The Big Sleep

Cookies! Because cookies!

Cookies! Because cookies!

Hey, why the long silence on this blog?  Long story short:  I’m reviewing the copy-edits of my book manuscript, AND it’s the end of the semester, AND I’ve been so discouraged by the news of yet another mass murder in the U.S.A. on the heels of our latest in Colorado, not to mention the pure heroin-grade hate and fear that’s being mainlined into our politics these days, that I haven’t had the energy or the inspiration to write anything meaningful.

(Does anyone have a Naloxone shot for the body politic?)

I’m just busy, and sad, and so sorry.  So very sorry.

If any of  you have inspirational news or good ideas for how to get through this miserable winter, please share it in the comments below.  I seem to be unusually affected by the dark this time around–maybe it’s just a hangover from having spent last winter in California, where it was just as dark but warm in the evenings so we could eat dinner outside.

18 thoughts on “The Big Sleep

  1. I agree with Maureen. A walk a day is a good idea. It’s also helpful that you have your copy edits now. Those are intellectually challenging diversions.

    I ended my senior seminar last night by playing John Lennon’s “Imagine.”


  2. Sympathies. I’ve found myself in the last week noticing more than usual the number of young women on campus wearing some variation of the veil (because of course they’re more visible than their brothers, including the dozen or so young men named Syed/Sayed I’ve taught over the years, and the young woman who co-perpetrated the San Bernardino shooting in fact looks not unlike, in a very general sort of way, some of my students, past and present), and wondering again (as when I have slightly-odd, usually white, male students who vaguely resemble various other mass shooters in some way) what I’d do in an active-shooter situation, and then hating that I’m even thinking that, and reflecting on what It must be like for my Muslim students, especially the ones who are more easily identifiable by dress and/or name, to be facing the normal stress of the end of the semester, and in some cases the beginning of the senior-year job hunt, in the midst of all this very public hate, and what I imagine is the resulting fear for their own safety. And then I go back to conferencing, and grading, because it’s the end of the semester, and that’s really all I have time to do. Fortunately, there don’t seem to have been any eruptions of hate/hostility on campus, or even in the general area (at least not that I’ve heard of — no pig’s heads thrown at local mosques), and if there were, and there were anything I could do to show support, I’d find time to do that, but still, it’s just a miserable climate in which to be operating, and I’m very aware of how comparatively protected I am, and feel like I should be doing more to protect others, but I’m not quite sure how to do that.

    So I guess I’m joining you in sadness and sorriness and general discouragement, rather than offering any diversion. Sorry. Walks do, indeed, sound like a good idea. And congratulations on getting the book proofs; progress toward an actual volume is always good news.


  3. /comfort.

    The walk idea sounds helpful; I do find that getting outside helps a lot during winter. It won’t stop the violence, of course. And it won’t get the grading done. Take good care.


  4. I don’t have anything to share except for two stories. One of them is silly nonsense, and the other one gives me hope.

    First the hope bit. My office shares a hallway with classrooms that our English as a Second Language instructors use. So on any given day of the week there will be a bunch of international students hanging out in the mornings, either waiting for classes to start or working on some group exercise class. We have a large number of students from Saudi Arabia here to study business. Their English is pretty rudimentary so they spend most of their time taking English classes. I usually say hi to them and ask the Saudi students how they are doing. Last week a couple of the ESL students needed to observe a regular class and a couple of Saudi students asked to sit in on my class. I said yes of course and they observed my Historical Research Methods class. They took notes during our discussion, but I am not sure how much they really understood. Later on they said that they were

    I like these students. They remind me of myself when I went to Hungary for the first time on an exchange program. I didn’t speak a lick of Hungarian and it was scary as hell for my parents to send their son to a country that had been part of the Soviet bloc a year earlier. The fact that these Saudi students came here to the US shows that they are open minded. More importantly, they trust us. They traveled to a place that was very different from their own country in the hope of learning something new. These students and their parents thought it was a good idea because they trust the American government and the American people to keep their children safe. Despite all the weird BS on the news, I still trust the American people to do right by these students. I am going to make sure they are always welcome and OK here at Woebegone State University.

    Second, the silly nonsense. My wife is a dog person. I am a cat person. My wife said that labradoodles are ‘nice medium sized dogs”. We now have a ninety pound black labradoodle (seriously, last summer she drove out to Western Wisconsin and adopted the biggest puppy she could find). We put up the Christmas tree this weekend. Yesterday I got a text from my wife saying “Guess who likes peppermint candy-canes.” I am surprised he recognized the candy-canes as something resembling food. I am doubly surprised he went back for more a third time!

    I hope your week gets better. I have to get back to my stack of blue books and papers.

    PS – I think the walks sound like a good idea. I walk our dog twice a day and it makes winter bearable. I am going to see If I can go snowshoeing with him, if we ever get any snow around here. Peace, Hope and Love to you and your family!


  5. Thanks, everyone–I am keeping up with running and yoga, although the suggestion either to run or walk without listening to something is anathema to me! But, getting away from the news is probably a good idea.

    It’s just so damn dark. A few overcast days in a row, and Coloradoans get Seasonal Affective Disorder!


  6. We understood most or all of these things. I think staying dark once in a while is probably a good idea in general, and this is certainly a good time to do it. Words aren’t accomplishing much of anything anywhere anyway, from what I can see. (WordPress had some kind of a conference in Philly when I was there last week, I should say, but I don’t know where or when or why, it was just mentioned on the famous PECO zipper). Just store up some acorns, Historann, and the days will start getting longer before you could imagine it.


  7. I’ll be there in 10 days! So we can take a walk together, bemoan the current state of the world, and then have some laughs over a glass of wine (or three!) while toasting the end of the semester and your finished book.


    • YAY! Too bad you’ll miss Nick’s big party–maybe you could leave a day earlier? We’ll be there.

      Yes, wine and beer. And my copy-edits will be done!!!


  8. There’s a name for it, you know. PAD. Political Affective Disorder.

    I have it, too.

    (If I had any suggestions for what to do about it, I wouldn’t have it. Walks, or running for you energetic types, and yoga do help.)


  9. Pingback: The Big Sleep | Knitting Clio

  10. That “heroin-grade hate” is an apt phrase. I keep thinking about the idea that we’re in the prefrontal cortex (?) when we’re being logical, and we’re in the amygdala (?) when we’re afraid or angry. If I remember correctly from the Al Gore book on the brain, in a contest between the two, the prefrontal cortex might just as well throw its hands up in despair and go home. I’m thinking, with worry, of the Presidential election. I hope things calm down before then.


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