Saturday, June 26, 2010

Top Five Ways I Spend My Time At Work

1. Calling students (very easy to do while also doing one or more of the following)
2. Playing email trivia with coworkers
3. Giggling out loud to things like this and hoping no one notices
4. Fiction section. It's like a book you can read at your cubicle! (because I get very resentful when my breaks are over and I can no longer read whatever book I brought to work with me... currently Outliers: The Story of Success which is really engrossing)
5. Going on to news websites, reading a few grown-up articles, and then seeing this

So if it's ever a weekday between the hours of 9 and 6 and you need to know where to find me, there you go. And if it's a Saturday like this one and you need to know what I'm doing, you should also consult this list. Only today they're bringing in pizza, so that will probably rank 3rd on the list. Life is much better now that I've mastered the art of shamelessly surfing the net at work.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Progression of emails from my roommate throughout the course of my workday:

"I'm just looking at some info for grad school"

"I found a program I like..."

"Hey, they have a program for you, too!"

"We could both start in January!"

"We're going here."

Naturally this magical school is not in Pittsburgh, but in D.C., which requires quite a bit of planning. Imagine a haphazard decision tree involving scenarios for both of us getting accepted, both of us getting accepted and not wanting to go, only one of us getting accepted and wanting to go, neither of us getting accepted but still wanting to go...

Basically the roommate and I have progressed into a very committed domestic partnership that requires us to be in the same city. The good news is, my mom is totally okay with the relationship so long as we have a proper commitment ceremony. I guess she doesn't want me living in sin any longer.

It's times like this I'm reminded of someone else who had trouble weighing his options for the future. But after an entire episode of internal struggle, he made a very mature decision:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Australia, anyone?

I'm sorry, I know it's been a while. If it's any consolation, there hasn't been much going on.

I'm currently sprawled on my bed pretending that our house is air conditioned and I'm not actually that sweaty. The windows are open, and the neighborhood kids are shrieking roughly half a block away. Does someone on this street have a pool? These are the shrieks I normally associate with ten or more adolescents fighting over noodles and scuba masks.

It's been a rough few weeks at work. I went through a two-and-a-half week drought in terms of applications, conversations, feelings of hope... everything, really. Then this past week I added two new students to my books. Unfortunately, the spike in activity didn't lead to the spike in mood that I expected. That part was actually more disappointing than the drought. I have just over two weeks left before our start, and (assuming my two students from this week start classes) I still need two more students to meet my quota. Quota. I hate how much this word has been slipping out of my mouth lately. I hate that it's crossed my mind even more frequently. Deadlines? Fine, bring them on. Evaluations? Okay, whatever. But quotas? I don't like the idea of turning my students into numbers on a spreadsheet. And I know that it's not as bad as that, but I still feel... not myself.

The true tragedy? When I was in my super emo funk and wanted nothing more than to crawl under my desk and eat Doritos all day, I decided that one thing in the world would probably cheer me up immensely. I decided to google image the last two pages of one of my childhood favorites, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. For those of you who were born before the 80's and/or sadly deprived as children, the premise is that a little boy named Alexander is having one of those epic "the world is against me" kind of days that little kids seem especially good at having. Throughout the book he claims that he's just going to move to Australia. But the last two sentences of the book are, "My mom says some days are like that. Even in Australia." And, given my recent desire to abandon ship and run away on an amazing never-ending vacation, I find myself constantly thinking about Alexander and his oh-so-wise mother. However, try google imaging the book. Good luck finding those pages. I'm going to wind up improvising, but how fitting is it that the one thing in the world I wanted as a pick-me-up was impossible to find? Maybe if I tried from Australia...