I want to register a complaint. No, this isn’t going to be a complaining post. This is no great moral umbrage on my part, just a failure to understand. There is not, to my knowledge, a single building open 24 hours on Baylor’s extensive, Palladian, be-columned campus. I know because the maintenance worker who closes up the SUB every night and I are almost on a first-name basis. Or at least, he calls me “Chief.” “Closing time, Chief,” he’ll say in a jubilant voice, and while I want to remonstrate that he is denying me Wireless Internet, which has got to be on the Bill of Rights somewhere, he’s just so nice that I have to smile and wave goodnight, like it or not. So the question is: how come my venerable undergraduate institution, with an endowment approximately the size of a good tip at P.F. Chang’s, was able to keep its student center open 24 hours, even in the bitterest, most lonely lacunae between terms? And monstrous Baylor, with a budget that includes entries like “Bear Habitats,” “Artificial Bodies of Water,” and “Columns & Pediments,” can’t do it? Seriously?
In other news, teaching college freshmen is both incredibly rewarding and tremendously exhausting. I’d thought that I would be a nicely hard grader – not the sort who keeps you down in the mud with one be-tasseled foot while reciting a litany of your shortcomings, but just the kind who doesn’t flinch at issuing a couple D-minuses to shock everybody into “business time.” Actually, though, just the concept of placing an objective value judgment on someone else’s thoughts (even the “thoughts” that one manages to gather at 4am the night before class, whilst still hung over from two nights ago) is proving terrifying. Don’t let’s even mention the negative judgments. But I’ll manage it somehow. And I really, really like my students in general. Sure, some of them are a pain. But in a promising way. I hope they all succeed; I really do.
The result of all the time I’m allocating to grading and such is that I’m currently trying to write a paper that proves that Hemingway uses France and Spain as analogues to the spirits of Lent and Carnival, respectively, and that he simultaneously does not do so. Ample attention is being given to the Confessional Mode in Literature, to Moral Cartography, and to Tipping Waiters. Yeah … this one is definitely going to the ALL NEW WRITING CENTER GOONS. Just wait until you have to edit my rough draft, newbies! 🙂
Okay, time to go to bed and wake up all too early for last-minute lesson-planning/Common Grounds therapy. Au revoir!