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The Semester Dawns Humid and Threatening To Rain - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
The Semester Dawns Humid and Threatening To Rain
I have an unusual teaching schedule this semester. My undergrad course, which is -- surprise, surprise -- English 380: Literary Analysis, meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-4:45pm. I taught at 8am the past two semesters, so the late-afternoon slot requires a major shift in how I manage my energy. I'll refrain from using metaphors here that accentuate the performance aspects of teaching. Suffice it to say that I can't let myself peak too early in the day.

I was hoping to just settle down with my own writing this morning. But several students -- all ones I love to see, thank goodness -- stopped by for extended conversations. It felt good to be back in my office-hours mode, which consists of me nesting dashes inside each other until it seems like I'll never make it back to the top-level only to drop everything and dash back to the surface. At the same time, though, I recognize how important it is that I get something with which to cover the window of my office door. Anyone I want to see can make an appointment to see. For everyone else it's office hours or nothing.

The downside of my first day was the realization that I won't be entirely free of the departmental madness that has absorbed too much of time in the past. Since two of my favorite colleagues are gone this semester and the one who is back is rarely on campus, I had hoped that I could just putter along in privacy like I did in my first months at the U of A, before most people knew who I was. If today is any indication, though, I'll still be experiencing regular Michael Corleone moments. What's depressing about this is that I'll be experiencing them with people I'm less familiar with than my regular interlocutors on the faculty, requiring me to pay attention to nuances of word and deed that I can safely take for granted with those I know well.

"Wait a minute," you're saying, "shouldn't you be thinking about your first day in the classroom instead of all this extraneous activity?" To be sure, that would be the correct approach. Since the first day is never really a full-on teaching day, however, I can't help but be preoccupied with other matters. I am looking forward to my graduate course tomorrow, even if it does contain a ridiculous number of students for a seminar at that level. Freshly out of her bath, Skylar just announced that she would probably be going to graduate school. "Maybe I could be a vet. You have to go to graduate school to be a vet." Indeed. On that note I'm going to retreat into the family fold. Someday soon I promise to have something of greater substance to impart. For now, think of this blog as Pepsi Light.
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Comments
chefxh From: chefxh Date: August 22nd, 2005 10:48 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Not to worry, the kids aren't thinking of your class, either, the first day! *wink*
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 22nd, 2005 11:26 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
To be sure. They looked dazed. It's great to see that things are shaping up for you on the Portland front. As much as it saddens me to realize you've left Tucson, I recognize that it was imperative that you leave ASAP.
chefxh From: chefxh Date: August 22nd, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Imperative? Hmm. Advisable. The timing was right. I didn't get to see anybody before leaving, though, which kind of sucked, though I dislike long goodbyes. We'll say hamotzi together again.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: August 22nd, 2005 11:10 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

::sigh::

Skylar just announced that she would probably be going to graduate school.

Jet and I got on the subject of him leaving home today and he told me he *never* was, he doesn't care if "that's what all other kids do when they grow up, [he's] not doing it." So, when I asked him about college or a job or how he was going to pay for things or what he was going to *do* all day he said:

":;shrug:: I'm just going to do whatever *you* do all day. As for a job, I'm going to program games or CGI for movies and I can do that right in my room."

::sigh::

Guess I better get adding a basement for my soon-to-be 30 year-old live-at-home slacker son!

(And when a friend was here for christmas, he was talking to Jet about the same thing -- and Jet saying then he was going to stay home with me all day when he was an adult -- and when the *friend* asked him what he was going to do all day he said "I don't know, watch some movies, play some first person shooters, take a nap..." LOL Do whatever his mom does all day, indeed!)
kdotdammit From: kdotdammit Date: August 22nd, 2005 11:17 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ::sigh::

Indeed Bean is never leaving her home either. Plus she's keeping her very same room (right next to ours) the very same as it is now (including Massive Pooh Collection). She's never getting married and never having babies because she's never leaving home. We're all always going to Stay The Same, exactly like we are now. We will also always keep every single thing we have now, have ever had, or ever will have. So her and Jet can be friends forever too since they'll never be leaving home.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: August 22nd, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ::sigh::

She's never getting married and never having babies because she's never leaving home.

