Sunday, April 15, 2007

The end in sight

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Sorry about the last post--version one got published too early by mistake, which explains some of its incoherence. Or it could have been the martini. Martinis.

The end of the semester is two weeks away. I would be looking forward to it, except that means final exams are only two and a half weeks away, and I haven't started outlining yet. Not one damn line. And another weekend is shot, as GF's father, who I have never before met, has come to town on a whim. Which means long meals and NO martinis (alas, those Mormons).

I hate outlining. I can't do it. I have never in my whole life been able to outline, and now my entire GPA depends on it.

It's the variety. I get dazed by variety. Too many choices. Too many things to pick and choose and edit out. I like the details. I like them all. I have been rescued by people in supermarkets who comb the entire store in exasperation only to find me slack-jawed in the same aisle where they left me, staring at soups.

So I have to sit down and go back to the beginning of courses that are now ending, and review and organize all the material, in detail, in the vain hope that I will have it all at my fingertips for the exam.

I hate exams. Some people love them. I hate them. I like papers. Long, lovely, detailed papers.

What am I doing here? How did I end up in law school?

I am maybe the mellowest person around. I walk slowly. I linger and luxuriate. I take baths. I am calm (mostly). I seldom was a hardass as a teacher. In fact, the thing I hated most about teaching was working for the Man as his Gatekeeper. Why did Bobbie have to get a "B" on a paper he worked really hard at, just because he's stilted and organized rather than organic and creative? Bobbie knows how to outline, which is why his English papers sucked. He controlled every damn word. Nothing new ever popped out of Bobbie's prose. I would sigh, and comment on his perfectly anal organizing skills, and note his hard work, and give him a B for boring, but with a plus.

Bobbie is kicking my ass right now in law school. Bobbies do very well there. The worm turns.

So that's my life, as I prepare to pack my things and leave after a day and a half home with my gf, who I didn't really see at all because her father is in town.

I don't get to blog or read blogs much these days, but gf does, and she tells me about people out there not getting renewed in their jobs, academic jobs they have sacrificed everything for. I don't know what to say, except that the world is vast and it will really be ok. GF has a theory that this is all part of the larger plan where life gets to be about more important things, and while that doesn't comfort anyone skulking around their department feeling like a Dead Man Walking right now, life will get better. I am more and more convinced that people who make it in academia do so despite the horrendous people around them, and the ones that don't make it really are lucky insofar as they get the chance to get the hell out of there and make some real choices in their lives. Academia is all about giving up choices for The Job. The Job tells you where you can live. The Job determines if you and your partner get to be together. The Job will let you know you really can't afford to have kids right now.

Screw the job. Make some choices. It's really an incredibly giddy, strange feeling, after spending decades having no choices, to have nothing but choices.

Go ahead and gape at the soups for a while. Look at the salt content. Remember the joys and drawbacks of Ramen noodles. Laugh as you remember your mother's recipes she made with cream of mushroom soup. Wonder if corn chowder in a can is any good.

Look, marvel. Buy them all.

Friday, April 13, 2007

oh hillary.

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They put a college picture of you in striped pants on the front page of the New York Times. How young you were. How earnest. Nerdy and completely adorable.

Did you believe what you said in those days? Oh, yeah. Did you cry in your car when they read the names of the dead on the radio? Could you believe they still played where have all the flowers gone as a protest song, even when your husband was running for governor? I thought that song was so lame when I was growing up, because it just went on and on. Oh yeah. Now, of course, it makes me cry.

Did you think when he deployed troops to Afganistan that maybe we were repeating some pattern . . .that felt . . .vaguely . . . familiar? And when you voted on Iraq, was there anywhere in you the tiniest twinge of conscience? When they asked you about gay people, did you have an answer? No. Oh Yeah. Do you think you'll reverse your husband's policy of don't ask, don't tell? Oh yeah. No. And woman in the military? Women? And Gays? Gays? And the military? What?

Hillary, will you stand by us?

Are there any issues that aren't purely politics for you? What happened to that girl who wore striped pants and opposed the Vietnam war? Do you have her contact information?


Cause I think I'd like to vote for her. You, though, I'm not so sure about.