Thursday, September 02, 2004

Give me something to sing about

Still attempting to process the emotional bolus that was stuffed down my throat by the events of the past week. Any one thing would be bad enough on its own, but being forced to multitask in this regard is simply not fair. But seeing as the universe is not bound to fight by the Marquess of Queensbury rules, it's probably best to learn to roll with the punches and maybe get a return kick to the groin in here or there when God drops his guard. It's times like this when I'm glad I'm a committed theomachist, or else I might feel guilty for thinking such blasphemous thoughts.

I will return to the matter of my friend's death when I can do the matter justice - it is not fitting to discuss it in dribs and drabs, only when traffic here at the Circ Desk will allow. As for my mother, she appears to be unharmed physically by her accident, although that's cold comfort for someone who was already suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from a previous car accident. Again, this is something I'd rather not discuss, if I can't discuss it at length; besides, my mother's story is far more complicated, and that story doesn't belong here at The Jersey Exile (although I reserve the right to attempt to capture it in an essay someday, if only as just compensation for providing a sympathetic ear through difficult circumstances).

Something I will agonize about here and now is whether I should get my Masters degree in History or not, as the first week of classes at Simmons is fast approaching and I have to make a final decision that will commit me one way or the other. I am literally of two minds on this issue, and I bounce back and forth between the yeas and nays so quickly and arbitrarily that my wife has refused to talk about the subject until the Fall Term begins and my choice is made for me. Whereas yesterday I was hell-bent on jettisoning the History component as being overly time-consuming and unnecessary considering my almost-Masters in Classics, now I'm reconsidering. Maybe it's working here the desk that undermines my resolve: I sit here all day and check books out to hundreds of students and faculty in the discipline I'm planning to eschew and I wonder if I'm not making a big mistake in doing so. Isn't the reason why I chose the double degree the fact that it would allow me to dip my toes back into academia proper? Library science courses may be engrossing, but at the end of the day they're different animals than the graduate seminars I was taking at Boston University in Greek and Latin literature. Of course there was a lot of bad with the good back then, but I find myself missing the atmosphere of free-range intellectual inquiry nonetheless. Can I really live without it for the next few years? Should I live without it?

At any rate, I will have made my decision within a week. Right now I'm leaning towards the double-degree, and not just because it's the path of least resistance. Maybe the reason why I'm angsting so much over this issue is that in the end it is a trivial one - much more enjoyable to fret about than family matters or departed friends. Here I am able to afford myself the luxury of wallowing in indecision, like Schrodinger's Pig, soothing my troubled soul with a cool mud-bath of uncertainty.

p.s. Okay, I do have something to sing about. Yesterday I took my daughter to Crane's Beach in Ipswich for the very first time and we made a marvelous late summer's day of it - I built a sandcastle and she and the incoming tide destroyed it, we frolicked in the surf, and Andriana chased herring gulls, sandpipers, and the occasional poor and unsuspecting boy. The wonderful thing about having a child is that you always have a reason to go to the beach, even on the darkest of days.

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