Friday, May 22, 2009

Jelly-side up

"I hope you land jelly-side up".

I've had a couple of opportunities to hope for this outcome lately. Among the people I see walking their dogs at the dog park is J, who until very recently had been an adjunct instructor at the same community college I'm going to do teach at in the fall. Unlike what I'm going to do, she taught several classes and this was her main source of income. She was told very unceremoniously the other day that her services would no longer be needed in the fall.

OK, it's common knowledge that being an adjunct isn't a steady gig, but the way that she got excused was really harsh. The person (department head, I think) made a big sweep and just told her there would be nothing for her, as well as for several other people who had been adjuncts for years. Just the way that it was handled was this weird power play and abuse of power.

Can it be good to be kicked out of your rut? I don't think a person can know this until after the fact. It feels to J only like her livelihood's been torn away from her, screw the personal growth aspect of it. She strikes me as a person who has great people skills and will talk herself into at least a temporary something pretty soon.

The other person to received good jelly-wishes was my former MIL, who is now in another rehab place for two or more weeks until they evaluate her and figure out where is best for her in terms of places to live. I don't know if it's denial or hope that makes her think that maybe, just maybe she can go back to a place that is essentially just apartments, with no assistance. It seems to me that the hard part is that her weakness is intermittent. Sometimes she can transfer in and out of her chair without incident, sometimes she can't.

When I went to see her the other day, she was temporarily in a room on the full-fledged nursing home wing of this facility that has several levels of care. She whispered that she didn't want to be around "all these old people". Indeed, it's her body that's old, not her mind or spirit. I hope she moves to a place that has assistance for her when she needs it, and if that's an "assisted living" place, then so be it. It's better than getting stranded on the toilet in the middle of the night, right?

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.