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Feeling surprisingly thankful (#983)

Topics/tags: Autobiographical

I had a draft of a rant-like musing prepared for today. But midway through the day, I found myself feeling surprisingly thankful and decided that I’d rather muse about that feeling.

I am thankful that members of Facilities Management got up early this morning and cleared the sidewalks around Grinnell. Although I did not drive much today, I am thankful to the City Crews that cleaned the streets.

I am thankful that the College subscribes to the Met in HD Broadcasts and that Rachel Bly and her staff made it to Harris for today’s Broadcast. I’m not sure that Wozzek was uplifting [1] but I appreciated William Kentridge’s stage design and the great performances. I am also thankful for the many opportunities I have to attend theatrical, musical, artistic, athletic, and intellectual events. I wish I had time to make it to more.

I am thankful for the many staff members and administrators who are working hard to make sure the appropriate infrastructure is ready for the spring semester, whether it be the physical plant, technology, educational infrastructure, or whatever. I don’t think we acknowledge the extra work they do enough.

I am thankful for our new Dean, who continues to surprise me with her thoughtful approaches to so many things. I am also thankful that I do not have to participate in the search for our next President.

I am thankful for how responsive folks have been when I’ve asked them to meet with me next week.

I am thankful for my friend and colleague who has started the new year by posting a new tip for sustainable living each day. I am also thankful for the many people who post interesting followups.

I am thankful that both Justin Thomas and Ralph Savarese have allowed me into their classes this spring.

I am also thankful for the many other colleagues I have at Grinnell. I am fortunate to work with such a wonderful group of people.

I am thankful for the wonderful dinner I had with friends last evening and for the conversations with those friends.

More broadly, I am thankful for the friends we have made since coming to Grinnell. Of course, I am also thankful for the friends I made before coming to Grinnell [2].

I am thankful for my readers, even though I don’t always know who they are. It remains strange to have a colleague [3] or student [4] say I enjoyed your latest musing.

I am thankful that my sabbatical has given me time to clear my head, to work on these musings, and more.

I am thankful for my Innovation Fund grants that, although they will complicate my sabbatical and the time beyond, allow me to attempt to affect some aspects of the Grinnell curricula.

I am thankful for my cool new Nina Paley cartoon.

As always, I am thankful for my wife, my children, my job, my quality of life, and much more.

It appears that I have a lot to be thankful for. Perhaps it’s not surprising that I’m feeling thankful.

Postscript: This was just a sampling; there are many more things for which I am thankful.

Postscript: Don’t worry, I’ll return to my curmudgeonly old self soon.

[1] More the opposite.

[2] As mom always sang, Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.

[3] I count faculty, staff, and administrators as colleagues.

[4] I suppose I should also count students as colleagues.

Version 1.0 of 2020-01-11 .