Jim Huggins (jkhuggins) wrote,
Jim Huggins

Wednesday Hodgepodge: 22-26 March 2016

The Wednesday(-ish) Hodgepodge appears courtesy of From This Side of the Pond.

1. Has spring sprung in your little corner of the world? Other than the calendar how would I know? What's your favorite thing about spring?

Spring is getting here.   In this corner of the world, spring arrives in fits and starts ... we'll have a few days of warm weather, and then the next week we'll have snow.   Mostly, I notice it's spring because of the retiurn of daylight over more hours of the day.

My favorite thing about spring?   Because of my weird academic schedule, it's the arrival of my non-teaching term.   Three months to do the five months of work I save up for then.  :(   Seriously, though, it's my chance to attempt to step back and relax a little and try to clear the deck of all those annoying little tasks that build up over time.

2. Besides the weather, what's put a spring in your step recently?

I just got back from a one-day retreat focused on teaching, sponsored by our on-campus teaching center.   It was nice to take some time --- even if briefly --- with like-minded people to think about good things.

And maybe --- just maybe --- I got an idea or two for a research project?   We'll have to see.

3. How does Easter impact you?

Someone once said that "in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."

In theory, Easter has a huge impact on me.   I'm an evangelical Christian.   Without Easter, there is no Christianity; Easter is the fundamental event at the core of Christianity.   If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then all of us Christians are fools.

In practice ... the specific observance of the Easter holiday tends not to impact me much.   Part of that is living in a secular world (and, in particular, a University world) that pays no attention to Easter.   Today is Holy Saturday, and I'm typing this while proctoring my algorithms final exam.   I spent a good part of Good Friday working on administrative tasks and grading.   The world marches on to its own pace, and I follow along.

Also, Easter tends to fall at the time of the year when I'm just finishing up nine months straight of teaching (see above), and I'm tired and burned out.   It's hard for me to muster a lot of enthusiasm about anything just now.

Not treating Easter as special is not necessarily a bad thing.   There are sects within Christianity that do not celebrate specific holidays like Christmas and Easter, because every Sunday (indeed, every day) is supposed to be a celebration of those things.   I would hope that people would see Christ in the life that I live each day.   That's a matter for others to decide.

I'd like to think that Easter was a bigger deal for me.   But, in total honesty ... not so much.

4. I saw this somewhere on Facebook and thought it would make a fun Hodgepodge question. Which of the following would you find most disappointing...
a just stuffed taco shell breaking open and spilling out before you take the first bite? dropping a just-purchased Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts coffee? opening the peanut butter jar and finding it empty? upending onto the sidewalk a just-purchased ice cream cone? a burnt bagel popping up in your toaster when you're rushing breakfast? or cutting into an avocado and finding out it's rotten?

The ice cream cone.   Not sure why ... just seems like the greater tragedy.

5. What's something held together with tape at your house? Or a paper clip? Or a wing and a prayer?

The only thing that I can think of right now is the connection between the dryer exhaust and the outside vent.  Lots of duct tape.

6. Do you feel underappreciated? In what way?

I think this question is why I waited so long to finish this week's blog entry.

I feel appreciated by people in my life.   There are a small number of people who go out of their way to show me that I am important to them, and invest what few resources they have in showing me that.   You know who you are, and I thank you for that.

I feel unappreciated by organizations in my life.   There are many times that I feel like the work I do for those organizations is not valued by those in power and authority.   And while many individuals in those same organizations will reach out to me and show me they value me, their ability to express that is limited by their position in the organization.

And, yet, organizations are composed of people.

Of course, this question comes at a time when I am considering (see above) the sacrifice of Christ, who did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but voluntarily made himself nothing (Phillippians 2).   It makes it extremely hard to talk about being appreciated when I serve a God who was actively despised and rejected.

7. What's something you'd build if you knew how?

A house.   I'm a little bit jealous of the folks I know who aspire to buying a piece of property and building a house on it.   I'm never exactly sure how much of their own sweat equity goes into that process.   But it'd be nice to be in such a privileged position to be able to do something like that.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I want to give a shout-out to another frequent contributor to "From This Side of the Pond", Barbara.   I had the chance to see her this week ... unfortunately, the reason for seeing her was a funeral.  Barbara, my thoughts are with y'all.

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