Showing posts from October, 2004


It's been a rough week. I'm so busy I haven't been reading other blogs, let alone posting to them, and there is so much crap going on at work right now...I know it will all work itself out in some sense, but I don't like the uncertainty. It's an issue of mine: I like my life to feel stable. But I'm tired, physically, emotionally, even spiritually. The strongest feelings about my job are gradually diminishing; I feel them less often and less intensely. But they're not gone. And my serenity is blown to snot. Things don't feel good, don't feel right. I don't feel close to S. This whole mess sucks. No matter what, they way I experience my job and my dept. have changed. I will have online classes fall 05 but probably not the next spring. And then I have to wait around for someone else to roll off rotation, three semesters probably, or try to add further sections. It makes me angry that the few of us who want to teach online are being rest…

Keith Green

I'm catching up on work now that the initial shock over the work stuff is over. And as I have napster, somehow I ended up listening to the old Keith Green albums. I saw Keith, just weeks or months before he died, at the Long Beach arena. I was 17 I think. And my brother, who was churched before I was, had one or two of the albums. My high school girlfriend, who sang in a catholic guitar mass, was a big fan.

And you know, his music, his lyrics, really are astounding. He had such intensity; he saw his faith in sermon on the mount terms. I like it. His constant calls to service of others are so impressive.

The fact that he died at 28 with two of his little children, leaving his wife, a baby, and an unborn baby behind, is incredible to me. He wasn't martyred; he just died in a stupid plane accident. If I remember right the pilot overloaded the plane. Keith wanted to take his kids on a plane ride and the plane was too crowded. Of course, only the pilot could have known t…

The Gods of Winter

The department vote was a complete failure; I wish I had waited until the next meeting. At least our chair is recommending a subcommittee meet to discuss rotation issues. It takes pressure off her and allows for discussion. Good. I did email and say I needed to speak to her; if I have no online next fall my schedule will need some adjusting and I'd like to be in on it.

But I am very sad. I feel like I've been through the worst of it (though if I end up driving five days a week, even the four I'm hoping for, there will be more to get through). I feel more serious than ever about tranferring campuses, but I won't know if the campus near me gets their English position for a few days at least, maybe a few weeks. And then it's like applying for a new job, almost. But maybe I've said this already.

S is undergoing her interview right now to get into the grad program in psych. I'm sure she's doing well, but she's very nervous.

And to top off my f…

Lunch Day

I just came from my informational lunch with two faculty who work at the college in my district up the hill. It felt like a two hour job interview; they way knew why I was eating lunch with them. It went well, but I'm exhausted. They are trying to get a position for next Fall; they want two, but will probably get one. Of course this wasn't an actual job interview, and I would have to go through the whole process: paper screen, faculty panel interview, presidential interview, blah blah blah.

I was so nervous guys. I woke up at 6 this morning. I don't even know if I want to move my job up the hill; my college, in most ways, is a better college. But it's so damned far! And I still don't know what's going to happen with my online classes.

Much about living up here has been good, like the seasons, Allen and Reeanne (a good friend's very hip parents), the woods. My church is getting better, but it's someplace I have to lead and not be led (at least …

Small Talk

It rained all of the last two days, snowed a little this morning, and now it's just gorgeous wet and cold. We were just below the real snow level; up higher, like Tahoe, they must have gotten a couple feet or more. In October. Intense.

I sent out an email to my whole department sticking up for myself and my point of view; I felt like the argument was viewed as, 'how can troy keep this killer schedule he has at the expense of others' instead of, 'the only way to treat online comp. classes fairly is to let the full-timers teach them if they want!' Fact is, there are as many challenges as plusses to my killer schedule. Like today, I'm home alone much of the day, working solus.

Remember Jerry McGuire and his manifesto-memo? I feel like that. I'm afraid to look into my email inbox at work. And I realize just how much skill it takes to manage a political issue on a campus. I know others who are much better than I; my greatest attributes are stubborness an…

The Late Show

Tonight is one of those nights I'm having trouble sleeping; my wife got me that sleep cd, which really helps me relax. But it's sitting in my car and I probably haven't used it in two weeks and I just feel antsy. When my turning wakes my wife up, it seems better for both of us if I get up for an hour or two and then go back to sleep.

