Maymester has been wonderfully busy. When my day is packed with meetings with other people, I get shit done. And then I fall over. And stuff that isn't scheduled to be worked-on with other people falls over. But. I am recalibrating. It's going to be okay.
Dance class 3 hours a day, 4 days a week; I don't remember when the last time was I got this much physical exercise, this much detailed attention to moving and being-in my body. It is strange. My muscles are perpetually sore. I suck down food and water like a starving dog; I notice more acutely how a bad night for sleeping, or a heavy dinner, or even just a frustrated mental mood affects my body, my ability to balance and stretch and leap -- and how that in turn affects the clearness of my thinking. Fascinating.
Qualitative research: yes. Yes, yes. I love classes that force me to reshape articulations about my thinking, that introduce me to multiple paradigms... I am so often so far outside the standard that it's good to know the names for what I do, to know that other people do it too, that I'm pushing the experimental edge but so are they, that there are others out there experimenting with methodology... to see how they do that. When Dr. Dolby called me deconstructivist the other day, I looked at her bewildered: "but I'm not, I'm... I'm these other paradigms except I don't quite fit..." and then I realized that this new word I didn't know did seem to fit better. Finding my tribes, learning to name things. A different sort of power than the quiet kind that radiates from sore (but stronger) abdominal muscles, but power nevertheless.
Working with Jennifer has been a great adventure; we're both totally geeking out about the intertwining of our respective subjects. We've figured out the sounds I have trouble pronouncing (sounds that are neither labial nor dental nor voiced -- IPA-speak for "I can't lipread or hear them," which makes sense) and I've managed to learn how to (inconsistently) produce the two types of "ch" sounds in German, which leaves... z, t, s, and r, I think. We may be aided by the addition of my hearing aids, which I will get tomorrow.
Hearing aids tomorrow. All sorts of questions that weren't relevant in my childhood; I last had hearing aids as a young high school student. What do I do with them when I travel? When I'm driving a car, will the low-frequency rumble drive me nuts? When I give talks, what will those sound like? When I'm learning foreign languages? When I'm out hiking in the woods? All these things I didn't do as a child or a teenager, but which are normal parts of my young adult life. World has expanded drastically. Not sure how much bigger it gets. A lot, I hope.
They'll be the best pair I've ever gotten -- still not enough for my hearing loss (nobody makes hearing aids for my hearing loss; I have lost too much hearing too profoundly) but better, and the monotonic improvement is all I ask for. And for the first time, I have aural rehabilitation; grad students from audiology and speech pathology have been working with me already (and they're fantastic, and I ask lots of questions, and we geek out together...) and I have help and guidance with adjusting and recalibrating this time, unlike when I was a little kid and it felt like: "Here, magic technologies -- put them in your ears and you will be Closer To A Hearing Person! Whoops, you're fixed! Now off you go, don't get them wet!" and I would stumble out back to the classroom, dazed and overwhelmed by new sounds I couldn't understand.
Still running. Need to pick up pieces I have dropped in the starting rush; Programmabilities for UNICEF, SparkTruck (sigh), blogging workshop. Trying to get it all going, all done, all going before June 8th, so I can honestly and legitimately collapse in a blessed sleep at the end of Maymester, and heal and breathe and take stock of the things I've learned through this wild tumble while waiting for Sebastian to fly in.
C'mon, Mel. Short nap. Then get back up. Then run faster.