Weekly Round-Up

April 5, 2021 Edition

When I started the weekly round-up, it was to intentionally set time aside on Fridays for reflection and, frankly, ranting. As I’ve tried to do this, I’m realizing that Fridays aren’t a good reflection day–because lately, up until Saturday, I’m in the fray of the week. This weekend was Holy Week for those of us faithful out there and, so, I present last week’s reflection juuust a tad behind. On the other hand, He is Risen! So, you take the good with the bad.

With that, let’s look at the week that was:

best holiday of the week: Easter

Typically, I’d include Sundays in text week’s screed, but it’s going to feel too far away so let’s seize the moment. This Easter was more interesting than usual because it was almost exactly last Easter that the world shut down and everything felt incredibly tense and unknown. As I was singing yesterday (masked, in a very small group, socially distant) I couldn’t help reflect on how normal this mode of singing felt. I started thinking that there are ways in which the world will never, ever be the same. And then I started thinking, “That’s awesome. I didn’t love the world so much as it was.” I know I’m in the few there.

Aside from that, I love Easter because it’s the best of all holiday worlds: good foods without exhorbitant present-buying costs, the promise but not the guarantee of nice weather, low-key but still feels special, a man-bunny that brings chocolates and, in my case, Rose Prosecco to my house. A great, religious story. It’s perfect in terms of holidays.

best app of the week: Fabulous

You will change your life, even if you don’t want to.

I have a love/hate relationship with this thing. I tried it a couple years ago and actually gave up because it was in my head, being so understanding about all the ways I couldn’t create a good habit about things like getting up early or stretching for one minute at 3pm. I couldn’t handle it; I wasn’t ready to change. This time, though, I re-started it because I was ready to actually start changing, not just enamored with the idea of change. I was in it for the long-haul–and I still am. If you feel a need to start making a case for changing or creating habits, this app can lead you there. Based in the ideology of stoicism (I think, they never really come out and say it) and using what I think is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques, if you enter in, it starts helping you establish new habits from the ground up.

It still challenges me daily, especially as I realize I have terrible, terrible follow-through. Ugh. It’s not as fun as Candy Crush but it is money I consider to be well-spent…and it’s gotten in my head, for the good, I hope.

best conditions of the week: Sunny and 66 degrees

We’ve had the first taste of a real kind of spring situation and, wow, it’s life giving! It’s amazing what a little sun can do for your tired, weary COVID-19 brain. Yesterday as I was walking June I thought, “it’s hot out here.” Even that signals the start of something new. Buds on the trees, birds singing. I often don’t feel awesome about summer coming but this year I’m open to the idea.

rant of the week: Students

I teach a sociology 101 class at a community college and I had one of the most annoying weeks in a long time. Homer nails the week I had. I do the Weekly Round-Up to focus on the good because sometimes I get grumpy and the world looks…not great. But this conversation with my students worried me a lot: about the way they’re educated virtually during COVD and their attitude about it. There’s a lot to say but let’s just leave it at this: Higher Education has to be about one’s own pursuit of more knowledge. It’s not transactional. It’s not a service like an oil change where you pay the $69.95 for synthetic and drive away, task done. Education is an endeavor that requires work. You pay for the experience and practice in learning how to think and engage critically with ideas. I cannot give you education; you must educate yourself. I can guide you.

I’m so sick of their annoying complaining about how much work it is and how little time they have. I’m sure that’s all true…but you came here to me and asked to take this class. I didn’t force you. Shut up and try!

And on that note, we dive into this week. Let’s see what else we can conjure up, shall we?

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