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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cabin Fever

It's official. The snow days are rotting my brain. It's 8am on a snow day and for some god awful reason I'm awake. I had a dream that my mother forced me to throw out all of my scrapbooking supplies because they irritated her, but I couldn't throw away my crayons because I had to finish cutting and coloring frilly Valentine's Day banners for underprivileged local gang members. And no, I did NOT drink before bed last night.

Well, it looks like this coming school year is now up in the air for me. I knew it was a possibility that enrollment would be so low that I wouldn't have a job come fall, but after a tuition hike and the announcement that even more of my students would rather rough it at public school where there's no homework and teachers are just barely qualified to be standing in front of a classroom, it looks like I'll be on the hunt once again.

Every time I interview for a job I make it clear that I would really like to find a place where I can die behind my desk. And not in the way I could have died behind my desk at the DarkSide. I don't mean murdered by one of my little angels. I mean I want to teach in one place for so long that when the doctor confines me to bed because I'm too old to even stand on my own, I tuck myself into my ergonomic desk chair with a blanket around my knees and continue teaching the joys of grammar and composition. Apparently that's not on the agenda here. *Sigh*.

Anyway, on a brighter note, I started classes this semester. I've decided to take a couple undergrad courses at the local community college to get myself ready to start the arduous process of applying to doctoral programs. I registered just before Christmas for Forensic Psychology and Statistics. Obviously I was beyond excited for the Forensic Psych class. I ordered my books from Amazon and had 5 chapters read by the time the semester was about to start.

Forensic Psych is a Tuesday class and the semester finally started this past week. Now class is at 6:15 so I left my house at 5:30 even though I only live about 15 minutes away from campus. I wanted to give myself enough time to find a good parking space, use the ladies room, maybe get a drink. I successfully made my way all the way to State St., which is the main road running parallel to the campus, and suddenly traffic is at a dead stop. Unfortunately I was stuck on an incline, behind a large truck, so I couldn't even see what was causing the hold up. Of course I could see the glint of blue lights and in that neighborhood that could mean anything from utility work to a drive by shooting. Thankfully it was only utility work but it was enough of a jam to make me sit in traffic until 6:05, and of course by this point I have to pee.

I follow the flow of traffic onto campus, looking for Lot 2 which is what my parking sticker says. I'm driving around wondering if Lot 2 means it's right near the building my class is in which happens to be building 2, when I notice that all the lots close to the buidlings don't have numbers. They have letters. Crap. I find my building and realize there is absolutely ZERO parking available and it's now 6:11. I pull off the campus and slowly cruise the lots across the street. Yup, there's Lot 2. Now let me tell you a little bit about the overflow lots at this campus. Many many years ago when I was in high school, I took classes at this same community college and I parked in that overflow lot. Back then there were two very large apartment buildings in front of the lots and one sunny, wintry day as I was walking to my car with my friend Lana, one of those apartment buildings exploded. Now do you get the picture what kind of neighborhood this is? So now, 12 years later, the apartment buildings that were fire bombed are long gone. However, the minute I park my car and get out, I can still hear the criminal element slowly creeping towards my skinny white ass. It's tough to run in the night. Hell, even the parking attendant looked like he was casing the cars.

So I hike a mile, uphill, in the snow. Literally. By the time I get to Building 2 it's 6:25 and I have to pee so bad I'm pretty sure I could have floated up to the 4th floor. I get to my floor, find the classroom, and stumble through the door, now 20 minutes late. Thankfully another woman walked in right behind me so I didn't feel quite as ridiculous. I take a quick glance at the professor, making a pregame judgment, as you do- and I'm horrified. She's sitting (SITTING!) in front of the class with her hands in her pockets, legs splayed out in front of her, lounging back while addressing the motley crew assembled in front of her. Now call me old fashioned but I tend to stand when addressing college students. Maybe I missed the memo about Casual Tuesday teaching.

Anyway, I take a seat while the professor is in the middle of enumerating her requirements for the class. I'm not really listening while I'm unpacking my text book and notebook, but when I finally do tune in to what she's saying I realize she's just told the class that she's a "sticklier" for good grammar and schoolin' cuz she's met too many people who don't got no clue what they doin' in life. Thank god I have some self control and didn't bang my head on the table. Then she proceeds to tell us that her only requirements for our papers is that they're typed, double spaced, and most importantly- stapled. Yes, she informed us that she has much better s*&t to do than try to figure out which piece of paper goes with which other piece of paper.  She then proceeded to tell us a little bit about herself using the word f%$k at least 8 times in a 5 minute span of time.

Needless to say I spent about 25 minutes hiding in the ladies room once I finally got up the nerve to excuse myself to go pee.