Wednesday, March 19, 2008

the kindness of knitters

yet again i am blown away by the generosity, support and kindness of women-who-knit (i was going to say people-who-knit but i dont know any knitting men personally. i believe they exist but i am yet to meet them in person or see them pick up the sticks. (an aside: my friend dave works for a particular airline company that shall remain nameless, and his boss told them recently that their industrial action for a pay rise was a waste of time because there were all these other engineers out there knitting who would gladly have their jobs. dave and i went off in search of them, as i think that would have been a sight for sore eyes, aircraft engineers sitting around knitting. but alas, nowhere to be found). also, it is women-who-knit who have been kind to me in this instance, so no gender-based stereotyping intended). see, today another little parcel arrived. it contained two pieces of wonderful woolly goodness, one was my prize for my 'hangin with me peeps' photo over at the southern summer of socks - a skein of knittery merino cashmere in 'moses fire':

could it be an any more perfect colourway for me? could it be any more soft and beautiful and with the grooviest name out there? as if this was not enough, there was also this little surprise, from bells personally:

yes thats right, a skein of cherry tree hill in serengeti. not just any old surprise. we're talking cherry tree hill. with the exception of koigu, this is my most coveted type of sock yarn. it was accompanied by a beautiful card acknowledging the blood sweat and tears that have been shed in this house the last few months. coming after shelleys clapotis, and georges present of last week, the kindness of knitters continues to blow my mind. i think it is even more special because its wool, and because knitters know how very special a gift of wool is.

these acts of kindness have really been playing on my mind. in a good way. see, i have been feeling weird lately (well duh, says everyone). this is evidenced in my apparent personality-type transition from extrovert to introvert. the whole experience of the last few months has left me feeling very bruised and battered, very tentative around people, not talking much, not wanting to be out and about. but the kindness of knitters reminds me that there is not just evil in the world. that some things are more important than the words you write, and that these are not always the things by which other people judge you. it has been very important throughout this whole thing to have that balance, to have people around who were ok with me just being me, regardless of what theory i used! in my acknowledgments i wrote:

There is a whole community of women-who-knit that have been an invaluable source of courage and strength and I thank them all.

seriously, i really do.

i am also feeling weird because now i have finally stopped studying. thats it, theres no more. at least 30 out of the last 40 years have been spent inside an educational institution of some sort. thats ridiculous. even i have to grow up sometime. the problem is i dont know what i want to be when i grow up. i thought i did. i thought i wanted to be an historian - an academic. now i am all bitter and twisted and full of rage and cant bear to be around historical academic types and dont want to hear about anyone still doing their phd who is all enthusiastic about their research. aaaaaagh go away cheery people! i am a little anxious about jobs, i have applied for three so far, didnt get an interview on one, havent heard on the others. there are two others worth applying for but they are not right up my alley so i probably wont get a look in. i know eventually something will come along. the problem is i am spectacularly unenthusiastic about any of them. its just so tiresome, the politics, the egos, the games people play. i know it happens in all work places, and i know i will work out a way to be reconciled to it. but i am still quite keen on the whole 'working in a yarn store' idea. by the way, i never did hear back from TC about that. hmmm, underqualified perhaps?

the flip side of this is that without the pensky, i am really enjoying teaching. i am more committed, thinking clearer, more confident in my approach with students, more creative in class structure. my students are really doing really well, trying hard, doing their reading, sending me emails, asking me questions. i am really liking it. this is weird. i usually hate it.

so who knows what the hell's going on? something perfectly normal no doubt!

anyway we are off to do two days of flyball at the sydney royal easter show this easter weekend. i am keen to get away for a bit and check out certain items in the knitting displays.

have a great easter everyone. let there be chocolat.

k xx


Bells said...

I am SO glad you're happy with your prizes. So very happy.

You just do whatever feels good and right to you and screw the rest of 'em, ok?

Michelle said...

I am with you on the women-who-knit. Just received a piece of kindness from one myself tonight!

Sounds like teaching could be a good fit for you? It's not for everyone, but maybe it's worth not discounting. And who says you have to be involved in the ego-politics? You are too sensible for that ...

Donna Lee said...

The kindness of the knitting community is always heartwarming and amazing. I hope that you find something that brings you joy, not just money. Yes, there are politics in every place (even in social work where I have been for 20 yrs) but if it brings you joy and makes your heart glad, then go for it. It sounds like you might just be a great teacher.

Georgie said...

What lovely yarny goodness! Previous comments have been more eloquent than I could hope to be, but hang in there - its a big come-down to go from total pensky to pensky-free!

Enjoy the show, and you MUST check out the knitting and crochet for me.

Stell said...

phd submissions can be like a divorce, but not all academic institutions are like that, I escaped a dictatorship and am now in a caring community, same field, both post phd.
settle, relax, in 6-8 months there will be horizon tweaking your interest, phd submission oftentimes = burnout, so recover somewhat. enjoy that space, are there papers to write, conferences and travel scholarships to chase, something fun elsewhere?

Jejune said...

I'm so glad you've got such special treats ! Well deserved :) And be gentle with yourself... it takes some time to get back to normal after a PhD. I'm so glad you're enjoying the teaching, though - perhaps that is a good option to consider? But don't make any big decisions yet - you've got plenty of time :)

Rose Red said...

Can't wait to see what you make of these two fab yarns.

Yeah, politics in all workplaces - it can be very mentally tiresome, even if you try to remain above or outside it. As others have said, maybe teaching is the right thing for you, at least initially. Sometimes I think it's good to go with the flow and see where it takes you, rather than trying to plan it all out. (but that's just me all over!!) Hope you have a great weekend!