Monday, June 1, 2009

Moderation Doesn't Always Come in Moderation

In college I first learned and fell in love with the idea that life is best lived enjoying all things in moderation. Thus far, however, I have found that moderation itself seems to come not constantly but in fits and starts. There are beautiful, almost-perfect-despite-their-imperfection periods in which it is possible to balance and re-balance responsibilities, adjusting oneself to the necessities of daily life. This is sometimes called "one day at a time living."

And then... and then... then there are those other, more challenging, stretches of time when "all the days come at once." There is very little need to describe these times. We all live in them. Some of us never escape them. They are the stuff of television situation comedies. They are the stuff of road rage. They are the stuff of desperation and suffering, too. I suppose they always have been - or why would the ancients have written about them, for me to learn about "all things in moderation" in 100-level Humanities courses?

Very recently, many months of "life in moderation" or normal time yielded to "everything all at once" time for a little while. Partly, this is mere occupational hazard. Working in a school while continuing my own education means that I do almost everything I do by the whirrings of multiple academic calendars. Usually, academic calendars have enough similarity to be somewhat predictable, and enough difference to be maddening. This year has been no exception.

Despite my cherished notion that time exists to prevent events from happening "at the same time," the overlap of the calendars allowed for a few synchronicities that were quite enjoyable (at least in retrospect, once fully rested again from the return trip East!).

Within the span of a week, I was able to participate in the Columbia University Teachers College Masters Convocation; learn that I had in fact passed the BCBA exam; and present at ABAI in Phoenix, AZ. Here's a picture of Dr. Tina Covington and me in front of my poster on stimulus-stimulus pairing and the emergence of early language. Several other colleagues and I also presented papers in a symposium the same day. It was a humbling and energizing experience...Possibly too much fun for me for one week. Now what I'm really looking for is a whole lot of moderation for a while!