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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Delightful Distraction Period

And now I wait.

Yesterday I defended my promotion portfolio to a group of colleagues from different areas of the college: Environmental Science, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing. I've known the members of my reading team for many years, and honestly, it was a real pleasure talking teaching with them. At one point, when one of the readers said our gathering was a celebration of teaching, the thought crossed my mind that they were in favor of my promotion.

But I won't know for sure for nearly two more weeks.

So now I'll have to turn my attention to other things, things that will keep me busy, like loading Ado into the car and driving up to the lake for some long walks. Or working on a few of my own pieces that will be a part of my sabbatical project. Or getting the bike out and taking that first ride of the season now that the sun is warming our days. I'm sure I can find other things to focus on, to distract me from wondering if I will get that coveted letter saying, "Congratulations. You have been approved for Distinguished Professor."

To begin this distraction period, I began working on a piece I've been mulling over for several months now, ever since last November when I learned I have a heart murmur. I'm one of those odd people that finds starlings to be beautiful birds. In searching for information about the bird, I have learned they are hated and have no legal protections of any kind. While I understand why people don't like the bird for a variety of reasons, I am saddened that many people don't take the time to learn more about them. They are kind of remarkable, really.

As if by chance, I walked past a table of books at the book store this morning and saw Mozart's Starling. After reading the first line on the back jacket cover, I knew I needed to read the book. I bought it, drove to the coffee shop, found a seat by the front window to people watch if so desired, and began reading. On page 8 of the "Prelude," I was fighting back tears (I'm fighting back tears just thinking about this!). Someone, something (fate?), knew I needed this book right now.

Two pages of ideas sparked by reading just 25 pages into the book, I know I'm inching forward with the piece that sparked inside me several months ago. I think this distraction period could be productive and delightful all the way around.

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