Sunday, November 22, 2009

All I see is trees

Years ago, I worked for a campus bus service, a full fleet of transit vehicles driven only by college students.

We had hired a driver, one who wasn't overly bright, who ended up lost on a route that ran a straight line on a main road, from the stadium to the campus student center and back. She called in and reported she was lost. We asked where she was. "I don't KNOW," she wailed.

Okay, so what do you SEE? "All I see is TREES," came the reply. Okay, then.

Eventually, since she was in a fairly urban area, she happened upon some landmark which we recognized, about four miles off her regular two-mile loop route. To this day, I have no idea how many turns and reversals she must have made on a non-turn route to get to where she was.

So, when I get overwhelmed and exhausted, I say to myself, "All I see is TREES" a nod to the old forest/trees analogy as well as the young lady who made a series of unwise and not thought out choices to get where she was.

The other day, I was on a website which had an advertisement for the on-line university where I am working on my Ph.D. (Notice the semantics here--I used to say "getting" my Ph.D., but right now all I see is trees, so I am working on it.) "Education for the working adult!" it proclaimed in cheerful, bright lettering. Okay, how about the working adult who is overwhelmed with her job right now, has three kids, two with special needs, and a house to take care of? Or is "working adult" a euphemism for all that? If so, you need to choose someone other than that well-groomed, well-rested, fashionably dressed, manicured, smiling model to picture on the web page--someone who doesn't use a crockpot at least three times a week, forget where she put her cell phone, run out of peanut butter, receive sign up sheets for school conferences after the date, and apply makeup at the school bus stop, finishing only one eye and not realizing it until three in the afternoon when in the rest room at work.

No wonder people were squinching up their face like Popeye when they talked to me.

Anyway, I finish the coursework in June, do the competencies this summer, and start the dissertation in the fall. By this time next year, I might be applying eye makeup to my chin.

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