Monday, December 17, 2007

The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love

So I'm on campus today, finishing up all my end of semester work and enjoying the campus quiet. It's been, to say the least, an odd semester. And it's an odd feeling, too, going into winter break, not knowing when (and if) we'll be paid or what sort of situation we'll be coming back to.

Frankly, I've been in a bit of a funk. When I woke up this morning, I lay in bed staring at the clock long after I should have been up and on my way in to school. "I'm depressed," I realized, in an oddly narrative moment of clarity. "This whole thing is really depressing."

Anyway, so I got up and came to school, and spent a rewarding morning typing up a letter of reccomendation for one of my favorite students. Then, when she stopped by to pick it up, she gave me a present:

And if I didn't know it already, it's great to be reminded: teaching is the best job, ever. Um, I mean, best job ever, teaching is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Course Reading Wednesday

"Religion is what the individual does with his own solitariness."

A.N. Whitehead

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy Christmas

In all the years we've lived in San Francisco, we've never had a tree. We always go home for Christmas, we've reasoned, so what's the point? But we've missed it, and home is sort of like an electron or whatever -- it's wherever it is when you notice it, but it could very well be someplace else simultaneously. Plus, this wee one's not even three feet tall, and was less than $20. How could we resist?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Birthday to my Mother

When I was a kid, I used to love pulling my parents' old paperbacks, the ones they'd had since college, off the shelves. I loved the smell of them, the aura of brick halls and turtleneck sweaters, young love, and bright, adolescent intellectual endeavor. I read The Bald Soprano, the Odyssey, tried to read Freud and Kazantzakis and Ezra Pound. I wanted to be my parents' youthful promise, their love, the bright, ridiculously joyful smiles in their wedding photograph.

My mom and I both like Ezra Pound, my mom because she's smarter than I am, and gets the classical allusions and whatnots at some essential gut level, and me because I hope to be as smart as my mother someday. Because when I was eleven, his words held everything that was wonderful and hopeful about both the future and the past together in one small book.

And sometimes he's just pretty:

In a Station of the Metro
by Ezra Pound

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Anyway. Happy birthday, mom!

Monday, December 03, 2007

My Day in a Nutshell II: Electric Bugamoo

I spent the morning running around like crazy, finding some lost files and not finding others, dreadging information from long-forgotten data systems and generally behaving like a headless chicken unleashed on an unforgiving, flickering florescent-lit world.

Finally, at 3:00, I took lunch. I ordered some mushroom soup from a nearby deli, ran a series of errands, and rushed back to the office to proofread transcripts in preperation for a big-deal deadline tomorrow.

As I absentmindedly slurped my soup, I noticed that it tasted kind of strange. Something strong and unfamiliar. I poked at one of the mushrooms. It didn't look like a mushroom. Was that a piece of meat? Could there be meat in the mushroom soup? But they always have a veggie option at Bi Rite, and the mushroom couldn't have had meat in it, because the only other soup today had been.... crap. Beef and freakin' Barley. Beef! And Barley!

I've been a vegetarian since I was eight. My stomach is so not happy right now. Never mind the poor cow.