Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Shhh...don't tell them I'm blogging at work...

So I have a terrifying feeling that I don't really like this job. Which is crazy, I know. Student secretary = awesome. English department = awesome. But I dunno. I feel like I don't really belong here. Maybe it's because this department has a faculty of around 80, as opposed to the 15 I worked with in the theatre department. And I know the theatre department inside and out. The English department? I don't even know our office hours yet. It could also be because I just started. Maybe as I become less clueless and figure out how things work around here that will fade. We'll see. If it turns out to be the round hole for this square peg, then at the very least, it will be a decent job until something else opens in the Theatre Dept. again. I'm also listening to music right now, and am tempted to finish the reading I need to do for my class in 3 hours, but I'm already breaking all sorts of rules and don't want to push my luck. Even though I'm the only one here.

BUT, ps, I probably won't HAVE to work next year at all if I don't want to! I just got my financial aid statement for the coming year, and I love President Obama, the American tax-payers, and just about anyone else who decided that once you're 24, you're eligible for, oh, a little over $5,000 in GRANTS. Not to mention to additional $7500 in loans, if I need it. So I might work, just to keep on top of things, save up for the summer, etc. But I'm limiting myself to no more than about 12 hours a week. Any more and I do poorly in both school and work.

I'm enjoying school so far. The workload is a fairly light one, and I'm digging my classes. Although Monday I was hit by an acute case of Sudden Onset Spring Fever Syndrome, and could hardly sit still. Nothing, from diagramming sentences to world dance, could keep my thoughts from wandering to the great outdoors. So I played hooky for the first time in a looonnnggg time, grabbed some tunes, and took the motorcycle out for a ride in the country. It was great. And much colder than I anticipated. I rode only about 1/2 hour, until the wind chill factor got the better of me, and I came home, ran a hot bath, and read "The Whistling Toilets" for hours.

And how about Star Trek coming out this weekend!? I'm pretty stoked about that. Although I've got a bit of a dilemma surrounding my attending it. I made loose, possible plans to go see it with a friend/his friends before I found out that another friend is coming up from Utah this weekend to visit and see Star Trek with me/my friends. Well, I'd hate for someone to come up from Utah to see Star Trek with me on Friday, when I've already seen it on Thursday. So I thought about telling the friend here that we should ALL go on Friday, but then he sent me a message saying "Come with me." Not "come with US." Come with ME. Which I think implies a date, which is great, and I'd really love to go. So if he's asking me out, I don't want to say "No, actually, let's go on Friday with this other guy who's coming up from Utah and all of my friends." But on the other hand, I still don't want to see it without this friend who's coming up to visit. So I invited the guy here to come with everyone this weekend, and then told him that he and I need to watch "Trekkies" together sometime soon. Fairly diplomatic, I think/hope, and I think/hope it leaves all my doors open. Closing doors is one of the lamest aspects of life, I think.

I've been typing up student surveys about the MesoAmerica Tour at work for the last few days, which has two effects on me. #1) It makes me want to go on the MesoAmerica Tour. #2) It makes me despair for the grammatical future of our language. I don't understand how these kids are in college. I'm talking PUNCTUATION problems. I'm talking sentences like "A lot of funner." A whole sentence. What the hell does that even mean? There are all sorts of things wrong with that. I realize that everyone makes mistakes every now and then, but CLEARLY people seem to have forgotten the art of PROOF-READING. Even just proof-reading AS they write. Hmph. Makes me grumpy. The written word is the only specific and lasting form of communication human beings have. There is a stewardship over written language that too many people disregard. And I am far from perfect. There are all sorts of grammatical things wrong with this entry of mine alone. But "A lot of funner"? That's how people talk when they're just starting to learn language. Like, when they're three. Grumble grumble grumble.

I'm also getting irrationally irritated with people who say they didn't like a hotel or bus ride because there wasn't air conditioning. Seriously? You're in a third-world country! Or a second-world country (funny how we don't seem to use that phrase as often). In some of the places you're visiting, people don't have FLOORS. People are living in "homes" made of tin siding. And you're complaining about not having air conditioning? I know it's hot, but it's part of the experience. It's selfish and closed-minded to apply your standards of luxury to someone else's standards of every day living. A/C is not a human right. It is a luxury.

Finally, a poem that I didn't write and that I really dig:

How to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual
by Pamela Spiro Wagner

First, forget everything you have learned,
that poetry is difficult,
that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
with your high school equivalency diploma,
your steel-tipped boots,
or your white-collar misunderstandings.

Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
the best poems mean what they say and say it.

To read poetry requires only courage
enough to leap from the edge
and trust.

Treat a poem like dirt,
humus rich and heavy from the garden.
Later it will become the fat tomatoes
and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.

Poetry demands surrender,
language saying what is true,
doing holy things to the ordinary.

Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun.

When you can name five poets
without including Bob Dylan,
when you exceed your quota
and don't even notice,
close this manual.

You can now read poetry.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

I really like this poem. The other day James and I were waiting for a friend, and, thinking of this, we took turns naming 5 poets at a time (leaving out Bob Dylan...and Dylan Thomas, as that's who I thought we were supposed to avoid).
I think we're ready to read poetry.