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Considering a return from hiatus (#1107)

Topics/tags: Meta-musings

About a month ago, I put the musings on hiatus. Things were not going well and it felt like all I would be doing was ranting. There are times that it’s helpful to rant. After all, they wouldn’t call it venting if it didn’t let in some fresh air and light [1,2]. Deciding to go on hiatus made me a little better. A little, but not enough.

About a week or two into the hiatus, I wrote what I thought was a calm musing about all the things I was going to stop doing. My family told me to take it down immediately after I posted. I guess it wasn’t as calm as I thought. But I started trying to give up on the battles; they may be important, but perhaps it’s time to let someone else fight them.

That helped a little, too. That is, deciding that it was pointless to fight these battles helped. Maybe when I have more time or energy [3].

Then the derecho hit. And Eldest got sent home from school. And Youngest’s school joined the trend and decided not to bring students back to campus [4]. When you’re overwhelmed enough, it’s hard to be angry. Maybe I’m just numb.

Still, I’m feeling like I want to muse again. I started a Facebook conversation on new team names for Grinnell. That could have been a musing. I’m trying to convert my home site to our new server. That should be a musing, if only so I can record some of the things I had to learn [5]. I want to write about class prep for Tutorial, about unexpected (or expected) complications of the switch from semesters to terms, about letting things go [6], about regular expressions [7]. All sorts of things!

I also want to write about my sons. I had some great conversations with Eldest about the two-sigma problem in education recently; I wonder where those could go. Middle probably wouldn’t want me to say anything about him here. I’ll ask later. Youngest does the most fascinating things on the computer; he manipulates vim or uses JavaScript in ways that I’d never conceive of, let alone attempt. I wonder if he would let me write about some projects [8]. If not, I can still reflect on the cool ’blog posts or videos he mentions to me [9].

So I feel like I should resume. On the other hand, classes start in two weeks. Perhaps I don’t have the time. There are, after all, way too many things to do. But I like to muse. Let’s see if my muse permits short musings that do not interfere [10].

[1] When I made that comment to my family, they told me that it’s called venting because you want to let out the steam before something explodes. I prefer my interpretation.

[2] Are you uncomfortable with the switch from rant to vent? I’ll admit that I’m a bit uncomfortable. But I’ll pretend they are the same word. Let’s see: They both end with nt; r and v can look similar when written by hand; and, if I recall correctly, before the great vowel shift, a" more of an eh sound.

[3] Hah!

[4] That’s probably the safest option for him. I’m just sorry that he doesn’t get to be with his friends and the activities that only work in person, such as the Jazz Orchestra or the LSJUMB.

[5] Should it be a rant? I don’t know. We’ll see how things go. I see benefits and weaknesses in the new model. I’m still reflecting on the associated workload.

[6] More politely than before.

[7] No, really.

[8] He said yes! At least to one example. I’ll post that example soon.

[9] For example, he recently showed me the code at the bottom of this ’blog post and asked if I could identify the language. I said Wow, that looks like a strange amalgam of C and shell. Turns out I was close to right. I appreciate that we share interests in issues like this, even though he is rapidly surpassing my knowledge.

[10] It does not help that this musing, which I though I could write in fifteen minutes, ended up taking closer to an hour because I went off on one of my typical exploratory tangents.

Version 1.0 of 2020-08-17.