Whole New Ball Game

Coffee in the Cafeteria, the last but one time, as I can say for sure now. Even though, as I said a few days ago, UAS has largely faded into the background for me, coming here feels still like coming home, coming to the one place I am self-confident and completely at ease. In spite of the pouring rain this morning (for the first time in months I had to unearth my all-weather-shoes) I even enjoyed the bike ride.

Today I’m only here to lend moral support to my practicum partner for her colloquium (the oral presentation of the bachelor thesis) at 10 A.M. The colloquium is officially open to the public (well, the UAS public I suppose), but since the date is not being published anywhere it’s effectively up to each candidate to either invite people or not. My practicum partner and I agreed to attend each other’s presentations, and in fact I posted my date in the chat message group, saying everybody’d be welcome. I think it would be nice to see a few sympathetic faces in the audience. Kind of spooky to give a lecture before just two other people. On the other hand, the co-student who just arrived here because her colloquium is at 9 A.M. said she wanted nobody there because she’s not happy with her work.

I stripped my own presentation by a few lines on Monday and consciously concentrated on giving only the briefest, most relevant comments to each slide. In two tries (without audience) I managed exactly 25 minutes, so I think I’m now really fine. I went to work one last time on Tuesday, and yesterday (Wednesday) I stayed at home doing nothing at all either for work or for UAS. In fact I did a long-delayed gardening project that involved, among other things, roses, four-by-fours, and a giant sledgehammer I could hardly lift with two hands, borrowed from our neighbor who used to be a stonemason. It took four hours and gave me plenty of cuts, scratches, bruises, and blisters. But I don’t have to write tomorrow, just to talk, and it was a very welcome change.

In fact I am so little worried about anything important any more, at least outwardly, that minor things assume disproportional importance. I brooded some hours over a minor bureaucratic hassle with our HR department regarding my pension scheme which under normal circumstances I would have put aside to be dealt with later, but which annoyed me to no end yesterday. In fact, I managed to fret an hour over a wrong decision I made in a computer strategy game. That hasn’t happened to me in years. Truly, if these are the worst things that happen to me, then my life can’t be all that bad!

Of course, I could still find real things to worry about, if I chose. For instance, it’s imperative that both my two supervisors and I stay healthy for another 25 hours. If even one of us takes sick before 10 A.M. tomorrow, that would truly be a catastrophe.

In fact, I’m about to start a new professional life come next Monday, admittedly with the same company, but as a fully qualified consultant, probably soon working at a customer’s offices, and with a 40 hour week, which will be something entirely new for our family. In spite of this being on the horizon for months now, we truly haven’t even begun to figure out how to cope with this, organizationally and logistically.

A whole new ball game. Just one day and a weekend away.

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