Did you know that hundreds and thousands of worms commit suicide in hot weather?
There's a correlation between worms dying and my life right now... bear with me.
Yesterday I rescued several small ecosystems
worth of near-death.
I haven’t researched why worms suicide yet, but this is what I saw in my worm farm. To escape the heat, they wriggle downwards, and they all pile up in the bottom-most layer. Without water or mulch, their bodies slowly congeal into a slab of emaciated intertwined pinks.
I guess you could dry them out or freeze them before they start rotting and cut them into squares as dog treats? I'm always looking for a productive outcome or a silver lining.
The weather in Melbourne this week - 44 degrees Celsius at one point - also slowed down all my devices and broadband. With the distractions of keeping the kids cool (mostly streaming video or games it seems) and garden rescue, I didn't get much work done. It makes me wonder how I’ll go for the next few months of working at home?
Judging by the extensive and detailed lists
I’ve generated since I resigned last week, I’ll need to be incredibly productive and organised.
And I WILL BE! I’ve even joined a SLACK group for mutual encouragement in staying on track with scheduled goals. So here’s a snapshot of my next 6 months:
Several more ‘Code Switching Identities’ workshops with previous and new Trans* and gender-creative groups, in Melbourne, Adelaide and possibly Canada
Exhibition and Symposium mid-year, venue pending (that means I’ll be getting in touch with many of you soon, so dig out your ‘ungendered selfies’ in preparation…)
‘Melbourne Bathrooms: Safe to Selfie’ is a Podcast with Pictures (linking audio stories from gender-diverse folk with their selfies and geo-located bathroom recommendations, working with the excellent Keira Leike)
Write the enby paper drawing on our 'Scrolling Beyond Binaries' data (I’ve been talking to everyone about this one forever)
Write the BOOK that I’ve been talking about, on Holding ‘Safe’ Spaces (this means I’ll be getting in touch with some of you for interview requests)
Develop DECRA proposal for 2020
Apply for a few jobs
I started this post with worms dying, accompanied by an image of thriving, healthy worms. I couldn’t bring myself to take my own photo of the dying throng. Because it reminds me too much of how I feel about my status quo.
A year ago, I imagined our move to Melbourne would be an opportunity to be encompassed by rich, fertile collaborative enterprise.
Scholars, like worms, recycle the food scraps of society.
For example, we analyse the 'life' out of the ACL, Australian national racism, and social debates like Marriage Equality. We transform these rotting structures and ideas into castings, which are beneficial to the flourishing of a healthier environment.
So… I'm saying that I hoped scholarship could be as generative as worm poo.
It’s been hot lately, and same at work. More than I expected, it’s caused parts of me to die inside. Worse, there’s been disillusionment... I sometimes visualise higher education institutions as a poorly tended compost pile; a pit of decaying ECRs, festering bodies intertwined with other vulnerable labourers and learners.
Aiming for greater good but destined to commit suicide in the heat. But… as I’m a silver-lining kind of person, I’m trying to shift my thinking... and the analogy.
It’s the heat that is the problem, not our instinctive desires to reconstitute, analyse and seed new growth.
And heat is inevitable and unavoidable.
Despite lying shocked and exhausted, I know there are fecund times ahead (I love that word). And I’m choosing to think of myself as one of the worms that I rescued yesterday. Moving on to greener pastures, precise destination unknown... but with greater resilience to heat.
Meanwhile, if you think you’ve got a job I might be interested in, here's a link to my quite impressive CV.
If you think you’d like to collaborate on something I’ve spoken of earlier, get in touch on socials or firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s grow a garden that can endure the heat.