“The Hurrier I Go—“

“The behinder I get!”

Which is what’s happened to me as the summer’s whooshed out, autumn’s rushing in, and all the undone things of the last lazy months are tumbling down around my head.

Result? Blog posts at the pace of molasses — Reading and commenting on other people’s blogs, YOUR blogs, even slower than that. My nerves of steel (well, sometimes they actually are strong and steady) lately resemble nerves of aluminum foil, shiny, yes, but also thin and flimsy and wrinkleable.

(This sculpture at the Yale Art Gallery bears a remarkable resemblance to my nerves these days.)

I’ve never outgrown Back to School excitement-cum-jitters, and now I’m about to moderate my first class in our 5 College Learning in Retirement program. As usual with a new project about to get underway, I’m lamenting, Why did I say I’ll do this? Why did I ever think this was a good idea? I know from long experience that when the project actually begins I’ll be excited and on tiptoe and “up.” It’s just getting there that’s rough.

The class should be great fun: It’s called Way Beyond Popcorn: Feasting at the Movies, and it will explore how varying cultures and cultural values inform and are reflected in eight films. ย Here’s the list: Eat Drink Man Woman; Tortilla Soup; Soul Food; Mostly Martha; James Joyce’s The Dead; Babette’s Feast; Chocolat; and Tampopo. A really diverse group representing diverse cultures, and all wonderful. If you don’t know them, you’re missing a treat.

I AM actually excited, really — just getting nervous, mostly about whether I’ll be able to get the DVDs to play on our community’s complicated audio-visual system! So I’m throwing the question out there to everyone: How do you cope with the jitters? How do you calm your nerves? How do you restore/achieve/renew/discover serenity? How do you embark on the new?

(About the quote: Mr. Google insists that it comes from Lewis Carroll, but I just about ย know Alice in Wonderland and Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass by heart, and am sure that it isn’t there; one or two people have it coming from the Pennsylvania Dutch, which is how I heard it. Anybody know about that either?)

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32 Responses to “The Hurrier I Go—“

  1. Elisa says:

    from what you said…i do not think you have jitters..
    i think that you want validation outside of yourself in order to believe you are enough or are ok

    STOP IT!! (bob newhart video)
    and enjoyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Teaching and speaking are in their own way a lot like acting. There are “opening night” nerves (sometimes called flopsweat), part of the price to be paid for being sharp and keyed up. They’re real enough. But certainly outside validation is a great asset to have!
      Thanks very much for visiting and commenting, Elisa.
      (I guess Bob Newhart videos are on youtube —)

      Like

  2. I’d love to advise you, but I am EXACTLY the same way. Nervous, nervous, frazzled, fun! That’s what happens. It’s part of my process and something that I try to correct, but I suppose it’s just me. Mom says, “why do you get all nervous and then you have fun. Every time!”
    I guess we either accept it and enjoy it as part of the process, or fret. Breathe. I have no real advise. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  3. bhawnavij says:

    I’m always a bundle of nerves. There are two things I tell myself before I start. First is that this too shall pass and the other is that I take a day at a time. Once I start, and I get in the midst of it, it becomes fun.

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  4. I wish I could take this course 1) because it sounds so cool! and 2) so I could sit in the front row and cheer you on! I KNOW you’ll be great!

    (I checked my sources for the hurrier quote and came up with the PA Dutch source enough times to think that is the case.)

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      It must be cool, because we have this long waiting list!
      Opening movie — Eat Drink Man Woman — and closing movie — Tampopo — are among my favorites of all time.
      Only problem — have to go out for Asian food right after the end of the movies.
      ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  5. ooh I’m envious. Just coming up the British Film festival here -yeaaa.

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  6. Opening night jitters are what every perfectionist has…………you, my dear are no different. It is part of the nature of the beast. I would so love it if you would blog about these films and your interpretation of them. I have watched Babetteโ€™s Feast a couple of times and am planning a viewing with some friends to get their take on it also. What fun! I am excited and nervous for you!

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Perhaps you know that when Babette’s Feast was such a big hit in New York back when it opened, at least one restaurant prepared a feast on their menu that one could reserve for!
      We end with Tampopo, 8th class session. I’m already busily trying to figure out which Japanese restaurant around here for lunch and how we can work out the logistics!
      We’ll have to see how the class develops, perhaps some of the discussions might fit into the blog.

