Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Non-meme meme

Does "meme" stand for "me, me, me" ???

I know, the word existed before the blogosphere.

Anyhoo...

Lenten practice: To take a half an hour walk first thing in the morning or whenever I get up (which is sometimes much later than first thing in the morning since I teach all evening, till late, two nights a week, and work late at least one other night). Just that. As I wrote over at Sharecropper's, this get me outdoors in nature (I live near some beautiful trees and don't hang out with them enough); gives me some time for quiet prayer; exercises my body and offer me a chance to breathe deeply; and in general, starts my day in a contemplative way and not at my desk (not even reading the Daily Office online, which now comes later). It's small and simple but I think it's what I need. And it's not so huge that I can't do it. Also, it will probably affect the rest of the day. (I'm still waiting for that, but the point of Lenten disciplines is NOT "results.") It changes the gateway to the day and does it with body, mind, soul, heart, environment, and time. It involves some discipline; even something that small is taking some rearranging, perhaps as much inwardly as outwardly. It was a struggle this morning. Even after plenty of sleep I woke up cranky. I was still cranky during and after the walk -- a rarity, since walks generally dispell crankiness.

Current crankiness: Our departmental search for a new faculty member. This is a major decision since we are a grand total of three tenure-tack faculty in the Religious Studies department. (There used to be four in the old, pre-budget-cuts days, and we may return to four, but that is a long-term project.) So two of us are bearing the burden of decision (the current third, who is leaving, is not part of the search committee) though of course we are consulting the students (who play a real role in the search here), other colleagues, members of various committees, and representatives of college governance; the dean and president, of course, will have to approve our decision. The third finalist has come and gone and now we are in discernment mode. I am trying to read what last night's and this morning's crankiness are saying; I know they are saying something. My Ignatian training is kicking in. Anyway, I will be glad when it's over. But we can't rush such an important decision. And we have to rush in a certain sense since the candidates are not only competing with each other: we are competing with rival institutions in other parts of the country who are after some of the same candidates. More I cannot say but there is a lot more.

More crankiness: I am neglecting church committees (which I much prefer to academic committees, although a committee is a committee) and some of my work for them because of the above and of a couple of other things I don't talk about on blog. I have also taken a break from preaching for some weeks. This won't last forever, but it's a necessary sacrifice right now and I don't like it. Someone did cheer me up earlier today though, and it helped.

Current joy: Teaching liberation theologies to a very small seminar of students: reading texts by Gustavo Gutiérrez very closely, this week in conjunction with watching the movie "Romero" and pondering a few excerpts from sermons of Oscar Romero. I get to copy and read those excerpts as my spiritual reading. (Next week: a bit of Ivone Gebara, just one text, plus some first-person accounts from other Brazilians and a text by Mary Judith Ress; and some poems and meditations by Helder Câmara and Pedro Casaldáliga. On to South African writings late in the month.)

Fun at the end of the week: like many colleges around the country, ours is producing "The Vagina Monologues" the week of Valentine's Day, and this year I'm in it. Yes, I am too busy, but I skipped it the last two years and I am a professor of Women's Studies as well as a professor of Religious Studies, the segments are small and rehearsals have only been half an hour long, and more to the point, I'm a ham.

I also like the play. I first saw it in off-Broadway (but very near Broadway) with my 80-something parents several years ago and we howled with laughter -- and were moved nearly to tears by the more poignant of the Monologues. Yes, I am the only person on the planet who went to see The VMs with her 80-something parents, and it was their idea, too. I was surfing around the 'net a day or two ago to see what sites were saying about the play, since it is now related to V-Day and colleges especially are very involved, and I discovered that a lot of people think this topic is obscene. One place (in New Jersey) even replaced a billboard advertising the show with the words "The Hoo-Hah Monologues." !! Folks, this v-word is a descriptive word, it is not a swear word. Oh, don't get me started.

This year V-Day has a big New Orleans and Gulf Coast focus; in fact our show is a fund-raiser for projects there. (With the V-Day attention to violence against women.) Anyway, I'm on stage twice this weekend (there is a companion play the two other nights of the four-evening run of shows) as a member of a three-person team with two wonderful young women students. We are having a blast.

Bonus questions:

Number of overdue writing projects: Four. One long, one short, two medium.

Next preaching date: March 2.

Writing projects to finish by then: Two. Not counting the sermon, of course.

Supper tonight: Disgustingly healthy and sufficiently delicious. Stir-fry (kale, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, tofu) with brown rice and peanut sauce (the one for which I posted a recipe way back, with plenty of garlic and ginger in it).

Snack later in the evening: Yes.

Last night's supper: Paid for by the college, at local restaurant, with candidate and department-mate and spouse. Crab cakes.

Student assignments to correct before tomorrow night's class: Two weeks' worth of reading notes; one set of mini-midterms.

Dress rehearsal for the show: Tomorrow, before evening class. (It pays to be in the first scene; I can rehearse and still get to class on time.)

Back to some cranky work and then to wrap up this day. More Romero coming shortly, though. Peace out.

P.S. I'm not tagging anyone, but if anyone wants to share (1) Lenten practice, (2) current crankiness and (3) current joy, meme along! In the Comments section below or at your own blog, your pleasure. Oh, also: (4) fun at the end of the week and (5) dinner menu. Other questions tailored to your life and occupations; you name them, you answer them. Qualitative or quantitative answers, your choice. Don't be shy.

4 comments:

FranIAm said...

My my Jane- wow, you do have a lot going on.

I love the idea of the walk, but I am not beginning that practice today as the icy sleety rain/snow mix ("a wintry mix!" says the weatherperson) comes down and I sit here with a sinus headache.

But I love the idea of a "walking meditation."

You know your presentation of the words of Romero stir my heart deeply and I thank you.

The Hoo What Monologues? Good God, save us from ourselves please. I love the idea of you with your parents at this play. I saw it in what was the same place a few years back myself and thought it was outstanding.

Anyway depending on my day and my headache, I may take this meme on freely!

Peace my sister-

Jillian said...

You are one busy woman!!!

Crankiness you say? Hmmmm I think I have the same crankiness bug you have!! I have so much to be thankful for, yet I find crankiness creeping into my heart and soul and I don't like it! It's interesting that you referenced William Barry's book on Ignatian discernment. Perhaps I should take it home with me and attempt to discern my own crank-pants state of mind. The card you received was priceless! Love it.

Best of luck in your on stage performance. The Hoo-Hah Monologues are coming to ND as well, despite much controversy. Perhaps I will check it out. Now if only I could find a willing 80-year old to come with me. Perhaps my husband will do :)

Blessings!

Jillian

Jillian said...

ps.
I found this great article today about the Monologues and why the Catholic Church need not protest
http://www.bustedhalo.com/features/VaginaMonologuesonCatholicCampuses.htm


Jillian

johnieb said...

I decided to re-read TVM in solidarity with V-day, or your performance ("Break a leg."), but it turned out to be one of those books which drifts to unknown parts while my back is turned. Hmmmph. I looked like the woman in the Gospel story, turning the place upside down, until, finally, I looked more carefully on the shelf behind me.

I suppose it's better than not finding it at all, huh?

Coochi Snorcher!