This month has been a long one filled with more work angst and worry. It’s hard to stay upbeat while working at a college in a state that has eliminated funding for higher ed because of politics. It’s gotten to the point that some colleges and universities are talking about closing their doors. Students are transferring out of the state for fear that their institution may not be there next year. The thinking behind the state budget impasse is crazy to me because the effects are going to be devastating. It’s counter intuitive to what government officials should want. Colleges closing their doors creates not only a larger unemployed work force but a larger amount of uneducated people. Add to that the amount of people choosing to leave the state altogether. None of which is going to help prosper an economy. I simply cannot wrap my head around it. Some days, I want to bail myself. Convince my boyfriend to move somewhere else. Other days my dedication to this place where I work kicks in and I want to weather the storm, believing that better times are coming. It’s been a long month.
That’s why I keep looking for the small things that make me smile. Homemade ice cream. The unexpected 80 degree day. Puppy hugs. Silly Snapchats. We’ve also been re-watching The West Wing lately. I love that in the midst of all the politics, the characters on the show are genuinely striving to do good. We just got to the point where President Bartlet is censured by Congress for hiding his health issues. He accepts it because, as he tells his Chief of Staff, he was wrong and he deserved it. I want to believe that there are still people working in our governments, local-state-national, that are like that. That accept blame and don’t shrink from responsibility. I want to believe that somewhere in the midst of this strange and unsettling political time we’re in that the characters of The West Wing are out there working to make things better.