I’m feeling better after Sunday’s post. Stronger. Less like a crime victim. More powerful. More capable. Less like I had the crap kicked out of me. And that’s a good thing.

We had an REU meeting on Monday. I walked in, looked them in the eye and said “Good afternoon.” Including to you-know-who. You can be an asshole, and you can hurt me, but you cannot keep me down. It may have started as the PIs meeting, but by the end it was clear that it was my meeting. I’m the one who knows what’s going on and what needs to be done. I’m grateful for that ass-kicking attitude when it shows up at just the right time.

Fractal Tree

An amazing fractal tree.

I am grateful for a friend who suggested I could get a copy of our REU grant proposal from the office of research services. I did. Now I just have to read the 67 page beast and see what it says about the role of the co-principal investigator.

I’m grateful for plans for lunch tomorrow with a former student who has become a friend.

I am grateful to everyone who came to check on me last Wednesday, successful or not. One downside to shutting your door because you are feeling crappy is that you miss the people who come by to comfort you. Thank you all.

I am grateful that I could comfort a student last Wednesday after another instructor (in another department) said some cruel and hurtful things. I’m not grateful for the cruel and hurtful things. I’m not grateful for his pain. But I am grateful that I could be present for those few moments, to sit next to him on the floor in Blocker, to hold his hand, and remind him of what I saw of him in my class. Those small moments of grace where comforting another reminds you of who you are, no matter how hard someone else knocked you down earlier in the day.

I’m grateful to have exams graded and handed back.

I’m grateful for finding music I like on Spotify to add to my playlists. I’m trying to join the modern world of music appreciation!

I am grateful for student reflections on their exams. I am looking forward to reading those. How many points should I give them?

I’m grateful for sunny days and bicycle rides. Trees that turn into these amazing complicated fractals in the wintertime. And clouds. There’s always a new cloud.

I’m grateful to know how to sew on buttons. Especially since several have come off recently.

One step at a time, one day at a time. Things move forward. Things come together. And things fall apart. My job is to keep my spirits up. To love the people in front of me, as best I can. To promote a more human environment for my students, for my colleagues, for myself. To look at and speak up about the elephants in the room. To hold myself with grace, speak with grace, act with grace, and to be grateful when grace appears for me, unbidden and unexpected.