Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sickness and suffragettes (this week has flown)

It has been such a while since I last wrote, or at least it seems so. I feel like a bad parent (in which case my other two blogs are red-headed stepchildren). So it goes in the age of instant technology and increased expectations.

Has it only been a week? What a week! It has been both a ridiculous and a resounding week. The great shining moment came this past Tuesday, the 16th, when Dr. Patricia Harrison, chair of history at Spring Hill College in Mobile, visited the University of West Florida and presented a lecture at the Pensacola Historical Society. I led a group of students in coordinating this event, which consumed a lot of time and effort. However, it was a clear success. Dr. Harrison is a wonderfully pleasant woman, and it was a pleasure to show her around town and to arrange the event for her.

It was a very rewarding experience, but this shining moment was punctuated by clouds of gloom, particularly in the form of utter, miserable congestion. I was struck down by the back-to-school bug last Tuesday, the 9th, and I am still battling it. Sickness has a way of slowing down time and everyday reality into a fuzzy, dreamlike vision. The Nyquil doesn't help. My waking moments were largely gobbled up by my barista duties at Starbucks (if only those only consisted of making drinks, but the cleaning and maintenance of store and stock fill most of my time), and I devoted what little time was left over to tidying up all the last details of Dr. Harrison's visit.

Yes, a dark and crazy week, but Dr. Harrison's visit went wonderfully, and all's well that ends well. By the way, you'll notice the flyer at the beginning of this post. That is a Tim Roberts special. He designed most of the flyers for Phi Alpha Theta during my stint as president and beyond. Tuesday's lecture was my last hurrah. Now to focus on actually graduating.

Did I mention that last Wednesday was my birthday? I spent the majority of the day in bed, attempting to ward off the evil spirits that clogged my respiratory system (little success), but it was still a fine day filled with cards and gifts from family members and reminders of the love we have for each other. Wendy bought me two especially wonderful gifts: Criterion Collection's edition of Withnail and I, the cult classic 80's British film of two down-and-out actors in late 60's Britain who try to escape from it all (with hilarious results), and one of my favorite novels (in my favorite edition, the Modern Library), The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton. I will read it again soon.

Yesterday was the first cool day of the autumn season in Pensacola. Correction: it was the first cool morning and evening. That's close enough for us denizens of this sultry swampland. Shusaku Endo describes 16th-century Japan in his novel Silence as a spiritual swamp in which Christianity simply cannot take root. I wonder if northwest Florida constitutes a similarly swampy spiritual landscape, for though there exists a church on nearly every corner, the waters have long lain stagnant. A pervasive attitude of atrophy seems to blanket this place, but perhaps I am merely being negative. Perhaps Pensacola will see its day yet.

No comments: