78uuu lumière des étoiles


Last week at a glance
2008-10-01   10:35 p.m.

Went something like this:

Sunday Our friend died in a car accident. He was rear-ended by an overly aggressive driver, pushed off of an on-ramp and into a tree. Our friend died before the rescue team could even get him out of his car.
Tuesday A colleague I'd been working with on our gender-diversity grant died of a heart attack. He was young, had a great wife and was one of the few admin to actually support our work.
Wednesday (afternoonish) We were told by an ethics liaison officer at a department meeting to "refrain from political activity"*
Wednesday (later afternoonish) Waiting to merge onto an exit road from the highway, I was rear-ended and pushed a few feet. It was a minor accident, but given the one I was still crying over that killed my friend, I found myself unable even to talk to the kid who hit me or the cop who came after the (understandably) freaked out kid called 911. I'm fine - even went to see my chiropractic lady doctor - but still wonder if my inability to stop shaking after the impact has done some irrevocable damage to my adrenal gland or whatever. How nice of the nice cop to sit with me and awkwardly pat my back and repeatedly ask me if he could call someone until I could get a grip.
Thursday I can't remember much of Thursday. I went to my chiropractic lady doctor, who decided that my on-going issues with my pulled groin / obliques / rib pain needs to be more closely examined, and thus handed me a fistful of prescriptions for ultrasounds, MRIs and something called a "nerve test". Ew?
Friday My girls came over and we watched the "foreign policy" presidential candidate debate, which was neither about foreign relations nor policy. We discussed.
Saturday We went to a commie pot-luck and discussed the discussions about the (non)Foreign Policy (non)debate. I heart the commies, for they make Steve and I think so hard. Also Steve's brother came up from DC for the memorial services we were about to attend.
Sunday Brendan's wake was crushing, painful, and difficult for me to be a part of. Watching Steve suffer so much, as it was a long-standing and childhood friend of his that died, was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I didn't think I was going to make it.
Monday Brendan's funeral. And I'd thought Sunday was hard. Watching Brendan's girlfriend Megan alternate between crying and numb made me terrified of losing Steve. Watching his mom unravel made me terrified of having a child and then having to bury the child at thirty three because of someone else's random recklessness.

One serendipitous and oddly comforting moment: turned out Thomas was the piper at the services - and this had nothing to do with us. Life is strange.

Today was pretty good, as was yesterday. We're on a role, trying to keep it low key. Mourning when we need to, sleeping a little more, eating a little more. In an extreme rush of another kind, I found out that TWO papers I submitted to the impossible-to-penetrate International Studies Association conference were selected for panels on Gender and Development (!!!). The conference is HUGE in my field and includes scholars and development workers from a zillion countries (ok, like 50) and IOs like the UN. And come on, Nils Petter Gleditsch! He's a mega-celebrity! Gleditsch!. I'm really proud of myself, especially because this was such a long shot, I don't yet hold a PhD and because this year the conference warned that they'd received a "record number" of responses and would be extremely selective in their reviews. I'm so intimidated and excited I feel pukey just thinking about it. Good thing I have until February to delay/obsess.

*Yes we, and particularly (un-tenured) me, hit the roof. This is because 1) "political activity" was not specifically defined, so this makes us extremely suspicious of the reasons for this announcement. "Political activity" can mean the kind we know we're not supposed to do - like using university resources (stationary, photocopier) to make or distribute campaign materials. As "political activity" can also include, however, everything from the Barak Obama doll on my colleague's desk to the McCain button on my other colleague's briefcase to me critiquing No Child Left Behind or the World Trade Organization with my students or slapping a "LBGT Safe Zone" sticker on my office door two years ago, this raised MANY eyebrows (and fists, and feet, etc) and also raised questions about a number of amendment rights. We're mobilizing, and I'll leave it at that.