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February 8, 2012: Juggling Act

Sometimes I think of my physical activities in relation to juggling. I’m constantly tossing and catching fire sticks, sometimes fast, and sometimes slow. Right now the balls (labeled) are photography, teaching, writing, animal chores, and everything else. I sometimes toss these fire sticks in the direction of Pete, who has his own to deal with. And too, he tosses fire sticks in my direction.

There is never a time in which I’m holding all the sticks. If there was, I’d take a bow and bask in the applause. I guess we who have super huge egos all live for that moment in which everyone appears to be awestruck by this, a major accomplishment

Here’s where I’m at right now:

Photography. I have to come up with 25 portrait shots for photography class, which will be due on Wednesday, February 15th. My respect for those who do this for a living has risen exponentially. This isn’t as easy as just going out and taking 25 pictures, although this is a big part of it. I’m also attempting to internalize key terms, like depth of field, exposure, aperture setting, and focal length. I now understand their interrelationship; the next step will be to see these terms in relation to the image.

Teaching: I have to get ready for my February 10 animal behavior class. I’m coming to realize that my teacherly perspective is that of an English major. That which is obvious has not been obvious to me. Now I need to bring my familiarity with the subject matter to the forefront of class discussion. This, on my part, requires that I do as I’m doing, and prepare a lecture-based discussion on the subject of animal behavior, read and respond to outgoing papers, and come up with next week’s assignment.

Animals: There is nothing to prepare for here – the animals are just an ongoing concern. Yesterday I got everyone out for a short jaunt – all except for Henny Penny, the now lone chicken. It’s blustery out, but I need to get at least one horse out today. They’re all very restless.

Writing: I’m managing to keep up with writing daily dispatches. What interests me most is what Donald Murray used to say – in the act of writing we discover what it is that we want to say. This is so true. For example, I came up with the idea for this dispatch as I was walking around the loop with Pete.

I also need to keep plugging away at Raudi’s Story. I nearly have a complete draft ready for others to read. When it’s done and in the hands of others, I will resume working on my book proposal.

Other things: This fire stick contains aspects of the other ones – for instance, (among other things) social obligations, house chores, self-care, reading, and time spent with mate.

There are some fire sticks that I refuse to include in my juggling act. Watching television is one that now comes to mind. I can’t imagine just sitting there, and staring at a screen. Odd, how people will mention having watched a certain television show, but not elaborate on what they saw – most likely because the elaborating has been done for them.

At this very minute, all the fire sticks (except for the other thing fire stick) are up in the air. I don’t know what happens if you don’t catch a certain fire stick, and I don’t want to find out. Staying focused and not taking on additional fire sticks is key to keeping the show on the road. As I juggle, my manta seems to be, “I can do this.”

Next: 65. 2/9/12: Photoshop