Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

The midterm report  §

So the middle of the term has now, officially, for sure, without a question, passed. Actually, I think I’m a little late in making a post like this one because I think midterm may actually have been last week or something like that. But today was midterm exam day for my students, so today is officially the middle of the term, so far as I’m concerned.

As this term got underway I was concerned because it promised to be the most busy three or four months of my life, compounded by one of the most transformative ongoing periods of my life. Halfway through the term, things are a little less worrying. Everything is busy as hell and life is being lived on a shoestring most of the time, but it isn’t at all bad. I’m quite happy and things are nominally manageable, though that sort of evaluation makes things sound a little more stable than they might actually be.

But in any case:

– I’m caught up on grading papers
– I’ve fixed my computer three times (twice involving a soldering iron)
– One paper submitted (from Krakow; two more papers are left)
– Most of my students’ papers are graded right now
– We are okay on money (not rich, but okay)
– The November trip is creeping up and is very exciting
– Shandy continues to grow
– I continue to grow

Life is just sort of hanging together and getting better. I still pinch myself every day to make sure I’m not dreaming; everything has come together into “happiness” so very quickly that I’m almost not used to it yet. I’ve found my person, I adore my dog, my house is lovely, my grades are excellent, professors love me, money isn’t tight, my health doesn’t suck at all, and I live in the pizza-by-the-slice capitol of the world. Awesome.

There is a can in front of me with maybe 45 pencils in it.

I remember there was some research a few years ago that suggested that men in particular are intellectually productive only until the point at which they get married. I wonder if that’s true. I guess we’ll find out.

I was walking Shandy tonight along the road by the river and looking at the two bridges stretching out above us and wondering just what this entire area must have looked like before New York happened. It’s so forceful now, the presence of this place, the embodiment of this city right here, right now, that it’s almost unimaginable that at one time or another this was all wilds full of foliage and watershed and wildlife. I have trouble just imagining the river without the bridges over it.

There is nothing quite so reassuring in life as a basket full of potatoes on a windowsill. Such potatoes carry the unmistakable DNA of the subjective present, which also happens to be the essence of truth.