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A Good Week
May 8th, 2015 by Dr Karma

awardUsually, when my allergy shot nurse opens my folder, I see a picture she took of me years ago in the very front, before pages and pages of records. Today, I saw myself–but it was a different picture–the picture UCD used in celebrating my teaching award here.

This was both flattering and ironic. A few weeks ago, one of my colleagues mentioned that she wasn’t surprised by my teaching award because she heard so many good things about me. It seems she had been to the UCD medical center. When she mentioned where she worked, people asked if she knew me and apparently said nice things about me. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it had nothing to do with my teaching–it’s just that I’m at the medical center an inordinate amount (I’ve had four visits for treatments/tests just this week) and that I’m a lovely patient.

Now, though, they may be able to mention my teaching. 🙂

***

This week started out rocky–I had a flare up of my stomach problems again. I threw up on Sunday and then found myself nauseated for several days after, including the day I got the teaching award. Luckily, I managed not to get sick all over the Chancellor and the Provost.

The ceremony was actually really nice. Several people were being honored, both in the Senate and the Federation. Margie Fergusen, who was my prof in grad school, and who is the current President of the MLA, won an award for teaching graduate students. She mentioned having so many gainfully employed students, which gave me the perfect opening to start my talk. I thanked those who taught me, my students, my friends and family, my union, the Federation, my department, etc. I did an ad for my department, got a couple of little giggles with asides, and told them about my current stand-up class.

Then I told them what I tell my students on our last day of class:

“You’re job, while you’re here, is to think. No matter how stressed out you are, remember how lucky you are. Most people in the world will never get the chance to be where we are.

“Most people would give anything to be where we are.

“I love this all so much that I just moved from where you are to the other side of the desk. Let’s think about what I do for a living.

“I think about stuff. I come into class and tell you what I think. I make you write papers about what you think. Then I tell you what I think about that.

“That’s amazing. I’m incredibly lucky. We all are.”

***

In other news this week, I got to have short Twitter exchanges with two of my heroes: Dan Savage and Harry Shearer. Dan Savage was interviewed by another one of my former profs, Beth Freeman, at the Mondavi Center. (I do have to say, though, that I’m disappointed that he got downgraded to an interview due to a protest.)

HuffPo contacted Denise and I about recording a question for Harry Shearer. Du didn’t have time to do it, but after about 40 minutes of technical difficulties, I got a question out and recorded for the ages. I assumed that lots of people had been invited–that I would be part of a big Q&A. Instead, Harry was interviewed and my question was the only “fan” one. His answer was insightful, and I’m shallow enough to have let out a little squeal when he called me “Dr. Karma.”

You can see me not knowing where to look and positioned awkwardly in my office at minute 24 in this video.

***

This weekend, I’m going to try to catch up on work, to have some wine, and to celebrate over two decades of motherhood with my special little guy.

It’s been a pretty good week.

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