The annoyance of waiting

Stratford / ON / Canada - 8/9/16Is there anything worse than waiting?

I must admit that I am a terribly impatient person and always have been. Much of that is due to the way I conduct myself, in general.

I am very guilty of having high standards. I have incredibly high standards for myself and inadvertently have exactly that expectation of others. Sometimes that comes to bite me in the behind. People often don’t seem to manage to rise to the heights that I expect. On the other hand, sometimes there are extenuating circumstances, but Somehow, I never seem to get the message and continue to be optimistic about the situation.

One of my favorite career points was when I was in charge of the Language Laboratory at New Trier. When I arrived at New Trier in 1977, they had an outdated, pretty much unused language laboratory system. In 1986 I was asked to take charge of a new language lab installation (so I taught four classes instead of five) and I did it with great expertise and hard work, if I may say so. I went way above and beyond with it and even did monthly charts of attendance. I worked really hard to bring in people who were, at that time, even ‘allergic’ to tape recorders. The hard work paid off and the facility became very successful, being used by everyone and in the end, necessitating two more labs. I was sad when that part of my career ended and had to figure out how to transition on.

I just cannot find myself easily doing something without giving the typical 200%, it is not in my nature.

Waiting, thus, which is often because of the lack of initiative, enthusiasm, or motivation of others, drives me absolutely crazy because in my shoes, if there is a job to be done, it is worth doing well. I only wish I could donate some of this ethic to others because sometimes, I have way too much of it and I drive my family members crazy.

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The ‘New Society’

Deerfield / IL / Etats-Unis - 8/22/16It just occurred to me. Some things are so simple and yet so complicated. There are so many issues in this large country of ours, the U.S., and so many changes that need to come to pass.

MK was reading an article in which the ‘white trash’ element of the country was in discussion.
The article stated that obviously, the ills caused by slavery are continuing to ravage American society, but perhaps the ‘white trash,’ lower class issue is one that has not truly come to the forefront as being a serious problem.

It is easy for me to say, but I think that we need to attack that issue and as soon as possible. I keep thinking of our immigrant families and how in some families, those with some good education in their background managed to catapult their children into a spiral of success educationally, intellectually, and even financially. In families like mine, where education was not a given, a percentage of the offspring of the original immigrants managed to move forward and up. In my family, on my mother’s side, only one out of three moved out and got an education. On my father’s side, less than half of the cousins did so.

Perhaps we need a new program, one in which we do our utmost to rid ourselves of a less than content ‘underclass,’ instead of LBJ’s ‘Great Society,’ a ‘New Society.’

I see this happening by a true education for all, making higher education more of a possibility with fewer financial constraints, much like it is done in other civilized countries. If higher academia isn’t a possibility, at least some sort of training to give a life’s vocation and thus providing a good life. Good daycare should be affordable by all and include instruction and socialization. Health care needs to be accessible by all and the red tape that is now incurred, a thing of the past.

Would this all be cheap? No, but it would be worth it. I believe that in the beginning, it would be costly, but as a long term goal, I am guessing that this would help us all to be a nation that is happier overall, and certainly healthier. I cannot help but think that in the long run, the costs would settle down and we would even be spending less on education and healthcare than we currently are.

Removing that underclass in the above ways would also work toward making our society more tolerant as a whole and less likely to search out someone to lord it over. Tolerance could be a wonderful new byproduct. We could certainly use that.

Simplistic, yes, but I do believe that this would work.

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A cool chill, a reminder that fall is not far off


We had been told that Sunday would be cooler than it has been and that has come to pass. When I woke up and let Stewie out the front door to do his leg-lift job, I noticed the cool. When eating breakfast al fresco, I was taken back to our family vacations in Eagle River, Wisconsin where the morning almost always had a slight chill and where you could hear the wind rustling a certain way through the trees.

The sun was shining and the ground pretty much dried off. The rains were monsoon-like and all of the pavered sidewalks are actually devoid of water. I am surprised. The ground was really dry, though.

