To begin the story at the beginning, read "Part 1: Post 1: Beginning Again," published in January, 2013. To consult a description of the campus, read "Part 1: Post 14: The Greening of Campus," published in March, 2013.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mastery Year 1: Part 4: Post 5: I Don't Understand It Myself

I've been so busy mostly talking about June and our wedding and everything related that I forgot to mention an important piece of news--remember Carrie? She was a candidate when I was a novice. We were friends, though never close, and I wrote about her once or twice. Anyway, she's back--in the master's group, now.

She's not one of the Six (they haven't changed), she's in the non-teaching staff, in charge of heavy maintenance and IT. The position did not exist when I was here before--there's been some rearranging. Chuck, the maintenance head has left, as has Joe, the head of the janitor team, and Security Joe is still here, but completely retired. I think I mentioned all that before. So, now they've folded cleaning in with light maintenance (meaning replacing light bulbs and so forth) and security, meaning that there's a team of people whose general responsibility is to look over campus regularly ad make sure nothing is wrong. That's now the responsibility of a woman named Waverlee. Heavy maintenance means anything you need to be a mechanic or a carpenter or a plumber to do, and that's Carrie's responsibility, as is anything to do with the computers, email system, website, etc.

When I was here before, IT just sort of seemed to get taken care of. It was one of the miracles of the place--I assume the work was being done by an ally, and that there wasn't enough of it to require the attention of anyone on campus very often. Now, as the campus belatedly joins the twenty-first century, there are more machines, and hence more going wrong with machines, and the topic has been elevated to part of an actual job.

Anyway, so Carrie is back. We haven't spoken to each other a lot, though she was at my wedding. She's the first person I knew as a student to come back and work as a master. It's kind of odd.

In the meantime, I've been writing a poem a day, as per Charlie's instruction, mostly about my spot in the woods, and always inspired by it. And he keeps marking them up with red pen. His red pen is not kind. Whole stanzas are crossed out. Marginal notes include things like "what does this even mean?" and "why are you calling this poetry?"

At first I thought these were just rhetorical devices for criticizing me, code for "this means nothing" and "this isn't poetry," but I should have known better. Charlie uses language as precisely as Allen, maybe more so, and if he wants to make a statement, he makes a statement. If he asks a question, he means he wants an answer. So, finally I started sending back answers, along with the new poetry. He sent back a note, "I was wondering when you'd start replying. I'm not talking to myself, you know."

And you know, the funny thing is that most of the time when he asks me to explain something, I realize I don't really understand myself?

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