TITLE: Reflection on a Friday AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: August 31, 2018 3:06 PM DESC: ----- BODY:
If you don't sit facing the window, you could be in any town.
I read that line this morning in Maybe the Cumberland Gap just swallows you whole, where it is a bittersweet observation of the similarities among so many dying towns across Appalachia. It's a really good read, mostly sad but a little hopeful, that applies beyond one region or even one country. My mind is self-centered, though, and immediately reframed the sentence in a way that cast light on my good fortune. I just downloaded a couple of papers on return-oriented programming so that I can begin working with an undergraduate on an ambitious research project. I have a homework assignment to grade sitting in my class folder, the first of the semester. This weekend, I'll begin to revise a couple of lectures for my compiler course, on NFAs and DFAs and scanning text. As always, there is a pile of department work to do on my desk and in my mind. I live in Cedar Falls, Iowa, but if I don't sit facing the window, I could be in Ames or Iowa City, East Lansing or Durham, Boston or Berkeley. And I like the view out of my office window very much, thank you, so I don't even want to trade. Heading into a three-day weekend, I realize again how fortunate I am. Do I put my good fortune to good enough use? -----