I realized that my latest house campaign is the taking back of the bedroom occupied by our youngest for a few years after his return from California. The drums are finally gone and I have been picking up things here and there in the room and collecting them to put in the closet, for the time being. I am anxious to get at the curio cabinet in the room to see what I need to resolve in terms of kitsch-removal. I have a collection of Eiffel towers, of glass paperweights, of German wooden smokers (incense), and other items, even an actual Hummel figure. I really don’t care for the Hummel figure but it represents my mom, for years she had collected Hummel-like figures, a Royal Doulton and a Royal Doulton fake, ‘Precious Moments’ figures that make me gag, and the like. I still have the real Hummel figure, tiny as it may be, that I bought her on e-bay. At her point in dementia, I am not sure she ever really appreciated it.

The room is and has been used for granchildcare, actually being prepared as such with the paint-by-number oil paintings my Dad did of characters from Disney movies, with them hanging on the wall. I had repainted the room and readied it for Samantha, now seven, many years ago. It was soon overtaken by the trappings of a young man forced to live in a tiny space. In terms of life, it was only a short time as he collected himself. The drums are now gone, but the drum accompaniments are still there and ready to be packed for storage and or movement elsewhere.

The sun is shining, the breeze is cool, the summer is waning a bit and we are having a taste of the fall.

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Random thoughts on grandkids and garage organization


Saturday found me awakening at 8:45 AM after a night of a few sleepless moments. It didn’t help that Stewart was really into our new early daytime wake up at 5:30 AM or so. He decided he wanted to eat, but I had him go outside instead. By the time I got up, he was actually whimpering by my bedside, too tired of being patient.

Friday started out by my early morning wake up so that I could help out and take two of the grandkids from their home to the babysitter. The request was that I get them to the babysitter by 8:00 AM so I went for 6:30. By the time I arrived, the five month old was in daddy’s arms, he had decided on a really early wake up. I spent some time getting breakfast ready for all. Having two children two and under is an amazing feat to handle and it is clear to me why it is helpful to be young to take care of them.

My new brick path got some help on Friday as I swept sand in and tried to stabilize the sides with limestone screening sand. I realized, after a huge downpour, that one of the areas was still lower than I would like, it was a problem before that despite my efforts still remained ‘below sea level.’ At first, today, with water on my regular sidewalk and NOT on the new one I just redid, I thought redoing was not necessary. Then I walked in the garage and realized that some water had gone further inside on that side of the garage and decided to rethink my redo. Since It is a fresh job, now is the time to redo as I have all of the sand to go forward. Let me think about it!

Friday also found me relaxing? Well, I tried, but organizing the garage that is now MINE because pretty much all of my sons’ possessions are gone, is more relaxing than sitting in a chair. I did that. I think I can actually have two cars in there at one, OMG!

Maybe today I shall take in a movie.

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Breakfast in Des Plaines


Monday was the first day back, a week before classes actually begin, and a breakfast kind of day.

I went because the Adjunct Faculty Association asked us to show our presence. It is a good idea since most of the classes at the college are taught by Adjuncts. I saw some colleagues over the weekend at a wonderful graduation party and found out that they were going so I went to the language lab in the morning and we went as a group to the breakfast.

It was interesting to hear of the new people (full time staff) and of the various honors that Adjuncts and Full time staff happened to be receiving. It was nice to have a kick-off for the semester. I am wondering how many Adjuncts were actually there. To be honest, I felt as if I were invisible or looking in on an activity from the outside and they were unable to hear me. I cannot wrap my head around the idea that the Full time staff and Part time staff are so separated. They actually each have their own unions.

The theme of the year is a good one. Last year it was ‘All for One’ and this year it is ‘One for All.’ The idea is that we all want to work toward maintaining enrollment and doing our utmost to ensure student success. It doesn’t seem logical to work toward that without having a unified faculty. Maybe it is just my view that is skewed, but I don’t think so.

I am so blessed, however, because in our department of languages, there are so many people who seem to realize that it takes a whole village to raise a child and that it is only in working together that we achieve success.

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