Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Putting in the Time and Effort for School in Boston

We left Bedminster at 11:45 a.m. Monday to return from Boston, Cambridge, and Newton at 10:57 p.m. Tuesday, feeling as if we enjoyed a week's vacation. Before I took on my present job with its long hours and no vacation until next year, I thought of adapting a different appreciation of life. Call it up-tempo perhaps, my managing to get things done in spite of the cramp. I'm not quite used to it yet, as I've always relied on time to let go, reflect, and spontaneously think and write with no need to watch a clock. I feel as if now I've entered real time, when I spent 13 years in Island Time during younger years...and never quite got over that.

Now's an opportunity. I plan on never actually retiring, because a writer never quits, but someday I will be done with jobs. I also spent 13 years on the road for a credit union, with tasks to do for an hour or two a day at Headquarters, and though road stress is real and so is loneliness, that job I loved for its last five years or so never had the moment-to-moment demand on my every move in the company of coworkers my new job qualifies for in spades.

Before I write, shoot photography, and fish full-time, I want to pay my dues. I've led a life I feel proud of: full of adventure, creativity, love, and recreation. I want to know again what it is to feel pressured under watch all day and do well at this. I've had lots of temp jobs like that in the past, but they hardly count, since they didn't last. I've done all sorts of jobs, actually, and think of two years as a supermarket cashier. That allowed pause between customers. Someone mentioned today that he hasn't had a day off in three weeks. This makes me curious. I'm wondering what it's like to be deprived of the sort of recreation this blog celebrates, which comprises no less than the good life.    

Since April last year--until recent--my former job clocked about 33 hours a week and allowed for internet, reading, and even keeping a notebook, little clock watching needed. I wanted instead to take on more of a challenge with demanding tasks filling out all of my hours, along with hope for advancement, so I left that job for this new effort. I certainly got the tasks, whether or not I'll earn the advancement. I'm not concerned about that yet; I just do my best to keep adding new chores to my habits, catch mistakes before they happen, and learn from the mistakes I couldn't help. I make a difference, obviously, because without me, they'd have to hire someone else. I've taken extra steps forward by finding more to do than asked, and I've taken a few backward by forgetting what's required. I bring home more pay now, and that's essential to what this trip to Massachusetts was all about: my son's schooling beginning September 2017, whether university or college.

I'll tag-line photos to give you a little sense of whereabouts. Of course we went to the North End's Union Oyster House Sunday night for dinner. This made me think of a coworker, since he mentioned the spot, where I ate with my father when I was 14--a whole bucket of steamers--and Patricia and I probably ate there in 1993 or 1994. Afterwards, we got to the Harvard Coop bookstore 15 minutes before closing, which gave me time to take note of Howard Gardner's Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed, a book for our time in defense of these fundamentals. I've read a lot of Gardner's work on intelligence, he's a major thinker, and may read more by him yet. I also took note of yet another book on William Blake, of which I've read a few, as well as every word the poet wrote, both silently and aloud to my son when he was little. I've read the entire works aloud to Matt, and I've read the entire works silently for myself, as well as plenty of the poems, proverbs, and pronouncements otherwise many multiple times both silently and aloud to my son. Who does the likes in our hyper-modern world? I have, because Blake inaugurated this age we enjoy: "Energy is eternal delight." They thought he was insane, possessed by the devil, for saying that, a radical statement which, to his time, belonged only in the fires of hell. Matthew's middle name is Blakely. I could have suggested the name Blake, but I like the adverbial suggestiveness with the ly at the name's end. You might think adjective, not adverb, and that's OK. But if any poet ever wrote with Godspeed, first recommendations for honors might go to Blake. Matt's no poet. But math quickens by Godspeed, too.

I could write all night if I had the time, and I suspect you haven't so much either, so I'll end by saying I felt the MIT admissions talk and tour especially excellent. I felt right at home with MIT, especially with the humanities the university offers, and Matt will feel at home with the math department, if he is selected. Boston University is Matt's mother's alma mater, a huge university with high standards and I think a good second choice. He'll apply to other schools, of course. We'll keep fishing, too.

One last mention. At MIT Press bookstore, I came directly upon Bringing Society Back In by Edward P. Weber, a book about grassroots ecosystem management, accountability, and sustainable communities. I bought it for three dollars with my Central Jersey Stream Team friends in mind. Doubt I'll ever read it cover-to-cover, but I've perused it and know it's worth the honor of having, though of course that honor especially goes to the people like Andy Still who put in the time and effort.

Dubbed America's oldest bar, established 1795, North End.

Part of the Union Oyster House

North End

MIT's The Green Building, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science

McGovern Institute for Brain Research

Patricia and Matt

A Chapel at Boston University

Martin Luther King Honorarium Boston University


  1. beautiful pict, beautiful place... hopefully i can go there...someday

    1. Best wishes to you. Thanks for the appreciation.


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