      Like

  7. coastalcrone says:

    I would love to be able to attend your class! You will do great – enjoy!

    Like

  8. atwistedpair says:

    I’m almost 100% convinced that Lewis Caroll wrote those words for the white rabbit … but neither am I’m surprised to hear it from the mouths of the Pennsylvania Dutch.

    Like

  9. Pauline says:

    You do the most remarkable things! I agree with your previous commenters – the nervousness is part of the process. May as well let it flow through you and energize you. It’s the same for me – whenever I teach a class I’m a tad nervous in advance. I calm myself by letting myself get the jitters. I sometimes hop about, or dance, or take a long, brisk walk if there’s time, just to let the energy buzz through my blood. Wish I could come to those classes – what fun!

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  10. How do you know how my brain looks like, dear Judith????…at the moment, since month….
    Just about to undo the “wirrwarr”!
    You are so right with “the hurrier I go….”! It’s exactly what’s happen to me. At the end of the day I found myself not to do anything at all. It’s “terrible” and time consuming.
    So, your post came at the right time for me. Just got myself together and “attack” now the situation, daily life etc….the WIRRWARR-Durcheinander ( German words for something mixed-up)
    Being on the way to clear my brain, we are probably bombarding our brains with too much info or so;;;;…maybe we’re also concerned to running out with time (lifetime?) while there is so much more to learn, to discover.
    Love this post, as I love all of yours!
    Thinking of you and wish you all the best for every day, relax and give your nerves a rest here and there.
    Heartily greetings, Karin

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      You see the “behinder” effect in how long it has taken me to post this and reply, dear Karin!
      I love those words, Wirrwarr Durcheinander! It looks really mixed-up. It is so true about all the information. It has even become a texting abbreviation: TMI. Stands for too much information!
      The first class is now behind me. I loved the movie, Eat Drink Man Woman, all over again. (4th time I’ve seen it.) But as usual the equipment to show it gave me trouble. I think it does it on purpose.
      Has your brain cleared? I hope it’s well on the way! I haven’t been getting to read anyone’s blog for a while. I hope that will straighten out soon. Yours are always such a treat!
      Be well, be cool! Herzliche Grusse to you!

      Like

  11. Oh, forgotten to mention that I also found the phrase only at ‘Alice’ from Lewis Caroll, please let us know……!

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  12. I’ve given up managing my jitters and I just accept that I’ll be a bundle of nerves right up to the second I start presenting. And then everything is fine. But what you’ve got me to aspire towards is to say yes to fun and exciting projects despite the nerves! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. mybrightlife says:

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

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  14. Patti Kuche says:

    What fun classes and, easy for me to say, but don’t you find that nerves are all part of the adjustment, a mental check list before taking off and enjoying the process? Getting goosebumps already at the mention of Babette’s Feast! You will be more than fine!

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      It’s not the class part so much — it’s the tech stuff! Example: I went down to our meeting house Monday and ran the DVD as a trial. Smooth as silk! Tuesday morning, class time — TV balked at going on, I needed to phumpher around, finally got it working — that’s the jittery bit.
      Did you ever see our first movie, Eat Drink Man Woman? Early Ang Lee, and wonderful (IMHO). I’ll be posting a clip of him talking about it on youtube in a couple of weeks, so maybe T2T viewers can keep up with the class. If you watch it, be sure to have a menu from your local Chinese resto on hand!!!!!!

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  15. Madhu says:

    I just wait it out and the the nerves magically vanish as soon as I start whatever project i have been worrying myself sick about! I haven’t heard of any of those movies other than chocolat, which I loved. Looks like I have some catching up to do. And Patti is right…you will be just fine ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      It’s been going well so far, and everyone loved the first four movies. As for the fifth, though — the director John Huston’s final film, his adaptation of James Joyce’s most famous short story, The Dead — it was kind of freaky! The class pretty much split between those who hated it and those who loved it. (Obviously I’m in the love camp, I picked it.)
      If it were early on I might have been devastated by some of the reactions, but now I just find that I’m curious as to what is it that polarizes people so much. I’ve come a long way!
      (It’s been keeping me so busy, though, that I haven’t been able to read any blogs, and I’m way behind on that, including your wonderful one. You’ve probably been to eight countries in the meantime!)

      Like

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