25 June 2020

0 stupidly, i thought i could do it all

this is the only explanation for why i have a full day of teaching, followed by a phone interview, a zoom, interview, and then am heaving all 14 lbs of claude up 14th street to the vet for the wellness check that was a condition of his adoption. 

it always seems so smart to put all of the things on one day. whycome it isn't until that day dawns that my past self that thought that is revealed to have been the stupidest ever possible version of my self? 

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22 June 2020

0 dear people!

sometimes i am so dense!!! i didn't realize how much i missed the kids, then i read 15 out of 24 of their blurbs about themselves and saw their shining faces in their various environs on zoom, and, for the first time in 102 days, i felt like the human being i like to be-- refreshed, exhilarated, flush from having performed. 

i did a phd under the proviso that i didn't want to teach, only to discover that teaching is the only thing short of the stage that gives me life. 

the fireworks go off every night and, every time they do, claude runs to sit on the toilet. god knows why that is his coping mechanism, but i am not one to judge, because my coping mechanism is turning up the volume of mary tyler moore.

one of them told us he did it. after a week of planning, he bought 1,000 tickets to trump's rally in tulsa, and i lean back in the ghost chair that i bought from a girl for $10 last december, bought it in the rain and she was about to move back to memphis, i lean back in this entirely inappropriate chair because claude has laid claim to the chair that came with the desk but now sits against the mirror as his throne, and i think, maybe, just maybe, we're going to be ok. 

because the kids are so fucking cool, ya'll. we are so fucking blessed, because they are so fucking cool.

20 June 2020

0 365 days ago

i came to DC to house-sit for seven weeks. my ticket only went one way. 

it was three weeks with the lioness of cleveland park, four weeks with the pit bull in takoma. 

and then, slowly, house by house, cat by cat, job by job, i oozed into a life in this silly town. 

and lo! here we are. i have a cat and a flat in a pandemic, 264 days at-large out in the city followed by 101 at home. 


19 June 2020

0 zoomed

i've been stridently avoiding zoom, because i knew there would come a time where zoom would be unavoidable and i didn't want to be zoomed out when that time arrived. 

that time was scheduled to arrive next week. and yet, somehow, it came a week early and, already, i am like, NO MORE. 

this maybe isn't entirely zoom's fault and has more to do with the fact that the zooms being had this week, ultimately, make no fucking sense. 

if it is hard to wrap one's brain around the fact that one is seeing actual people in these brady bunch boxes, it is even harder to wrap one's brain around the things they are asking us to believe and do. 

we are opening for the fall! we are teaching face to face! we are having three class meetings in the whole semester! there are only 23 rooms on campus that can hold 20 socially distanced students! there are 160 rooms that can hold 4! fall break is cancelled (but not really)! everyone will go home at thanksgiving! we are going to give students a real life college experience! the students have told us this is what they want! we'll all be totally safe!  

NONE OF THIS SOUNDS POSSIBLE OR TRUE, RIGHT? 

(in the pandemic days of yore, back when i was in the vocabulary business, i made a video on cognitive dissonance, so if you're like oline, i need a pep talk from you in big glasses and a sequin muumuuhere ya go.) 

this was all conveyed in a departmental zoom session, led by our acting summer department head, who looks like alfred molina and whose zoom background made it appear he was broadcasting from the red light district. 

my question about developing protocols for when we or our students fall ill remained unacknowledged in the chat. which reassures me greatly, for sure. 

i interviewed for a teaching gig the other day (on zoom, obvi) and, speaking as someone who has done this, i would not recommend it. because, in the best of times, the mental gymnastics involved in communicating how you would teach a class you've never taught are strenuous. and these are not the best of times. 

communicating how you would teach a class you've never taught in a global pandemic at an institution that is claiming it will be delivering teaching F2F come fall is really fucking dumb. 

sample question: what museums or plays might you take the class to?

PLAYS?!??!!??!!??!?!?!?!!?!?!!!!

for real. 

i do not feel i am tooting my own horn when i say i deserve some sort of pandemic special category of oscar for the performance i gave of someone who was not laugh/crying/screaming on the inside whilst delivering an answer on my plans for taking a group of 60 students to the kennedy center next fall. 

it was an answer that would have sounded excellent in a world that no longer exists and which feels completely deranged in the world we live in now. 

the kennedy center is not open, nor is it likely to be. there are no productions, there are no plays. mass gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited. 

last march, i honestly didn't believe things could ever be handled much worse in higher education than they were at that point. i was wrong. 

the intellectual exercise of... what?-- chicken? capitalism? survival of the fittest? existential denial?-- that we are engaged in right now is the most profoundly fucked up thing i've ever witnessed. it will not end well. 

0 so you're looking for ways to help and things to do?

08 June 2020

0 on a lighter note

i will be laughing allllllllllllllllllllll day.

04 June 2020

0 ooops, i forgot

MEET CLAUDE!!!!! 





(and did i also, until just now, entirely forget that i had a giant furry blanket in london that i previously endowed with this name? why yes, yes, i did.)

0 #DCstatehoodnow

against our mayor's wishes, DC- the home of 700,000 people who are taxed but do not have representation in congress- is currently being occupied by national guard from utah, ohio, south carolina, indiana, new jersey, maryland, and tennessee. (virginia, new york, pennsylvania, and delaware declined- thanks, guys). 

in addition to DC police, US secret service, US park police, DC national guard, bureau of prisons, FBI, the drug enforcement agency (DEA), the department of homeland security (DHS), immigrations and customs enforcement (ICE), US customs & border protection (CBP), TSA, US marshals, pentagon force protection, fort bragg/fort drum active duty troops, and other law enforcement without IDs have been on our streets this week. 

dear americans, if you could be so kind, please remember this the next time someone disparages "washington" to win your vote. 

01 June 2020