Things are crappy at work. The meeting Tuesday went poorly, the e-mail vote sent out later, even the meeting minutes: my vision for online got blended with my desire not to drive four or five days a week (and these things are not completely separate). Anyway, I don't know yet, but I could end up without online classes as soon as next fall. And no matter what happens next year or even the year after, this department does not feel the need to keep my teaching in the internet aether. Plenty of other colleges, even one in our district, staff many more sections than my dept. is willing to do. And I'm hurt, and angry, and sad.

I know…

Schweitzer's Historical Quest, Beginnings (Uncle Albert, .05)

On the personal front, the meeting today in English resolved nothing. There was no vote. And issues came up I hadn't considered. Let me tell you, I know who my friends are though. Some gave eloquent defenses of my idea. One in particular, didn't. Time will tell what I do and where I teach. I meet with faculty from our mountain campus later this month; that's 30 minutes from my house, or less.

I need to begin addressing Schweitzer (for my own mental health). I'm sitting in my office hour, and this seems like a good time. This post is 0.5 because I have introductory comments to make before I get specific.


First, so many Christians recommend Schweitzer's Quest for the Historical Jesus! It's true, he notes how various 19th century scholars made Jesus into a historical persona they felt comfortable with in disregard of any respectful historicism; from what I know of the Jesus Seminar (writing now, long after Schweitzer of course) I also see this criticism can be…


When I read Symposium with freshman (I should say freshpeople) we talk about Plato's theory of forms. That somewhere, in the non-material world, a perfect chair exists (along with every other perfect thing); one which has all the attributes of chairness and nothing extra. His theory of perfections is quite powerful, and echoes of 'ness' or essence show up in unlikely places, including native american creation myths: in one a woman from another world leaps into our own, and on her long falling journey towards what will become our earth, she is accompanied by essences of beaver, turtle, and waterfowl. Not the actual creatures, but their non-material essences.

Why this lengthy intro? Is it because teachers, no matter what level, can't help be didactic? Probably, yes. If I taught kindergarden I'd tell you to pull out the nap mats now.

I am trying to discover, what is the essence of blog for me? As I look around at other blogs, those 'outside' which I find eithe…

No Good Title

I'm home from taking Mikey to the airport; S worked all day and works tomorrow and is already asleep. I always worry when Mikey flies; the security seemed a little stiffer tonight, and then Mikey told me: Gray Davis was on his plane. I heard some people talking about someone famous, or something, but even though I waited in line with Mikey to board I didn't notice Gray and his bodyguard. I was reading Uncle Albert. How funny is that?

And right now I must recommend two things: social distortion and port. I can't believe I missed the first two social d. albums; I only knew the radio hits. The music is so excellent; it's not punk; it's soulful, clear, heartfelt rock. I almost said boy or man rock to contrast with girl rock, but that sounds strange. A sad commentary on our society, I think, that it does.

And port. I am sipping the Graham's ten year tawny we got from Costco. Truly, port has long been my favorite wine, and I've been in love with many wines over t…

A Rose By Any Other Name

Chameleon asked where the new title comes from: truthfully, I was experimenting, seeing if changing the title of the blog would change all the page headers. It doesn't. The only way to fix it would be to go in and tweak all the html, I guess. Don't know if it's worth that.

And what is hymns from the wood? Well, it's kind of silly really. There is an old album by jethro tull called 'songs from the wood.' I've never even heard it, though with napster I think I might just bring it up. Hang on....

Ooh, this begins quite pretty. I was never really a tull fan; they were before even my white-bearded time. But I enjoy this opening track. Kind of Bach-like, kind of Renaissance.

Anyway, I write about my faith up here so much I thought hymns from the wood would be better than songs, as I do live in the woods! My house is surrounded by towering cedars and white firs, the occasional dogwood and black oak, but mostly big, tall trees. So, hymns from the wood…