"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The last days of Tooth No. 15
Several blog-worthy events have occurred in the past eleven days; for instance, I saw a funnel cloud north of Sacramento over a week ago. I took a cellphone picture and showed it to a friend who is doing graduate work in meteorology and, even though it was a teeny tiny cellphone photo, she said "Oh my gosh, that's a funnel cloud!" so I felt quite validated. Also, my sister Mary came to visit Sacramento (not long after the appearance of the funnel cloud, but if there's any connection at all it is a benevolent, auspicious one) and danced all day Saturday as if she were wearing magic slippers, but now I'm mixing H.C. Andersen with L.F. Baum and that seems dangerous, though I'll have to think about it for awhile.
Monday (yesterday) I took the Graduate Management Assessment Test and it looks like I remember 8th-grade math / algebra even less than one might have hoped. I'm not feeling like MBA school is quite worth the $60K it would cost to undertake it right now, 'specially since I already have at least one professional degree / credential that many people would probably take more seriously than they ought if I were to go into any kind of business for myself, and I'm not exactly attempting to climb a corporate management ladder. But I'd already signed up for the test so I thought, what the heck? how hard can it be? It was hard and didn't exactly play to my cognitive strengths. If only it had been a test of song lyrics and trivia questions. I was quite pleased with myself watching Jeopardy last night when I knew that the correct response to one of the statements was "Rashomon." I bet some engineering / economics type could score a 700 on the GMAT and yet not be familiar with the films of Kurosawa. I am grateful for my knowledge and skill base in all that it is and is not. Mostly.
This Friday I'm having a big ol' molar extracted. It's had a hard life...been done wrong by some fly-by-night HMO-type dentist back in the '80's, resulting in a root canal and crown a few years later, and at some point apparently one of the roots got fractured (no, pretty sure it wasn't a result of playing football, though I can see how you might suspect) and it has suffered...I should say I have suffered...a series of infections and inflammations over the last six months. So my dentist sent me to a periodontist and the periodontist said it is a "hopeless" tooth. Apparently that's the technical term. I say anything wearing a gold crown can't be all that hopeless, but whatever its emotional or existential state, it's leaving the place it has occupied in my head lo these many years. I sort of want to keep it. Maybe see if I can trade it in for a new electric guitar amp at the pawnshop. That $60K I could save on business school next year will have to go somewhere.