About an hour and a half ago, the Moon entered its 7th mansion, The Throne, whose letter is ق and whose Divine Name is The All-Encompassing, الْمُحِيطُ (which is not among the traditional 99 Asma).
My cold symptoms became more prominent again yesterday afternoon and evening. It seemed as if they had begun to fade, but maybe my assessment of that had been premature.
I'm still basically caught up in my course prep and am spending my time in getting ahead in preparation for anticipated challenges to come.
The state has announced significant budget cuts, including to higher education. This seems to be getting played out rather chaotically at the university. Policies regarding scholarship offers for prospective and returning students have been fluctuating wildly in the last couple of weeks, as have admissions policies. Suddenly the concern that the Admissions Office had been showing about the academic qualifications of some of the music applicants is out the window, and all of them have been offered admission. It looks like a desperate effort to offset budget rescissions by increasing tuition revenues.
I'm a member of the music admissions and scholarship committee, which met yesterday afternoon. After the meeting was over I calmly waved goodbye to some of my colleagues, went to my office, gathered my computer, books, and papers, and proceeded to head home. I listened to my Armin Muzaferija CD in the car and stopped off at the grocery store to pick up a few items. I had a sort of fun interaction with one of the grocery store employees at the self-checkout station, since the TheraFlu I was buying is an age-restricted item and I needed to show my ID in order to get clearance for the purchase. It seems that there are always one or two cute young male cashiers at the store. Sometimes they are friendly to my husband and me. The latest "cute boy" was the one who helped me out yesterday. He was kind of playful and fun as he checked my ID, pretending that it was a fake ID. That was the extent of my pleasant socializing for the day.
Maybe the the financial situation within the department is dire, and maybe we're in a place of readjustment. Whatever. There have always been students to teach since I have started working there, and maybe that will continue into the future, and maybe not. But I can't single-handed fix the state budget, and I can't single-handedly raise millions of $$ for new scholarship funds. If someone else organizes an event, I might be polite and show up, but basically the nature of my work is to serve the needs of whoever shows up. Recruitment is not a big part of my job.
Today is therapy day. It's also the one-year anniversary of the death of my "mother-in-law." I'm kind of in a mood to retreat into my shell, but I'll most likely keep my therapy appointment. Since the last appointment I find that I've been more attentive to expressions of distress and discontent among faculty from a number of different institutions, including people I know directly (like my brother and some of my colleagues), those known to me indirectly (such as Laury Silvers from the Toronto Unity Mosque), and others (like a philosophy professor and scholar who recently gave a much-discussed talk on his struggles with depression). Maybe an emerging theme for me is an increasing awareness of stress and emotional and mental health issues within the academy, beyond the particulars of my own situation. That's one way to reframe my assessment that, when I'm experiencing distress, it's because there's something that I'm failing to do perfectly right (as if there are others who must, therefore, be doing things perfectly right and I'm just failing to "get it" somehow).