More Ineffectual Shouting Into the Void
At the beginning of last week I sent a letter to some vice presidents, deans, and committee chairs at the college and also to the officers of the union, officially withdrawing from service at the college for the upcoming academic year. It's not a formal requirement, but it was one that I felt was necessary. I wanted to be as professional as possible, and let them know about my absence from their various committees and initiatives so that they might find a replacement for me, but I also wanted to be as clear as possible about my reasons for withdrawing from these positions.
The reaction to my letter was as I expected. I received some emailed support from the committee chairs, and a long, good phone call from one of the deans, but mostly radio silence and static from the people who I'd hoped would read the letter and understand its implications, which are larger than my particular and personal set of circumstances and point to larger problems at the college. And that silence/avoidance is pretty much par for the course at Stuffolk, so it's not really even disappointing, because I more or less expected it. (The golf cliche here is super appropriate, as the U.S. Open is currently underway and fucking up traffic all over the east end of Long Island right now).
So what does this mean? For one, it means that whether or not anyone agrees with my reasons for withdrawing, I can rest for a little while, because it's done. I've made it official. And working at the college for the past year -- maybe even the past two years -- has been incredibly draining. I need some time to mellow out.
To be honest, it's a little jarring and I've spent the last week feeling largely unsettled. I've done a little bit of everything but not a great deal of anything. I suppose that's healthy to some degree, but it's a strange feeling. I've been reluctant even to write in this blog, mostly because I don't know what to say. I keep writing and deleting sentences. I'm reluctant to invite judgment, I suppose -- particularly my own.
So maybe I'll stop here, and leave you with a picture from my garden, since it's a part of the past two weeks that's consistently made me feel happy and productive. This is one of my favorite plants, insensitively nicknamed "Indian Flower" but also more appropriately called a "Wand Flower." It's lovely and I have one pink version, too.