12.23.2004

Bring flowers for tomorrow

Because each bluebook I read destroys part of my brain. I have 90 more to go. Maybe 10% of those are not convoluted displays of abstract English or the foul tumors grown from what was once a philosophy cell. The really special ones are Rorshach tests which call on my id to project some coherent thought on the blob of words. The Rorshach exams take three times longer than the others because I first have to figure out which question they have attempted to answer. Once I guess the question, I have to decode the nonsense into something that I can score as either right or wrong. I'm not exagerrating. Maybe I'll give you a sample from each when I'm not so exhausted.

At this bluebook rate of IQ erosion, by tomorrow I will be Autistic.
Call me 'Algernon'...And bring me some flowers. They will look pretty. I can put them next to my suitcase. My suitcase will be sad because it had to stay home. And this year there will be no Christmas. Because I was a bad, lazy adjunct (with an attitude too, according to ratemyprofessor.) Bad girl! But it's not all my fault. Satan's Administration(S.A.) helped too.

The S.A. maliciously designed the academic calendar to sap all joy and happiness from the workers. They scheduled mandatory final exams all day on the 23rd, the last one ending at 6 pm. Then they want grades and gradebooks submitted by the 29th. You must hand them in to the Registrar in person, during business hours. But, wait, the college is closed from the 24th-27th. So we have two days in which we can personally turn in our grades and roles,etc. Did they not tell the faculty about that earlier when the faculty were making travel plans? Of course they did not. Staff holidays aren't on the academic calendar they give to the faculty. But maybe that date is flexible? They know everyone will be late so they make it earlier than it needs to be. Oh No.

That's what I thought last year. I got called by the provost's office twice because my grades were late. The Department secretary called me twice also. The Dept. chair only called me once. The Executive Officer of my PhD program in a different college called me once from his home in Virginia because the woman in charge of GTFs in the grad program "was harrassing" him about my late grades because the Provost's office of the college where I teach was calling her. Got that?

Yeah. So. I can't miss the grade deadline AGAIN this year. Especially not after that crappy evaluation I got which required a meeting with the chair and in which I had to enthusiastically agree to have a teaching mentor, who is an adjunct I might add. And I shouldn't annoy the chair so soon after the last time, last week when he sent me that curt email about my unprofessional and unacceptable manner of returning student work and blah blah.

That was the night my block caught on fire. I was on my way to the office to resolve the problem when I saw all the fire trucks parked in front of my house. And the police had closed the street. So I'm thinking, "Where's the fire?" I look down the block. It's coming from a house five buildings from mine, on the same side of the street. A street of century old ghetto rowhouses. No one else was home so I decided I should stay in case it spread. Then I got in trouble.

I never in my life thought I'd say this, but all the ridiculous complication of grown-up land is making me nostalgic. Thinking of the Algernon story made me remember being very young and simple. Specifically, I remember playing little league softball when I was 5 years old. "Playing" meant that I wore the uniform and stood way out in the grass to pick flowers while all the other people shouted and ran and threw things. I liked to catch the stinkbugs that you could find under the white-weedy flowers. They were fun to play with. They'd climb around on your fingers and hands for a long time. And I watched the big fluffly clouds in the sky. Sometimes they would yell at me to chase the ball. But by the time I noticed, if I did, someone else already got it. There were leather ties on my glove...I remember how they tasted. Salty and chewy.

Bring Flowers for Algernon. You may never hear from JL again.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

No Christmas for you! No Christmas for you! You have too much work to do!! Too much work!  

Message from JL

Anonymous said...

Roses or daisies? 

Message from Sister T

Anonymous said...

T,
I'm not so much into daisies. I prefer the more somber flowers like roses, orchids, lilies and that kind of thing. Though daisies are quite lovely in an arrangement. Oh, but I like those big sunflowerish flowers that they dye into funky colors. That's are happy flowers.

Yup. NO christmas for me. Have to skip my flight so I can get my grades in on time. *sniff, sniff*. No beach, no exquisite food made by my mother, or her homemade fudge and toffee, no slow breakfast after we open presents, no warm-fuzzies at giving people things they like. no real christmas tree smell. And no lying out in the backyard to read a novel and get a tan. And I almost forget, I won't get to do any driving either! I LOVE driving the Miami freeways. no palm trees with christmas lights on them... 

Message from JL

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Thought I'd drop by and wish you the best. I have to mention that when I realized that my wife really liked flowers, that was one of the best moments I had. May the season be tender for you. 

Message from Stephen M (Ethesis)

Anonymous said...

Yow! Is that schedule for real? Abomination!

I hope you have found some peaceful moments to do something Christmas-y. 

Message from Ben H

Anonymous said...

Ben,
It's real.
They messed up the whole calendar this semester. I am going to look for employment elsewhere. I like the department but the way the school is run is just too obnoxious. I'm trying to get a TA spot at one of the better schools.  

Message from JL

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