Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hey, where's castlerook? Is he still alive?

Well, May has certainly not been a productive blogging month. Whether this is a result of my being unusually busy or the Mercury retrograde or some other factor is anyone's guess. But yes, I am alive and well, in case any of you had noticed my absence* and were getting all concerned or something.

*if not, that's okay too...

Anyway, over the past month I taught two Math Refresher Courses for incoming community college students which, combined with my other part-time employments (math tutor, choral director), made for a rather busy time. But I don't think I can attribute my lack of blogging (or, for that matter, creative activity in general) to not having the time--I haven't been that busy, just busy for someone without a full-time job. No, this is an effect I've noticed before: when I do a significant amount of teaching, my creative output plummets. Why? And, does this mean that I should simply avoid teaching, or does it meant that my challenge is to learn how to teach while still living creatively?

In other news, the weekend before last I broke out of my chess slump, winning a local tournament.* Then this past weekend I played in a larger, weekend-long event. Through four of five rounds I was two for two, which I was happy with--I was playing in the top (open) section and had faced tough opponents. But the final round, against a somewhat weaker player, I played what I can only describe as one of the worst chess games of my life.

*For the fourth and final round, I was in the unusual position of being the only person with three points, and playing the only person with two-and-a-half points. This meant that I only needed a draw to win clear first place. It's remarkable how much simpler chess can seem when you have white and only need a draw--I steered the game into simplifications from the very beginning, and a quick draw was the result.

I mean, it was bad. Embarassingly bad. My opponent played a move early on which I'm sure was a mistake, but the move I made to take advantage of this mistake overlooked a simple tactic and I was down a piece for two pawns. Just a few moves later, I actually hung a piece, plain and simple--no missed tactics, just somehow missed that his piece could take mine. I feel like I need to go to confession at Caissa's altar or something.

So, yeah, a really, really bad loss. But the weekend was good--my wife came along for this one, and we had a great time.

Okay, that's all for now. Reading through what I've written I can see that this entry sorely lacks any manner of cohesion. Then again, they don't call this blog mercurial musings for nothing.

(and yes, I did just refer to myself in the third person plural. it's been that kind of month)