Thursday, February 14, 2008

Maybe it was the atmospheric pressure

Or the barometric pressure. Are they the same thing? I am an adult and ought to know these things.

I have a student athlete with a bad shoulder injury and his shoulder (with pins from surgery a few months ago) hurts him when the pressure changes. He predicted yesterday's snow hours before it came, he told me. Another student, who is ultrasensitive on all sorts of emotional and mental levels, gets horrid sinus conditions when the pressure changes. He's had a hard time of it since last Sunday when the winds came.

So I'm thinking that maybe the pressure affects my mood sometimes. Of course this morning's joy in the woods might have to do with the beauty of the snow, the clear light, and the fact that we made a decision about our search yesterday. But the pressure had changed too, and I am always happier during and after precipitation (rain, snow) than before.

It was probably a combination of the search decision and the grace of Godde.

No, I can't tell you our choice, because it went to the dean and then after the dean approves she calls the candidate, and then it's the candidate's choice to say yes or no to our offer, so it's all out of our hands now. We're holding our breath.

These tenure-track searches are decisions of huge import in small liberal arts colleges like ours. Our department only has three full-time tenure-track people (there are also a couple of part-timers) right now and we often spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our spouses and partners due to the demands and practices of work, and if we all get tenure and decide to stay (we are all untenured right now -- all two of us and the person who is leaving and the person who will replace her) we could be together for a long, long time, like the crew of our predecessors who retired within a few years of each other not long ago. So it's a bit like being married to each other. For better, for worse, in sickness and in health, for long hours and many resolutions of challenges and conflicts, for decisions involving basic values, for lots of care of other humans. I don't know where I will be five years from now. I could be tenured and here, I could be refused tenure and not here, I could be in parish work again, I could be somewhere else entirely. But we could all be a little team here for many years and are assuming we may well be. And even if we are not, the decision of whom to hire in the field of religious studies will have an impact on students, and on the institution, for many years. It's not like hiring the best widget maker you can find; not that widgets aren't important.

Small talk. I am turning into a minor Samuel Pepys again with all this detail... (Speaking of which, someone has Pepys's diary on a blog!) Not very profound writing, this, but it's life right now. I did write a bit more of my New Preface by the Author in my head during my walk, and also got some thoughts (thank you, Holy Spirit and beautiful snowy woods) for my sermon of March 2. I need to put them to paper. But first I must finish proposals for the Educational Policy Committee. They were due today and I got back from class an hour ago. There are a lot of faculty members up late tonight finishing their proposals. More details of why we have to write these proposals you really don't want to know. The short version is it's not optional.

A nice Valentine's Day, though, with joyful solitude and beauty to begin the day. It made all the difference later.

And tomorrow night, on stage!


Grandmère Mimi said...

I'm late, Jane, but I'm glad you had a nice Valentine's Day.

Jane R said...

Thanks, Mimi. It's so good to have a visit from you. You must have arrived just as I was posting! The auto-save doesn't mark the actual time I post, just the first "save" time. I posted a little after midnight. Happy Valentine's Day and a big Southern hug to you.

Paul said...

A belated Valentine hug to you, Jane!

For several years my bunions would hurt when the barometric pressure dropped. I had heard legends of such things and was amused when it happened to me. Has not been the case for years now, that I've noticed anyway, but I would have a sense of weather changes that way. (Made me feel very old, of course.)

FranIAm said...

VERY belated but very warm and loving Valentine's greetings to someone who I have grown so fond of in a short time.

I send you many prayers!

Mary Clara said...

I get seriously sleepy when the barometric pressure drops. I can definitely feel when it's going to snow, and to a lesser degree when it is going to rain.

Hope the new hire works out! Belated Valentine greetings to you and Miss Maya Pavlova (I am of course just one of her army of secret admirers -- and yours!).

pj said...

The name "Samuel Pepys" always makes me think of Alex Trebec from Jeopardy, correcting some contestant's pronunciation (as if Alex would know how to pronounce "Pepys" if he was anything other than the Jeopardy host.)

Anyway, yes, I think most of us are sensitive to changes in barometric pressure, whether we're aware of it or not. We're all little pieces of earth walking around, after all! And we're mostly water. Kind of nice.

May all your co-worker stuff turn out nicely, soon. :)

Jane R said...

Thank, all. You're sweet. Thanks for all the hugs and prayers and good wishes. Mary Clara, I love secret admirers -- though they're even better when they aren't secret any more. Thanks for visiting.