Wednesday, July 9, 2014

That Will Burst Your Bubble

I feel very fortunate that I am not in possession of an addiction to coffee.

For full effect, download “Don’t Kill The Magic” by Magic!, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

For the record, the current post you are reading is being written while I am sitting through an academic education session being hosted by a Math teacher from South Florida who has told our audience repeatedly that she has an obsession with Winnie the Pooh. I am not joking, I am being instructed about having a successful career in higher education by a 55-year old loony who is holding stuffed animals of both Eeyore and Tigger, and she is asking us to respect her opinion.

Part of me thinks I’m secretly being taped for a reality show about potential insanity in higher education.

Kids, at the moment I am in Chicago, one of the most famous cities in the entire world. I’m at the home of MJ, Walter Payton, and Harry Caray. I’m surrounded by pizza places and hot dog stands. Chicago is a place that was made famous from movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Fugitive, and of course, Best Picture winner Chicago. This is a place that is actually the hometown for Linka from the TV show Captain Planet, despite the rumors about her heritage being from the Soviet Union. And if you didn’t get that last joke, she was the Planeteer for wind.

Go ahead, exhale heavily out of your nostrils at this point.

Aside from being lectured by a fruitbasket who is now pouring sand, pebbles, and water into a mason jar to accentuate her point that we need to have our priorities in line, by the way have I mentioned she has a pair of jumper cables draped around her neck to help “jump start” the audience, aside from her shenanigans I must say that being 1,600 miles away from home has helped me see the pros and cons of my life, the ups and the downs. It has helped me see where I stand compared with the rest of the “real world” outside the bubble of Washington County.

Which brings me back to the opening line of not being a closet addict to Starbucks.

This morning I got up to be edjumucated about higher education with my first session starting at just after 8:30. I think I was one of a handful of people lining the escalators at the Sheraton Hotel who didn’t have bags under my eyes and clinging on to a double latte mochaccino. Out of all of the facts that I have learned at this conference, one of the most notable is that in order to have a successful career in higher education, a staple is that you have an unbearable addiction to coffee. Despite the fact that we are heralded as overly educated individuals we are stereotyped to be flat-out morons when it comes to our personal sleeping habits.

I am lucky to not go into withdrawals when I don’t have an IV of Folgers injected into my left forearm to combat my hangover symptoms from last night’s drinking binge after work. I am lucky I don’t rely on a combination of Disney characters and jumper cables to give a successful presentation to a group of “highly educated” people. I am lucky the good man upstairs gave me the life that he did, the job that I have, the friends that surround me, I hit the jackpot on nearly every point in my life, true story.

However being on the road all summer, traveling to the tips of Mexico, to the Northwest corner of the country, and now to the windiest city in ‘Murica, I feel like I am unlucky on certain aspects of my life. I haven’t been exposed to a diversity of people in my life, rather I have been smothered by Utah culture for 27 years running. I haven’t been fortunate to work at a flagship top-tier University firing on all cylinders. I haven’t been lucky enough to have fresh sushi at my fingertips #Japanesefoodproblems. And as The Rhinestone Cowboy and I went on a run this afternoon I was caught in a semi-humbling/penitent moment on the running path when I began to wonder about things in my life I may have missed.

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world, that’s for certain. And as I took a few steps back on that running trail and looked out at Lake Michigan, a phrase my Grandpa taught me to help get through the hard times in life suddenly sprang into my mind: “It could be worse.”

Now that is certainly true. I could be a Cubs fan.

What do you think?

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