As if these kids aren’t dealing with poor spelling all over the Internet, now they’re HEARING it on the radio. I will confess that I like the song Fergalicious. I know the video is completely antithetical to feminism, but it’s got a groovy beat and I can dance to it. I give it an 85. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what the hell will.i.am. is spelling at one point and today I figured it out. He’s spelling tasty, but he’s spelling it wrong!!! (I know, I know, poetic license and all that stuff.) Tastey. Cripes. Just what I need. Good job, Fergie! Soon you’ll need to open your own school for kids who can’t read good because of all the damage you’ve done. Thanks for nothing, bitch.
In a rare fit of Virgo-like activity, yesterday I decided to clean out my closet. Guess what I found in my "to-be-dry-cleaned" basket? About 4 pairs of pants, 7 sweaters and 3 blouses that I had completely forgotten about. Like forgotten I owned them. Lately, I’ve been saying to Mr. J., “I feel like I’m wearing the same things over and over again,” and guess the fuck what? I was. Duh.
I guess my body has decided to ring in the beginning of every semester with a wicked-bad bout of insomnia. Sigh. Here we go again, folks. Hopefully this round I will neither hallucinate nor shower with my glasses on. Hence, I was watching Will & Grace at around three a.m. In this episode, they were at Jack’s graduation from nursing school and the? head nurse? someone? said the guest speaker wouldn’t be coming because she had a family emergency which of course, everyone knows is code for “vaj problems.” I couldn’t stop laughing. Today I checked my e-mail and a female student told me she would not be in class on Monday because of a family emergency and all I can think now is “vaj problems.” This is not good. And it’s going to be even worse if a male student tells me this because I will automatically think, “Oh, I get it. Your girlfriend has vaj problems.” I am probably too juvenile to be teaching anyone. Definitely too juvenile to be teaching college students.
Guess what, gang? Another set of sibs is in my class this semester - young women who look so much like twins that I would think they were except one is nearly a foot taller than the other. And they sat next to each other and whispered and giggled the whole class. My hairy eyeball and pointed pauses were not enough to shut ‘em up. I wonder if I SHOULD have said something to show what a “hard-ass” I can be? Years ago, the department chair was female and she would advise all the female professors to wear high heels (not a problem over here!) and a suit on the first day of class (okay, THAT’S a problem. Do I really want my Ann Taylor suits covered in chalk dust? I do not) and act really mean. Because you can always get nicer, but you shouldn’t start out nice and then have to get mean. Or something. I get the gist, but who wants to be a raging bitch the first day of class? Okay, probably some people. All right, probably me, sometimes. Teachers – whaddaya think? Start out like a humorless drill sergeant and then back off as the semester progresses? Or does anyone else even put that much thought into their classroom “persona”?
On a cheerier note, I would like to give a shout out to a few of the words I really, really like: Kerfuffle, mercurial, solipsistic! Hey kids! Love ya! Now I see why we didn’t have a list of words we loved. I guess it’s easier to be annoyed by something, especially if you’re me.
I have been moved to a different room in the same building because, well, I’m not really sure. But I no longer have electronic window blinds. The department secretary called me and asked me if I would be willing to change rooms. Why not? Isn’t that the same as asking if you’d like to see a different part of hell? “Do you have more than 75 students?” she asked me. I have exactly 75. Perfect! She put me in Room D for Dungeon. I went over there to check out my new digs and found exactly 70 desks. I counted three times. Yes, folks, 70 desks and not much room for one more, let alone five more. Now that shit pisses me off. I am mad for my students. They have paid boatloads of money to take my stupid class and personally? I think a freakin’ desk should be part of the damn purchase price. Mr. J. assures me I won’t have to worry because I will never have all 75 students in the class at the same time – but – hello? Exams? So . .. then what? They’re supposed to sit on the floor? I’m supposed to be so student centered that you can plagiarize the hell out of an assignment and not get in trouble, but sorry, we’re fresh out of desks. WTF?
No? I didn’t think so. At the risk of repeating myself, I must address this Very! Important! Subject! Since it’s January every magazine and newspaper is featuring a “lose that holiday weight” article. And they all include advice on “how to lose 10 pounds in a month without even trying.” And they ALL say, “Replace whole milk with 2%, 1%, or even skim!!!” Seriously. Who are they kidding. Is there ANY woman in America who drinks whole milk?!!?! What is wrong with people? Disclaimer: If you drink whole milk, I am wrong and I apologize to you, madam. But I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong.
I am in some classes that are masters/doctoral level. After class, a bunch of us were standing around talking – I was the only doc student so I don’t know them as well as they know each other. One of the masters students was bitching about how disappointed she was in someone’s work. Apparently, one arm of the department was having a student conference and someone had volunteered to make a brochure. The masters student (let’s call her Janice) was going on and on about how it was the worst brochure EVER and she couldn’t believe that Molly sent it out to the whole group without her approval first and there were SO many things wrong with it on and on ad nauseum. Finally I asked, “Who’s Molly?” She replied, “You know, Molly Jones.” Molly is a doctoral student in my program. We started the program together and we have shared almost every class. I adore her. She is hard working and funny and articulate and a whole lot of things and just – what’s not to like? I also know that her partner of 11 years up and left her around Thanksgiving – for a man – and she is (understandably) devastated. But unlike me, she is very composed and together. In fact, you wouldn’t know she was going through something so horrible unless you really, really pushed her to admit something was wrong and maybe not even then. Point is – she’s not a complainer or a whiner or an emotional trainwreck like I would be in that situation. She and I discussed her situation a lot over e-mail during the holidays which – of course – were incredibly difficult for her.
I stood there and let Janice bad-mouth Molly to 9 other masters students while I did nothing. I kept wanting to yell, “Stop it! She’s an amazing human being and you have no idea what she’s going through and how dare you talk about her like she murdered children when all she did was send out a ‘disappointing’ brochure!” But I didn’t. As Janice raged on (BTW, in case you haven’t figured it out, Janice needs her meds adjusted and I am just a little bit afraid of her), all the other masters students nodded and clucked sympathetically and shook their heads in that, “Some people are just so unbelievable” kind of way. Finally, I interrupted her but it was too late. And I didn’t say what I wanted to say. The only thing I said was, “You need to tell Molly that then. She needs to know how you prefer to work so she doesn’t make the same mistake again. It’s only fair.” Janice nodded and agreed and I know she will never say a word to Molly – just continue to bad-mouth her behind her back. As the group dissipated, I stood there with a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t stick up for Molly. I didn’t defend her. And you know what? I can pretty much bet that she would have defended me in the same situation. I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions, but this year I want to become brave. I think at 36, it’s a little overdue.