Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Sabbatical Takes an Unfortunate Turn

So it is winter in Canada. The cold hands wrap around your house and the restless fingers of cold probe to find gaps in the thermal walls of your home and psyche. In the old days, it was a time for "forting up". A time for reflection and repair. But now? Now we defy the weather and try to behave as if the weather is an inconvenience but life goes on 24/7.

So it snows again and again and I dig out the car again and again.

We have had some kind of snow every week since December and for the past month we have had about three snow storms (where accumulation is more that 15 cm) every two weeks. So the snow has built up to the point where the snow blower can no longer get the snow up over the snow banks. The school kids have missed so many days of school that a somewhat panicked school district had them go to school in a 20 cm snow storm two days ago. As a parent I am somewhat torn on one hand I need them out of the house so I can think and on the other hand I do not want them lost in a blizzard walking to school.

So, I make what accommodations I can for the weather but my sabbatical is slipping away so just like before I clean off the old Kia Rio and head out. To make a long story short, there was slush on the road, the Rio has a very light back end (unlike mine) and when the back end came loose in the slush I focused on getting the car slowed down and in control. By the time I started feeling good about control the car reached its "tipping point" and very slowly slid sideways down into the ditch.

There is a shocking disjoint when one finds yourself sitting in your car but with the gravitational orientation frame orthogonal to the visual orientation frame.
It would appear that my travelling days are over until spring. I guess it is time for some of that good old "rest and reflection".

2 comments:

Ψ*Ψ said...

Oh no! Car accidents are awful! You're not hurt, are you?

Liberal Arts Chemist said...

No, I am alright. A little freaked out 'tis all. I always wondered just how bad a driver would have to be in order to lose control of car on a straight stretch of road and now I know. The car came out of it Ok as well, a little crunched but the tow-truck driver did more damage to it then the ditch.

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For a while it was all about research and then it was all about teaching and now it's all about trying to find a balance while teaching at a small liberal arts and science university.