Well, Jet once went through a phase of bringing up that he *was* in fact having babies. Couldn't wait to "be a dad", in fact. However, this did not spurn any urge to get married, get a job, or leave home. And when I asked him who was going to take care of the babies then, he said it would be *me* since I'd "always be the mom." When he got a no nonsense "uh uh, ain't none of that happening buster, I can guarantee you that right now" in response, he thought about it and then said he guessed it would be the babies *real* mom. So, I said then he'd have to get a job to support them and he *immediately* and, with conviction, back pedaled and decided *he* would take care of the babies (since that entailed staying home) and the 'real mom' could get a job.

Think the kid is under the impression that I have it good, or what? :) He's right, I do. (However, his interpretation of "what I do" as it applies to himself is severely lacking in, well, *doing* anything. Since he thinks he's not just 'staying home' but 'staying home with *me*', I rather suspect he's just looking foward to years of slacking off and acting like he's five!)
kdotdammit From: kdotdammit Date: August 22nd, 2005 11:47 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ::sigh::

Yeah when Bean was in the phase when she was going to have babies then she really knew she had to live with us so we could change the diapers because "we know how she is about poop and things like that." I mean, the cat makes a poop in the litter box and we hear about it within 10 seconds: "MOM!! Smokey Pooped!" Meaning, "Mom can't you move your butt any faster to get in here and scoop the poop." Yep. These kids. Jeesh.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: August 22nd, 2005 11:50 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ::sigh::

so we could change the diapers because "we know how she is about poop and things like that."

ah ha ha! That is too hilarious. :)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 22nd, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ::sigh::

Kim beat me to it. But, yes, Skylar plans to stay with us forever. The funny thing is, I never had such thoughts. I never thought much about the future period. And I know Kim wasn't thinking she'd stay in her family home forever! I guess this means that you and J and Kim and I are doing a good job of making a real home for our children. There are worse blots on one's permanent record. . . :-)
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: August 22nd, 2005 11:49 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ::sigh::

never thought much about the future period

I can't remember such thoughts, either. Although, I'm sure I must have had them one way or another. I'm sure my mom must have the same "Diane said the cutest thing about..." stories. But, I certainly don't remember any burning desire to leave at 5 years old. :)

(However I do remember, and I must have been about the same age, telling my mom she was the most beautiful woman ever "except for Jaclyn Smith". (Think Charlie's Angels). I have no idea why, but that one bit of tiny conversation is burned into my brain and I couldn't have been much more than five or six. I even remember being *upset* about it, about confessing it to her, and feeling like it was a total betrayal of my mother who apparently, up until Charlie's Angels, had been the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. ::shaking head:: Brother.)

I guess this means that you and J and Kim and I are doing a good job of making a real home for our children.

Yup. And if Jet is actually successful at either game programming or CGI, he's welcome to stay; he'll be able to well afford the mortage. On this *and* the vacation home somewhere I'm sure parental devotion will prompt him to buy!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 22nd, 2005 11:56 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ::sigh::

He'll certainly make a great deal more money than Skylar the Artist, unless some game designer hires her for look-and-feel contributions.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: August 23rd, 2005 12:04 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ::sigh::

unless some game designer hires her for look-and-feel contributions.

Well, there's certainly hope for that. When I lived in L.A. I hung out with a lot of people who worked for Activision and one girl was entirely (and solely) Artist. She consulted and contributed entirely "look-and-feel" stuff; colors, textures, tones, etc. And that was with [relatively] crappy mid-90's Activision stuff. With the phenomenally dazzling art going on in today's games there *must* be some heavy Artist staff.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 23rd, 2005 12:20 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: ::sigh::

I'm not a player, despite the gold chains around my neck, but my colleague EH still dabbles enough that I get to see what the newer ones look like. There was one he was playing recently that was amazing looking, way behind Halo 2 two from the standpoint of aesthetics or at leat my aesthetics. The thing is, I still like to play Galaga. All that beauty confuses me. I stop wanting to play and just want to look around.
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