Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Meted out

From Wikimedia. 
We enjoy family board games, where each of has strengths. Math Man never loses at Azul, and when it comes to Bananagrams I rule (though I'm not quite as dominant as Math Man at Azul). Math Man, our youngest and I played last month on a short holiday "down the shore" (as they say in Philly). 

As we walked through my layout on one game, my youngest questioned "mete." Which I cheerfully defined, noting a typical usage is "meted out."  I admitted I didn't think of it as particularly odd word, but a quick web search not only confirmed it was indeed a word, but that its "use has been falling since 1890..." I fear this describes too much of my vocabulary. There was lour.  And allochthonous.

Only the former is likely to be played in Bananagrams.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Release the penguins! A score for the start of classes

I am in my last year as chair of the chemistry department, I'm also chairing a major committee for the college. The last three weeks have been...packed? I ran across this music meme again last week and realized it's the perfect score to accompany the start of the semester for a department chair (or faculty member, or support staff, or student, or parent...the slope of the ramp from summer to fall is steep for us all!).

When the day gets chaotic (and they all have), I visualize the score, and find my spot on it. Before school began its advice to "keep both feet together" and to "cool the timpani with a small fan" reminded me to plant my feet, stand my ground and attend to self-care and care for my students and faculty. Of course, nothing goes as planned, as the "light explosives" portended.  But now the saxes have moved downstage (where hopefully they will calm down. Honestly, I didn't mean to double book their rehearsal room and I'm so sorry the piccolos drove them out with that shrill arpeggio. If your hearing doesn't return soon, do let me know.)

"Play ball!" and the first day of classes was upon us, even though I still needed a relief pitcher for Thursday afternoon organic lab, and yes, a tempo of 788 beats per minutes seems about how we usually play this section, why do you ask?  Of course, two measures later you can certainly understand why I've "gradually become agitated"given that metronome setting.

But here we are, at the end of the second week, and I'm relieved to say I've reached the measure where I'm instructed to "release the penguins." Watch out, they've gotten quite grumpy cooped up in my office these last two weeks, but once on the loose, not my problem any more.