Long,long day and being away from the news is bad. And it is good. It is good in that you have something to focus on, something normal and everyday. On the other hand, you experience high anxiety and have difficulty concentrating on that normal because you don't know what is going on. As if, by knowing, you have some kind of control over things. Don't I wish.
And in everything normal, the war intrudes. You meet with a new possible colleague to collaborate with and before you start discussing the studies you might do together, you, of course, do the so where do you live kinda small-talk. You find out that he and his wife are playing host to his parents, her parents, his brother's family consisting of 4 small children, her brother and her sister's families consisting of an additional 9 children between them, not including their 3 own children --in a two and half bedroom flat. Their families hail from the northern towns under attack. What else to do? The few other family members who live in safe areas are playing host to the rest of the siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and so forth and have taken in as many as they can. You are joined by another colleague, an Arab-Israeli who looks worn out. He too has family sleeping piled on his floor from the same region and he additionally is worried about members of his wife's family that are in Lebanon.
You try to focus on the issues at hand and end the meeting deciding another is in order but it looks like we might have some common ground for collaboration (yo, Yael has got a lot --A LOT-- of reading to do on visual perception and its link to cognition and graphics, thud. Totally new area for me and very exciting).
Then you go to another colleague's office and make a conference call to a potential PH.D. student that you really want to work with (she is fabulous) and whom you and everyone in the department are trying to get into the program. She is sick in bed with the flu and has just moved from Ramallah to Bethlehem. She has been awarded a scholarship already by our department and found out today that she has another one waiting from the university in general but a major snag has occurred-- her Masters degree program at the Jordanian University she attended did not have a thesis component. We were all gnashing our teeth collectively during the conference call, while she also sniffled and sneezed her way through it, as we tried to figure out how to fight the powers that be that insist that a rule is a rule. We jointly stress about how we will get her to important meetings when terrorist attacks close off access from the West Bank. We find no solutions only things to continue stressing about and some things to try and hope and hope and try.
I should note that I did not go to my own office because I lost my keys today. Keys to the office, keys to the apartment, keys to my mailbox. Yeah. So in my next post, after I take a shower to wash off the dirt of the dessert from myself, I'll tell about the key saga and more war intrusions on my day.
Ema --I'm home safe and sound. My cellphone is out of juice or I would have called before posting. It is charging. Stop stressing (I know you are stressing!)