Where have I been for the last 36 days?
In a gray funk. Not a black one but not a clear blue sky one either.
It's been a bitterly hot summer. I began teaching two months ago after not working in nine years and not teaching in twelve. I spend 210 minutes, back to back, trying to explain commas. I'm exhausted by the time I get home.
Friends have been asking if I like teaching. Yes, of course. I like bringing disparate parties together to focus on what is impossible (commas, for instance, are impossible) and to laugh together. It's a performance, another word my therapist likes to bandy about. Why a performance? Well, Dr. A-Cigar-Is-Never-A-Cigar, I have to be high energy to get them to maybe pay attention to commas. Why not be yourself? That would be staring at...what? There is nothing in my sleek, squeeky-new classroom to stare at. My self is not a self I like very much lately. They don't pay me the pitiful bucks to come in & be blank.
Yes, but do you like it, B & D press further.
What is "it"? My students are interesting. About half are international students, adding English and the cachet of studying marketing or business in New York City to their resumes. They come from Norway, Paraguay, Nigeria, Kosovo, Korea, China. They have studied hard to be able to take college classes in English & their study of language has paid off in sharpening their brains. The other half are more motley, many of them condemned by Creole street talk & bad New York City schools to constitutional blobbiness. It's not so much they that can't think outside the box as that they can't think. Their brains are in danger of atrophy & this makes me terribly sad, adding to my desire to atrophy by self-will.
The despair of 45 papers is beyond words.
It's even beyond ice cream.
I feel sick with dumb Facebook games, ice cream and a winter gray when it's 95-degrees outside.
There are brighter notes but they are spectator sports for me. Friends have included me in their lives but it is not what I would call being alive myself. Perhaps fall & a different, more diffused class schedule will help. Maybe a new flavor of Ben & Jerry's. Maybe having finally traced fragments of my life on the foggy window of this blog.
George Lakoff is a very lefty academic whose non-political work on metaphor makes sense in terms of the way we best understand concepts, which is when they...