Professor J's Place

30 April, 2008

The End of an Era

Albert Hofmann is dead. (Not to be confused with Abbie Hoffman, who died almost twenty years ago and was a frequent user of the drug Dr. Hofmann created.) Albert Hofmann is the Swiss chemist who created LSD.

It has been some time since the days of the "spirituality" of drug use has been a hot topic. Most of the men who championed that idea are dead. What is it about human consciousness that we seek to alter it? Why do we enjoy a distorted reality? And we do. Even if the hardest drug we ever ingest is gin.

I think that self awareness makes us want to understand how the brain works--we'd like to take it apart like a legos creation and figure out what happens if we put it together differently.

More than that, Hofmann believed that LSD would help us become aware that we are one with the universe--that all creation is connected. LSD, he thought, should be used a spiritual ritual.

Of course, Hofmann hoped for more than a drug that would help people commune with nature. He had hoped for a drug that would alter the consciousness of mentally ill people. He had hoped for a cure for schizophrenia. Too bad that didn't work.

He did manage to create another drug that would stop postpartum hemorrhaging. No small thing, that.

I tried LSD once. I wouldn't say it was spiritual, but the grass was VERY TALL and it was singing my name, so I guess I got the whole "one with nature" experience. But, as interesting as I found it to hear my mind unhinge, I decided it wasn't worth a second try. What about you, readers? Any of you reminiscing about your hippie past?

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28 April, 2008

Will it never end?

I am still struggling through the end of the semester.

For those of you who don't know, let me tell you what an idiot I really am. I teach composition full time (four sections) at our local satellite school. I also teach composition and literature part time (two sections) for an adult degree completion program at a local private university. Last summer, I took on a section of World Literature online, as well. Yes, my fellow university people, I had seven sections--two full time jobs plus.

Well, this term, a fellow teacher was unable to fulfill his commitment to the online classes he was assigned, and we didn't know until two weeks into the term. So when my dean contacted me in desperation, what was I to say? I do know the word no. I just don't seem to be able to say it.

So now, I'm teaching 9 sections, which a normal school would call three full time schedules. And most of those sections (7) are composition.

Are you getting a sense of my idiocy yet?

Of course, I'm not doing a good job at any of it.

So, I've decided this will not happen again. I am going to learn how to say no. I'm going to learn how to pass a "Help Wanted" sign without thinking about whether I can do that job. I am going to learn that I don't need to work every waking moment of the day in order to get by.

And, my in laws have been visiting for the last five weeks. Lovely people, both. I've had great fun. But god I need a quiet place in the woods for a week or so.

And just to update you folks. This is Joel:

Joel is the sweet gray cat who is interested in becoming friends.

This is Millie:

Millie is the stray who hates Joel and growls a lot. She is pretty, though, and sweet to people, so I have some hopes. But if anyone wants Millie for a one cat household. . .

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24 April, 2008

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

22 April, 2008

File under: Well, You Asked. . .

Today before class I went to the cafeteria for a sugar free, fat free, flavor reduced smoothie.

"Would you like a booster with that?"

"Yes. Vodka."

It's been a long morning.


18 April, 2008

Getting to Know you

There's a cat in the neighborhood who wanted to come live with us. That is, until she met Joel.


16 April, 2008

Still Drowning

I'm about mid-way through that pile of papers (okay, more like a server full of documents), but I had to share this with you. Jozet sent it to me, and you know how I heart her.

I was lecturing the other day and I said, "I am not endorsing any political candidate," and one of my students said, "Oh yeah? I've read your blog!" Busted.

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11 April, 2008

That's me

Don't expect much anything from me for awhile. Just one question: do you suppose I'm burning calories doing this?


04 April, 2008

No Kidding

I stole this from Gina at Ginaagain.

Just a bit of trivia. In my profile on Match dot com, I said that I was a Labrador Retriever with a good vocabulary. I guess I'm not the only one who thinks so.

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03 April, 2008

While I was sleeping

I was reading one of my favorite blogs the other day, and I was struck by my friend BipolarLawyerCook's list of things to do in life. One of the "things" was "Look for something beautiful everyday." I thought that she was so right--it is essential that we remember that the world is a wonderful place and we celebrate beauty wherever we see it.

This isn't too hard for me to do on a regular basis. I live in a beautiful home in a beautiful city; I live with two beautiful women, two beautiful dogs, a beautiful cat. I live a life I love, and I am surrounded by art--Susan's and other people's. What's not to find beautiful? But sometimes I get a special treat.

Susan goes to sleep later than I. Of course, she gets up some two hours after I do, but she also seems to be able to get by on much less sleep than I require. Anyway, I often get up at five and she has done lovely things. She'll have cleaned the kitchen, or posted on her blog, or, on special mornings, she'll have created some art.

This morning I stumbled into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee, and on the counter was a lovely pencil drawing of an old fan that's in the living room. It is so sweet to be able to look at something I see everyday through the loving eyes of an artist--especially this artist. It is such a privilege to see things anew.

That's what art does for me--visual, literary, musical--it allows me to see the beauty and the glory and even the horror in this world through other eyes. I am such a lucky woman.

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