Distraction: Conversations with Eileen

Morning Friend,

I’m going to confess something to you have I recently shared with Tuvia.  I’m also confessing, of course, to anyone else who might be reading this post 🙂

On Thursday I was back up on the SUNY campus for one of those required meetings for part-time faculty, focusing on sexual pressures in the work place.  I thought I had left myself with lots of time for this but given that I have a new car, and I was in the middle of a great hands-free conversation with my good friend Joseph, I started a brisk race for a parking spot as I hit the campus.  None of the usual lots had a spot for me: not  in the circle outside Old Main or in the back of the building.  Not even in the small lot reserved for faculty next to the Terrace.

I am now moving into unfamiliar areas of the campus and racing with lots of competition for a spot.  I was almost late.  Finally a spot for Visitor’s of the Dorksey Art Museum.  YES!  Now I needed some help to get me to SUB for the session that I was now late for.  Two women, enjoying a smoke and a coffee, pointed me to where I needed to walk.  Refreshing my memory, I raced on and arrived in time to sign in a find a seat around the U-shaped table filled with 15 other bodies.   A young guy was lecturing with his power point and yes, I was polite for a 5 minutes, maybe 10 and then I grabbed my bag for my fully powered iPad.  All good for next 45 minutes. The New York Times gave Bill raves and by the end of the session I left with a new t-shirt, a gift for my time.

I loved the rest of the day back at Old Main with the HVWP leadership team, planning for our year ahead.  We worked well together and I left walking casually out of the entrance, along with the latest young batch of new SUNY freshmen.  The sunshine, my sandals, I soaked in one of the last days of summer.   I knew that I would find my car soon enough and yes, it was right where I left it hours earlier.

My bags are starting to find their places in this new car: in the trunk, on the back seat, next to me.  But I as, captain of the “ship” I am not totally comfortable in this new cockpit, I CONFESS!

Ignition on, parking brake released,  I move into reverse as an impatient driver salivates for my spot.  I am careful, really!  But as I leave not all the dials are adjusted.  I have my music on my iPod.  I have music on my phone.  I am driving slowly out of the lot, I exit and where am I?

I opt,as I’m driving, for my iPod music, but I need to click a button to AUX instead of BT POD.  I look away for a second, just one second and lights behind me turn on.  A SUNY cop announces his presence.

I obey of course but wonder what I did.  He comes to me, stern at first. Suspicious.  Demanding my registration and license.

“Did you know that you just went through a stop sign? ”

“What?  No, I didn’t.  I didn’t see it.”

“You didn’t see it?  You’re on the faculty here.  Don’t tell me you didn’t see it.”

He gets more emotional.  I figure this happened when I switched the dials.  I’m a bit freaked but I remain cool.

“This is a new car and I’m never on this side of campus.”

He walks back to his car to check me out.  He returns quickly.

“Listen, I am not going to give you a ticket.  I am on guard for kids speeding and messing up here, not faculty members who have worked here for years.”

“I’m sorry.”  I am, really sorry.  I have never gone through a stop sign.  But there’s nothing I can say to make this young cop feel better about me, so I give up.

I am wondering about myself.  Is this the beginning of my decline?

I want to believe it’s not.  I am grateful I didn’t get a ticket.

When I confessed to Tuvia he was unmoved and told me to let it go.  Hmmm.. should I?


Categories: Conversations with Eileen, post a day 2012 | Tags: , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Distraction: Conversations with Eileen

  1. Mary Sawyer

    I hope I am not the next old faculty member who goes through the stop sign. I had something similar happen to me as I was driving home from PDS last year. I had to convince the cop I had never known that one couldn’t turn right on the red light at that particular intersection. (It was true!) He saw that I lived in the area, and was surprised that I didn’t know about the sign. I escaped without a ticket. I agree with Tuvia–let it go. You had TONS going on in your brain that day.

  2. dotty

    It is always when we are trying to be all calm, cool, and in control that something will go wrong. Since we are confessing, let me tell you my embarrassing experience on SUNY campus. I was rushing to participate in a collaborative presentation at the SI. As you recall, there was major construction last summer and many building entrances were rerouted. I didn’t know where I was going and trudged through gravel and construction debris looking for the building entrance. Luckily, I arrived on time, though out of breath. The presentation went well and I left just as the SI team was wrapping up. When I got to my car, it was raining. I struggled with my umbrella, books, and bag to locate my keys. They were not there! I retraced my earlier steps, sloshing through the puddles that bubbled up on the gravel. Defeatedly, I returned to the classroom where the SI team was debriefing and confessed that I had lost my keys. I was so embarrassed! I, too, thought that I was losing it! But, in the words of Forrest Gump, “sh.. happens!” Let’s promise each other not to be so hard on ourselves in the future!

    • It’s a promise, especially when you beat me at Scramble again :).
      As for losing things, misplacing things… that’s my middle name. I am presently wondering where my latest pocket sized camera is? I have looked everywhere but the day I replace it, it will appear.

  3. I’m confused a’ready. Is the Distraction Issue about Aging Advantages (e.g., being brain-adjusted, body-realigned) so that
    A) the young guy’s sexual-pressure power point only gets 5-min attention.
    B) Joseph hasn’t a clue what a BT POD means—Martian invasion?
    C) “There’s nothing I can say to make this young cop feel better about me.”
    D) Still believing in undeniable stop signs.

    • Hmmm Good questions Joseph,
      BT POD means BlueTooth iPod… the POD might not really be there but some letters are. It means that if your iphone is connected to the car’s system, the music on your iPhone is also connected and will play at will.
      I think that young cop’s reaction was a bit out of control, don’t you think?
      I did feel a bit old…
      I like that metaphor: undeniable stop signs…
      So thanks for taking a read and throwing in your own wonderful questions… I’m chewing on them right now 🙂

  4. Let it go … and chalk it up to “one of those days,” Bonnie. We all have them.

  5. Mary in Missouri

    I have to agree with Kevin. It was “one of those days”.
    Mary in Missouri

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