Radio silence, feeling defeated, and this tree.
 
Sorry for the radio silence this past week, friends. I've been engrossed in this crazy trail mountain race, which I'm putting together a piece for you to read soon. Any way, I've been a bit overwhelmed, camping, and running, and finishing out the summer semesters, and prepping for the fall semester, and writing a new course, and, well, you can see how this goes. I was at work today, putting in grades and writing syllabi and learning our new system, and I stumbled over to rate my professors. RMP is a site where students can leave reviews of their college professors. Think yelp for class. Just like yelp, reviews left by students are generally left either by students who had a great experience, or students who want to complain. I generally have good reviews, but try to take them with the contextual knowledge that the sampling here is not randomly distributed. All of a sudden, all of my remaining spoons vanished. Someone had left me an "awful" review. I've never received a review so low. In context, I immediately recognized the student, who was frustrated with me because I wouldn't allow them to take their exam at home. I know that this terrible review isn't indicitave of my teaching style, but it still hurt. I decided to call it a day. Walking out to my car, I passed this spot. There used to be a gazebo here, but several years ago, a construction project was going to tear down a tree that had been planted in memorium of a faculty member here. The faculty petitioned, and the college spent a good bit of money transplanting that tree to this location. Unfortunately, the tree didn't make it, so a new tree was planted. Every summer, this little tree looks so pathetic. Especially compared to the splendor of the former tree. Rumors fly about the tree being dead, but somehow, it continues to surprise us and soldier on. Today I need to remember to be like this tree. Even when it seems that all is lost, there is life within me yet. I just need to remember....