Reflections – August 8, 2021

As the beginning of the fall semester draws near, I find myself remembering “The Clicker.”

If you haven’t read this old post, you might find it interesting. The post describes one of the encounters I had during my years working as a faculty member in academia. I survived those years by writing fieldnotes and reflections to record what I witnessed and experienced. For obvious reasons, I couldn’t share what I wrote then. One of the reasons I began blogging about six years ago was to finally share some of the stories. Although I did my best to remove all personal identifiers, one person did recognize a few of the protagonists since she, like me, was a target of theirs because she was different.” Today, one of those experiences came to mind and inspired the following reflection.


as she stood by the cutting board

slicing up an old apple

before it finally became too rotten to eat

she found herself once again

looking back at her social awkwardness

chuckling about petty colleagues

who thought they were

meting out punishment by

ostracizing her from their social gatherings

when in reality, from her perspective,

they were actually sparing her discomfort

from the meaningless small talk

she would have had to endure otherwise


august 8 2021


I am truly grateful that I retired early and now have the gift of a position teaching groups of diverse, amazing students with the support of competent, supportive colleagues. But it’s time for me to get back to the apple before it turns even browner…

16 thoughts on “Reflections – August 8, 2021

  1. “Social awkwardness” once called ‘refinement’ as in the uncomfortable ‘discernment’ that comes with an auto-distaste for all that is GROSS, as in ‘if I pretend to support that which is clearly dysfunctional, am I not then thrown in the ring to wrestle with pigs??’ 😉

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  2. I can definitely see myself in this post’s “reflection,” which is probably why social distancing (and mask wearing) during the pandemic are no big deal to me. I’m not knocking those who don’t share my outlook, but neither should people like me be criticized for not thinking ‘like the crowd.’

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    1. I don’t find that surprising, Mister Muse, and can relate to your feelings about physical distancing and masks. I don’t mind them either even though ever-foggy glasses are a bit of a drag.

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  3. Isn’t it wonderful to know this freedom to be who you are and to find those who support you! These are the blessings of continuing to live and learn. Some people say it’s growing older and wiser. I say it’s being grateful and generous.

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  4. Carol, this reaction took me back to my earlier days and what my inner responses were to the outer comings and goings and observations. I, too, retired early, grateful that I knew enough about the system to prepare the way and make it happen. Like many introverts, the masks and distancing have been just fine with me. It’s remarkable to notice just how many report suffering in these times. I’m reminded of the importance of and gratitude for an inner life that is rich, deep and connected. 💜 Powerful reflection. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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