear that I needed to get into shape; I was skiing, and I was tired the whole time. Get into shape, if not for the sake of my children, then because I was inspired by RA…Go figure, now five months on, I can run 7 miles. I’m fifty; it’s never too late 🙂


        • I’m impressed. I don’t think I’ll ever run five miles!


          • Don’t be – impressed that is – because it’s really tough to begin with. The coordination between breathing in and breathing out, and getting the legs to work. Seriously, it’s bl…. hard work!

            And I never believed I could run a mile, let alone 3, and now I’m doing 7 three times a week. I haven’t done any proper exercise for 30 years; not since I sold my horse.

            I began with a beginner’s running team in mid-April. We run 3 times a week. A colleague brought me along, and to begin with, we ran for about half an hour and only very short intervals. Before the summer holiday in July, I actually ran 6 miles, incl. breaks.

            It’s been tough after the summer break. I was gone for three weeks, and went for a run in NY Central Park, but my ankles swelled up, because of the heat.

            So it’s been a slow ‘recovery’ coming back home. It just goes to show that if you’ve got a decent beginner’s programme, and you try to be consistent, it IS possible.


  11. All the best for your brother, I hope he’ll be better soon!


  12. Oh,scary healthy moment there for your brother, glad it worked and hope he will improve and be able to keep it all under control with meds and everything, fingers crossed and big hug!! These kind of things where one can do very little to help really grind one down 😦

    And vocational issues, sigh, never mind the IT guy, he just sees the world in his 2-bits, not that there is anything wrong with his world, but each person feels differently and what is a great job for one would be horror for others 🙂 I wish students would be able to think of what they want t study in terms of what they are likely to spend many years of their life with and take that into consideration. But i’m afraid that kind of argument only comes with age and experience when one wishes one could turn back time but can’t…
    $$$ is a b**** but it is not all about that, it can make some people happy, buying things – i guess – but some stuff can’t be bought and other people need different things than money to be happy or fulfilled. Much better to try and figure out what we need /want than to pay attention to what other people think is the recipe.


    • I generally find that students don’t understand much about money. A student will say, “I don’t need to make a lot of money,” but they have no awareness of what a lot is. Do you need to make $20k? $50k? $250k? A million? I tend to find students will underestimate what they think they need …

      Liked by 1 person

      • I still remember those days.. To be honest i don’t think you cane save them from life or even prepare them really. I never really understood the value of money and even how much i needed to earn or what life cost until i had to provide income on my own and cover all my own expenses and that never really happens until you’re out of uni for the vast majority. Of course it would be good if they would understand the realities they are faced with but i fear nothing but experiencing it on their own will help. We just can’t bear those growing pains for them, S. It is good to help and many need help to be able to focus on their studies but in a way i also understand it is not always bad to be more ignorant of life for a while and just bumble along unknowingly. Responsibilities crash in way too soon in many cases anyway. I think the purely vocational guidance is more important in a way, because ultimately we all figure out we need to make money. But finding something that balance the like with the useful is the difficulty than can ultimately make you function well or unhappy for life. Ending up with a career choice you will feel trapped in is much worse than just having to make ends meet i think. But we can only help, prompt, listen and that is a lot in itself, we can’t avoid life’s pains and trouble for them, it just can’t be done.


  13. You need a hug and a beer. I can send a virtual hug. Here it is: {{{HUG}}}
    I know you are able to go and find your own beer, maybe after work? 🙂
    I hope your brother is doing better. Heart problems are an enormous worry and it sounds like a frightening procedure. Things like that always make me feel amazed and very thankful to the hospital staff who have trained long and hard and do their utmost every day to look after us and those we love.
    As for work stress — deep breaths. And maybe some chocolate.


  14. (((Servetus))) Thinking about you and sending positive vibes to you and your brother.


  15. That’s not gloom, that’s life in its many twisting turns! Glad you can vent here, and hopefully feel lighter. I was just having a conversation in the faculty lounge about the importance of our job…molding and shaping young lives, doing a great service to society as a whole, not to mention the individuals and families who are directly affected in the daily living within the community. To have a parent who puts us down because she has a “REAL job in the city,” just took the cake…after all, we’re only educating her children from 7am to 6pm each day…. She works for Google. ‘Scuse me….
    As for your brother, I am sorry your family is walking through this hard time. Praying for you, them, SIL, nieces, and especially him! May the doctors have the wisdom to stabilize his situation and may he have the grace to make the changes necessary for a healthy heart and body. Change is never easy. My brother is battling stomach and gut issues, but won’t change his diet. Just lost his gallbladder, but I guess that didn’t scare him enough to change!
    Sending you healing wishes and peace…may you sleep well this evening, knowing that you can only do so much. Overburdened hearts can’t rest. Do what you need to in order to “unload.”


    • It’s very frustrating that people tend not to see themselves in certain networks of support, isn’t it? What would you do if there were no teachers? You can outsource a lot of things, but what if your house is cleaned badly and you get sick? Or your food prepared poorly?

      I’m actually always having this argument with students who are mad that the College of Education wants them to have a C+ average for admission. I mean, wouldn’t you want your kid’s teachers to have averaged a C+ or better in college?

      Thanks for all the prayers.


  16. I wish your brother well. Please kick that administrator in the shins for me.


  17. i’ll be praying for your brother and the family. Heart stuff is scary. I know that first hand.

    As for work? scowls


  18. Prayers for your brother, dear friend.


  19. Wow, I certainly missed a lot while my head has been stuck in books. I hope that your brother is doing better. Needless to say it is not easy to witness loved ones experience physical challenges.


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