Jim Huggins (jkhuggins) wrote,
Jim Huggins

Wednesday Hodgepodge: 18 January 2017

New year ... let's see if I can get this weekly blogging thing working again ...

The Wednesday Hodgepodge appears courtesy of From This Side of the Pond.

1. ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now?

This one stumped me for awhile; I'm not terribly creative when it comes to word games.   But I do know how to surf the web ... and eventually I found a list of ASAP acronyms that I could browse.

The one that seemed to speak the most to me right now is "After September, April Possibly".

I have a huge list of things that I'm supposed to do.  I can't possibly do all of them --- I don't have enough time, and even if I had enough time, I don't have enough energy (physical or mental) to spend all of that time working.   So a lot of those things on the list get put off until "April".   Of course, April rolls around, and then the list of things is so large as to be insurmountable.   (sigh)

2. Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?

Totally depends on the group and the topic.   If I have an opinion, and I think the opinion will help further the discussion, I have no problem being first in offering the idea.   If I don't have an opinion, or I don't understand the topic, or I don't think my thoughts will move us forward, I'll be the last person to speak.

Because, ultimately, it's not about the sound of my own voice.   It's about helping the group move forward.

3. What do you remember best about being 12?

I had to work hard on this.   Age 12 would have been my eighth grade year.   My strongest memory of that year was my English teacher, Mrs. Morgan, who was obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe, and taught me diagramming sentences.   The final exam for sentence diagramming was to diagram the opening line of The Fall of the House of Usher:

During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.

I can still recite that sentence by memory.   (No, I cut-and-pasted it this time, because I wanted it to be perfect.)

4. January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why?

Eeyore.   As some anonymous wag has said:

One awesome thing about Eeyore is that even though he is basically clinically depressed, he still gets invited to participate in adventures and shenanigans with all of his friends.   And they never expect him to pretend to feel happy, they just love him anyway, and they never leave him behind or ask him to change.

There are a lot of days where I don't feel very lovable.   And occasionally, on those days, Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin will appear on my doorstep and drag me out for some fun.   I'm very grateful to them.   (Y'all know who you are.)

5. What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way?

Several years ago, I got dragged, kicking and screaming, into the modern era of Google Apps for Education.   It was extremely painful having to learn a new set of online tools, and I'm still poor at a number of them.

But the thing that's been the biggest help for me has been Google Calendar.   Managing our family calendar (which is shared among a number of us) and my work calendar at the same time has been extremely helpful.   Since "absent-minded professor" is a redundant description of most of us in the academy, anything that helps us keep track of where we're supposed to be at any given moment is extremely useful.

6. San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL)...you have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?

Well, this is easy.   My wife and I spent our honeymoon on Sanibel Island.   I'd go back in a minute.

7. Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what?

For me, it's the old hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness.   It makes me nostalgic for my undergraduate days.   Frequent readers know that I was (and am) a part of the InterVarsity movement.   That hymn was a favorite for many of us in those days.   I can remember singing the hymn at a variety of times and places: afternoon prayer meetings, evening fellowship meetings, weekend retreats, and month-long camps.   It reminds me of the men and women whose faithfulness helped bring me to where I am today.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's a new term, and even though my teaching load is lower, my stress levels seem to be just as high.   As my department head says: "The most important thing for you to do is the thing you're not doing.   Of course, if you stop doing something to do that other thing, then the most important thing for you to do will be the thing you stopped doing."   This seems to apply to so much of my life right now.

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