Find Your Limit

I had a friend who was a victim of domestic abuse. Really bad shit that went on for almost two decades. After she finally left the abuser, it was really hard for her to establish boundaries in relationships with men. She had no idea what was OK to put up with. I had to talk her through the most basic strategy of building a boundary.

“What’s a hard ‘no’ for you?” I’d ask. “It’s got to be whatever feels like it should be completely off limits under any scenario for you. If the guy asks you to take drugs? If he hits your child? If he is sexually inappropriate with your child? What’s your absolute limit?”

It was so hard to get her to understand what I was on about. But eventually she did figure out her hard limit which was about a million light years off from mine but that’s OK. We are different people, it’s fine. Her personal life did stabilize and she did end up in a relationship that made her happy. My friend died two years ago, so I feel free to write about it.

I’m writing this because I think it’s time for everybody to figure out their hard limit in the creeping totalitarianism we are experiencing. I’ve thought about mine, I have figured out what it is, and it’s very calming to know it. I highly recommend thinking about where you stop accommodating the totalitarians. What is off limits? We are all different, and everybody will put their boundary in a different place. That’s OK as long as we all find the boundary.

This ends when and where we all find the boundary. This is completely in our hands but we have got to go at it together.

Public Speaking Suggestions

Friends, I’m being invited to give two more public talks on subjects of my choosing. What should I speak about? What are the topics you’d like to hear me talk?

The audience are members of the public off campus, so non-academics. Mostly older, which means smart and informed.

Get Your Own Eggs

I’m starting to suspect that the real reason that the start-of-the-year faculty celebration was cancelled to save the cost of the traditional breakfast we get served at the event. There’s no other reason. Everybody by this time is either vaccinated or already had COVID. It’s got to be about the food, right?

The meeting I’m talking about is usually a great motivational event. Especially now that many faculty spend their lives in lonely Zoom meetings, you’ve got to mark the beginning of the new academic year in some way. Otherwise, it’s from one gloomy Zoom room to another.

They are begrudging us a plate of eggs, folks, and justifying it with COVID. It’s so pathetic.

Going Backwards

There was a single in-person event at work that I missed because I was out of state. My single opportunity to get with people at work, and I missed it. But now we are back to extreme paranoia, and everything that was going to be in-person is back on Zoom. And this is before the seasonal wave hits Illinois in November. I can only imagine the extent of the freakout when the seasonal wave comes.