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Mobile app meets psychologist’s couch.

How on earth did Waze know so much?  As I got on the Northway heading south recently, I turned on the app Waze, and in its extremely intuitive manner, it did not tell me if there was a vehicle stopped on the shoulder ahead, or even a cop.  Instead, I got this:



I have no idea where I am!  Just about every single aspect of my life is in transition, and Waze realized that there was no map and there was no path.

One month ago we sold our home of 23 years, moving our primary residence to what we used to call “the camp”, or as one child puts it “the lake house”.  (Which must be said with a pronounced jut of the lower jaw, and a Mae West voice, in my way of thinking!)

This was a planned move, and one that we embraced logically.  We tried the For Sale By Owner sign at first, then listed with an agent, cleared years of clutter into Stephen’s office garage, lived in a house that was “staged” for several months, buried a St. Joseph upside down in the front lawn…

The sale was welcome.

At the same time, work has turned upside down in the past 2 years.  I admit that I was spoiled.  I worked where I was appreciated and valued for my individual contributions and expertise, for some 16 years.  Things have changed.  It is amazing how quickly.  As one colleague said recently, “I feel like I am a little boy being told to eat his Brussel sprouts.”


(I do now know that Brussel sprouts can be delicious.  Stephen discovered a Brussel Sprout Caesar Salad at the Blue Collar Bistro in Plattsburgh.  Just not force fed.)

I love change, and I love changing things up.  At the same time, I like to have a 30 year plan in place.  I never teach a course the same way from one semester to the next, but I do like to have an idea of where the course is heading.

The course that is my life is heading in a direction that Waze captured.  Surprisingly to me, but maybe not surprising at all, many people I know are in similar circumstances.

Maybe it’s our age.  Maybe it’s our polarized world.  Maybe it’s really true that we are living in the Matrix and have not yet been freed by Neo.  Teach me those backwards somersaults, please!

Too bad we can no longer invest in Waze, as they have been purchased by Google. Instead of free road-condition-therapy, I’ll probably get ads now.


About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!

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