Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Archive for October 2010

Walking Morgan Creek with Anna and Steve

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This week I had a phone interview with a school in Virginia.  It was encouraging to know that at least one of the schools I’m interested in working for was impressed enough by my professional credentials to put me on the phone interview list.  I’ll hear this week if I made the cut to fly out for an on-campus interview.

I’m also nervously awaiting word about the other positions I’m excited about.  As such, I spent much of this week compulsively checking the “rumor blogs” which are my only source of information about which schools have scheduled interviews without contacting me and are therefore are places we will not be moving next year.

With moving so much on my mind, I’m sad to say that I’ve definitely started doing things on my Chapel Hill bucket list.  Some of have been great.  Some have been ok.

Walking the length of Morgan Creek with Anna and Steve definitely was a great one.  I’ve always wanted to see the meadow at the end of their neighborhood.

Twas a long walk mixed with both beauty of my life in Chapel Hill and a deep sadness about leaving it . . . as so many of these autumn days in Chapel Hill are.

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October 31, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Reflections

Waldo and the Angst of the World

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Brilliant.

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October 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

Posted in Geeky Blogs

The Global Church Meets in South Africa

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The global evangelical church meeting in South Africa seems a very cool thing.

The Chinese government banning Chinese Christians from attending isn’t.

Even though I know other folks attending, I don’t think I’d know as much about it if my sister wasn’t in charge of the daily email updates.  Thought I’d put it on your radar screens 🙂

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October 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Reminds me of Platform 9 & 3/4

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October 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Posted in UNC

The View from 8 Stories Up

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Two weekends ago Charity and I had a lovely Sunday date.  We walked a mile or so down the streets of Chapel Hill over to the new condo towers in town. As we strolled under the brilliant blue skies we talked about the future, about schools and non-academic options, musing as with a rarely frankness about choices that are probably coming.

We went to the open house on the eight floor for the views and were treated to the best view of central NC I’ve ever seen.  Between the six custom apartments we were afforded 360 views of the slightly rolling Piedmont. The only thing that could have made it prettier was if the leaves had begun to turn. I mentioned more than once that here was a view that could nurture a mountain soul like my own.

To see the view, we toured each of the six apartments. Each was two bedrooms with central, open living space focused around floor-to-ceiling windows.  Each had a balcony. Some were pocket sized: perfect for a book and drink. Some were stunning: decks meant for parties, hammocks, and eating dinner outside six months of the year.

We walked around bantering intelligently about the merits of small bedrooms, integrated living areas, and the various nooks each apartment afforded.  We think we would make great HGTV participants.

One thing we couldn’t afford was the price: 660s to over a million.  Our taste in apartments decidedly outstrips our income.

That night, when I told my friend Steve about our tour, he said something like:

Was that a good idea?  It’s not like the seed of Andy and Charity’s greed lies dormant.  You guys might think twice about pouring fertilizer on it.”

I think that was a fair question.

But, for now, I think I’m more in awe and less envious or covetous.  Something about me really loved those apartments.  The nooks, the view, the beauty.  They were amazing, but I don’t need them.  It doesn’t bother me that I don’t (and can’t) live there.

But on a less self-complimentary note, I’ve been thinking lately about the monetary restrictions that come from being a professor, particularly when I consider jobs at the lowest end of the pay range.

I’ve thought about the type of house that I do want . . . and realized I will be disappointed to live in a house isn’t cool (to me at least) and is just functional.

I’ve thought about the income I might make, the cost of the kids we aspire to have, the ability for my wife to have the life she wants at home with them.  Can we have those things at all?  Will we be able to travel to Europe?  To shop (judiciously) at Whole Foods?

I wonder if my desire for these things and the willingness to make real sacrifices to achieve them makes me greedy or just someone with distinct tastes.

So far in life I haven’t had to face really wanting something but being unable to have it for financial reasons.  Part of that is that my desires are in line with our incomes.

But I’ve realized are some things that I want.  How I will react when (if?) I can’t afford them?  Will I adjust my desires and avoid the grief of not having money to do something important: attend a funeral, send my daughter to summer camp, or give my wife the stay-at-home parent title she might really desire.

Steve says it’s good to un-earth our subconscious desires planted in us by culture, the behaviors and assumptions that drive us without us every questioning them.  Lets push them out into the light of day he says.

Facing real jobs, with real incomes, with real tradeoffs is an opportunity to do so.

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October 9, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Posted in Reflections, UNC

Where my mind is these days . . .

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It’s job season again.  I’ve been a lot less frantic about it than I was last year.  Feeling some peace about options outside of academia makes me calmer.

Here are the open positions I’ve been thinking the most about.  Not mentioning any names for google reasons but you might be able to guess a few of the slots.

I’m also thinking my world in Chapel Hill a good bit.  The dot near Chapel Hill keeps me from grieving . . . for now at least.  Prayers are very welcome.

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October 7, 2010 at 7:15 pm

A Taxpayer Receipt

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This report showing how much of your tax bill is spent has gotten a lot of press. Interesting eh?

Would love to see how they calculated it all.

Hat tip to Planet Money.

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October 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Posted in Politics