One More from the Old Man

Ella’s still off at model congress so here’s another post from Mr. Ella’s father.  This’ll be short, as I’m leaving tomorrow morning for 10 days in California.  As always, I’ll depart with mixed emotions.  I genuinely enjoy many aspects of business travel — seeing new places, meeting new people.  My work requires me to spend a lot of time talking to college professors about teaching and learning. It beats flipping burgers.  American higher education is in rough shape, but it’s still something that’s done better here than most anywhere else in the world.  You can’t say that about too many fields.  And there’s always a certain positive energy on college campuses — thousands of people working toward a better future for themselves and others.  Sure, there are the slackers, the greek brats, the spoiled kids.  But despite all of that, the dominant mojo on your average campus comes from people working on getting better at something, and helping others improve.  How many other environments feel like that?

So why the mixed feelings?  I’m leaving my family behind.   Regular readers of this blog know that Ella needs a lot of support.  That’s harder to give from 3000 miles away. When Ms. Ella’s mom is parenting solo, she gets worn down, and everyone has a rougher time of it.  I hate being the cause of more hardship and friction, even when I have to be off doing what I do.  Ella will be coming home tomorrow from a major expedition and I won’t be here to hear about it.  And I’ll be even farther out of touch with Pippa than I am already.

So I think I’ll take my cue from our cats, who have commandeered Ella’s bed during her absence.  I can relax and take this in stride, trusting I can handle whatever tomorrow brings.  Or I can peer nervously forward, dreading whatever may be headed my way. I’m thinking Max and Zelda have the right idea.

one bed; three cats

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