Those days generally on the opposite of the world from where I am at a given moment. I wouldn't be able to retain my status as a neurotic Jew if this were not the case.
Yesterday was another one of those days where life mistook me for a heavy bag and decided to try out some combinations on my tired ass.
Yesterday started out with the theme song of my favorite Queen song, "Under Pressure." I had to turn in my journal and film paper by 5:00 PM. I woke up at 8:15 AM having had about 4 hours of sleep and with stuff to do until 10:30. By 4:20 I had written 7000 words of fairly coherent work. I faced pretty stiff odds and came up aces.
"Ha" said life. "I bite my thumb at you. I fart in your general direction." You see we finished editing the film last night, late at night. I came home and Frank said he'd burn it to DVD and hand it in by 5. Turns out, Frank didn't know how to do this. And couldn't figure it out.
Two of my pet peeves are being late and not being in control of my own fate. Check and check. I had frantic phone calls and hesistant plans, all the while I was frantically writing my paper and journal, which could have been better had I not spent half an hour trying to sort this out.
When I went to print it out the computer lab was full, including with this little Asian freshman who was not doing work but rather chatting on AOL and looking at pictures of boys. I have been known to read ESPN.com from time to time while taking a break from paper writing in the lab, but is it really fair that you take up hours of much needed computer time so you can tell someone LOL and "U R so kewel" while students who have WORK to do are waiting? I also had a friend there and I was going to ask him if he would let me borrow his computer to print off of (I have explained why I don't have a printer in the past. Basically it's because if I am forced to go to the comp lab to print it means I have to finish my paper early AND I have at least 20 minutes distraction free for polishing. Of the papers. I can polish...other things...at home without any trouble) My friend said he was leaving and I could have his computer. There was someone else in front of me though, so I declined and let him take the open computer while I waited and fumed at AOL idiot in silence. Of course I shouldn't call her that, she might have been IMing with her brother over in Iraq or her dying grandmother in China. She didn't look like it though. She looked she was either flirting or gossiping. I maintained an even disposition.
Finally AOIDIOT got off the computer and I grabbed it. I loaded up my stuff and got ready to write when guess who should appear nearby in need of a computer. If you guessed Kobe Bryant then you're either a first time reader or a bit on the slow side. It's times like these where you feel like there is a God, and he has the personality of Nelson from the Simpsons. He's already got you in a tough spot and he just wants to throw a small "Ha-Ha" your way. Nothing major, nothing catastrophic, just a little tweak and a laugh at your expense.
To make matters interesting there was someone in front of her in the line. I could have theoretically tried to give away my computer, circumventing the line to make myself happy. Of course I could do this in the same theoretical world where I could push homeless men into the train tracks when I'm alone on the platform with them. This was not a real option for me, since one of the FEW things I like about myself is that I'm a reasonably ethical person and don't violate reasonable rules or regulations (like first come first serve at a public facility) unless there's an astoundingly compelling reason (such as someone having a heart attack in the lobby and she needed to look up how to use the defribulator they had on hand.)
That was the first of three times I would pass her on campus that day. Ha-Ha.
I waited for the TA by her mailbox until I was told that she wasn't coming until super late. Another student had to talk to her because he was having computer problems and couldn't print or save. He had been copying text off the computer by hand and was going to hand in a hand-written version. He had a bunch of friends trying to help him. I asked why he didn't just borrow a laptop from one of his friends who had to study (if you're reading your textbooks you won't be using your laptop, right?) and he got this look on his face that said it all. D'oh. It was a Simpson's kind of day.
It's times like that when I suspect I may be an original thinker. None of his buddies concieved of it. Of course that may be because they're idiot freshmen. Don't crack my eggshell world.
I gave my last GED class of the semester in which, instead of treading over bland book material again and again, I made sweeping statements about life and most importantly how to read. I demanded my students reach beyond what they believed their potential was and told them that everyone fails at everything, but not every time, and its how you react to your failures that counts. On the way to class I was singing Tubthumper to myself in my head.
Of course it was a collosal failure, they didn't quite get what I was saying and couldn't follow the passage I asked them to apply my instructions to, but that's okay. I think I was inspirational, in a real way, not a cheap way. That counts for something. Plus I helped them improve their scores during the semester and I presented myself well to them. I think when you're a 50 year old struggling to get a high school degree it's a good thing to know that a student from an elite college respects you.
The Frank thing won't turn out to be a major problem. I'll get the thing onto DVD if I have to. I also talked to the Professor and he said that he'd tell the TA not to penalize us. That's one thing about being punctual with assignments and attentive in class. You earn cache that you can spend with professors when something goes wrong. At least with the good ones.
Yesterday was a bit of the getting knocked down. Today I get up, finish off a couple journal entries and throw myself into my policy paper. You're never gonna keep me down.