Thursday, February 18, 2010

Off Grid

He'd been down this trail before, a trail which at first passes through mountain valleys and high pine-laden passes, soaring heights and deep dark pure river waters. Beautiful. Intriguing. Meaningful. There is no end, he is tempted to believe. But later, as always, the trail comes back down into a new valley in the city, one strewn with beer bottles and broken down old buildings. He will, as in the past, try to turn around, even frantically flipping a U-turn; unfortunately he merely encounters more run-down streets as if in a maze--they have multiplied as he was traveling, seemingly filling up the space behind him even as he was moving.

On occasion he will happen to take a turn and find a park, a few trees, even a small stream; yet the mountain vistas and earlier adrenaline of steep climbs and whizzing descents will remain forever allusive, these wispy simulacra giving brief reprieve but also pangs of unfulfilled desire. Soon he will stop peering high above the buildings; his neck hurts and his soul can't afford another "almost." So soon, very soon hopefully, he will readjust his focus, averting the impossible vistas, returning instead to the two feet forever, one at a time, moving forward...or at least moving somewhere comfortably past the same familiar, peeling sign each day.

Imitation is...reality and now I will extend my arms in front of me, palms upward, wrists together. Please God, plug me back in.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I think winter is almost gone, the sun has definitely been out more, the air is much less gunkier. Yet when the wind hit me as I mojoed it from car to office early this morning, winter seemed to say, Not so fast you fair weathered wimp. Ah geez, I screamed. And then there's the 38 and clouds and snowflakes on my I-google app. C'mon already--warm it up! I want 5s followed by 4s and 8s turning to 6s followed by 3s. A 6 followed by anything would be grand. Sun in my face while eating my lunch in front of MY window office, I effectively pretended there were 6s out there, 6s followed by sweet 8s.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I'm absolutely Fucked

NOTICE: Not surprisingly this post contains strong language, sarcasm, full puppet nudity...wait, no, that was in the play I saw last night, hyperbole, and dark humor. If you are not up for such things (mother!!!!) then please by all means do not read another go**am word.


I'm absolutely Fucked

Yet realizing, fully admitting, this fact has, on this very morning, Counterintuitively given me a certain sense of peace.

Realization #1: I will have to dedicate every minute to completing the work I have in front of me until after the 4Cs conference in Louisville this March

Realization #2: This means (which is merely reiterating #1 but I'm thick skulled) I must work all weekends and all evenings without feeling sorry for myself--I chose (mostly) to be this busy and I like my work...really I do.

Realization #3: In order to work all weekends and evening (again I'm repetitive but I need it) this means I can't watch an episode of House every night or take 3 hour long snow hikes...i.e. I have to make some drastic changes.

Work to be done (Readers: this section can be skipped as it is really a process in convincing myself that I am indeed fucked and, to most, will seem a skimpy amount of labor at best):
  • Complete 4 Cs presentation and retention study: transcribe about 6hrs of recorded focus groups and interviews, do research, write up a draft of reports, decide with Sig-No and Antistrophe what the fuck we will say during our presentation
  • Read and lead book discussion on Life as we know it by M. Berube for English conference on Disability
  • Read Oliver Sack's amazing book on neurological disorders: The man who mistook his wife for a hat for personal book club
  • Finish grading first set of response papers for my SF class, grade 2nd set next week
  • Grade memoirs for 2010 course
  • Grade out midterm portfolios for all 70 students in 2010 the week before I go to Louisville--why oh why....oops I'm in no complaint mode
  • Review a new textbook on writing in the disciplines, one which is very thick
  • Submit report to TETCY on best TETYC article of 2009
  • Continue meeting with School curr committee which is in the throes of redefining itself
  • Support the Writing and social justice conference on Disability by shepherding a flock of students to submit proposals, complete their projects, and show up
  • Amidst all this try to respond in a timely and professional manner to the zillion student questions and inquiries which will surely come over the next 6 weeks
  • Continue developing English 2010 curriculum for my newly minted tech-enhanced course/ new textbook
  • Meet with and read carefully read work of the incredibly passionate and intelligent independent study student I'm working with
New rules and regulations governing the life of Ron:
  • Limit communication to children: "Do that now!" or "Do that now before I kick your ass!"
  • House viewing: 5 minutes per night as I do my core exercises
  • Sexual activity: A 3 minute quickie every week, one bonus 5 min session for following all rules and regulations for one week (will have to run this by significant other)
  • No silly blogging once I'm finished with this post--and don't even consider logging onto FB
  • Discontinue meditation and Yoga practices for 6 weeks--peace and serenity certainly won't help me get anything done!!!!
  • No useless conversations/emails with students about questions and concerns about assignments and their writing. New standard line: "You are so full of shit; just do you work and get back with me when you are done."
  • Lean Cuisine-It for all lunches--sandwiches and fruits are overrated anyways and peeling/cutting fruit is WAAAYYY too time consuming
  • Drive 95mph to work: this is 15 mph faster than I currently drive so that means I will travel 15 mph further each hour I drive. And since I spend about an hour driving every day that should save me... ah who the fuck knows and I don't have time to figure it out. Suffice it to say that it will save me time. P.S. I will kick it up to 105mph if I see flashing lights.
  • Only read and grade every other paper giving the all missed papers a B- grade--no one will notice and odds are every student will eventually get an honestly graded paper eventually
I will probably have to make other adjustments, maybe tweak a few I've listed here, but this is a good starting place. Wow, I am feeling a lot better about being totally fucked. Lots of peace. All right. Time to sign-off, time to get down to it, time to Zen-like, fully embrace me being absolutely Fucked.