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Too many topics, too little time

If I’m not incorrect [1], this musing is number 300 in the series. I had considered a wide variety of topics for today’s musing. Here are a few. Yesterday, I took a tour of the new Hotel Grinnell, which is still under construction. I planned to muse about that hotel and the insane energy that Angela Harrington is putting into it, but that was before I realized that this was musing 300. I’ll probably get to it soon. Today at 11:00 a.m., I watched a crane raise the Grinnell Peace Rock. That seemed to be a nice subject for a musing [2]. At lunchtime today, I attended a session on belonging at Grinnell and efforts to help some students better feel like they belong here. That’s a really important topic that I’d like to have the time to reflect on. Over the weekend, I was looking up information on Oswald Veblen [3] for a potential musing. I hear that there was an interesting CS table discussion today and that the role of ethics in our curriculum came up. That seems to be a great topic for an extended musing [4]. My CSC 151 students are working on their projects. I was tempted to muse on those projects, both generally and specifically. A few of the students have been asking about how to include text in their projects. I was tempted to make today one of my use your writing time to prepare class handouts musings. I was also tempted to muse about the bash shell for similar reasons [5]. I have to prepare an agenda for tomorrow’s department meeting and thought about writing the public portions of that agenda. I considered writing about the csstudents mailing list. Earlier this evening, I wrote two extended responses to email messages from prospective students; I considered modifying those. However, I’d done that recently, and didn’t want to do so again. In any case, I had a wide variety of topics to consider [6].

But before musing, I told myself that I was going to clean out my inbox. After all, I once again reached inbox zero on Sunday, and I wanted to stay there. It didn’t seem too daunting. I had accumulated about 120 messages today. I responded to questions from prospective students [7]. I dealt with a few small paperwork issues relating to my class [8]. I threw out a lot of mail from mailing lists. I answered a few more substantive questions from students and colleagues. I dealt with some mailing list issues [9]. I handled a variety of registration issues. I even sent out a few unprompted emails about various issues that I should address. I filed a few as things to deal with later.

By the time I finished dealing with my email, two and a half hours had passed. I’d like to get to bed at a reasonable hour. Although my muse was clearly working overtime to help me come up with all of the topics above, she agreed that I needed rest and came up with this topic. We both realize that we had planned fewer introspective musings. But sometimes such musings are necessary. And, hey, I have almost two weeks of topics listed above.

Of course, I always have too many topics to muse about. There are about 150 in my list of possible topics, although I must admit that some are less interesting to me now than they were when I added them to the list. It’s just that I’d like to approach each of those topics seriously and that takes time and energy that I clearly don’t have [10]. Perhaps I should rename the collection with the title of today’s musing: Too many topics / Too little time.

[1] Yay double negatives!

[2] Of course, a lot has been written about the Peace Rock, so I’m not sure what I can add, other than a suggestion that it become the symbol of our Peace Studies Program.

[3] You can look up info on Veblen, too! Or you can wait for the musing.

[4] Or perhaps multiple musings.

[5] We will be talking about bash on Thursday in CSC 282.

[6] Nine or so, if I count correctly.

[7] Yeah, I just told you that.

[8] If I remember correctly, I had announcements to add to the course page, some extra credit to respond to and record, and attendance to record.

[9] I also forwarded about three messages to the csstudents mailing list. There’s a reason I’ve started to refer to myself as SpamR.

[10] I was going to write time and energy that I don’t have right now. However, if I am honest with myself, I will never have sufficient time for all of these topics.

Version 1.0 of 2017-04-25.