My papers have all been written, and all I have left to do is grade things for my students. My grades are due Monday morning by 10:00, but I hope to have them finished by Friday at 5 so I can help Drew with last minute details for the Drag Show on Monday. My goal is to be as helpful as possible without getting in the way. I have never been behind the scenes at a show, so I think it will be pretty cool. Becs and I are going to go out for dinner with some of my old friends before the show, and then I am going to go out to celebrate the end of the semester afterwards! This semester has been a real challenge, but I am happy to say that with the exception of the past three weeks, I have enjoyed it. I think I even learned something!
One of my goals over break is to read. Incessantly. I already have my sights on some Anton Chekov and a few liberation theology texts. I also need to start collecting Toni Morrison texts and some of the other books I will need for next semester. I figure I can get them for less over break when the undergrads, who were required to buy them, sell them back to get money for the holidays. Maybe I can profit from someone’s lack of interest in good literature. I know my list for my independent study will be pretty expensive by itself. I still owe my little brother some cash, too.
Another goal is to write. Every day. I would love to have enough material generated by the time I graduate to begin revising and editing in order to publish a memoir. I don’t know whether it will happen, or if my stories are interesting for anyone to purchase if it does happen, but I can try. I want my break to be a celebration of reading and writing and out of school goodness. I hope to do some experimental poetry stuff, too.
The third goal: running. Ever since I got sick with what I believe was mono—and since the doctor at the health center let me diagnose myself, I guess I am right—I haven’t been able to run. I have lacked the energy to do much of anything. Over break, I can nap if I need to, so I plan to start on Monday morning with a little jog and take it from there. I am hoping to run the Indy-Mini in May. If I don’t run it, I will walk again!
Finally, I have all sorts of household chores I need to accomplish, like cleaning out the fish tank, writing to my sponsored children, and playing with dogs. I am sure Bec would love it, too, if I folded my laundry and cleaned up my library. Things get a little chaotic near the end of the semester. I forget what I am doing. I lose my head a little bit.
Times are hard. I just finished my last paper; it was about gleaning or foraging. Basically, what I learned is that we throw away a shit ton of products that can be still be safely used or consumed; commodities with little or no defect find their way to dumpsters to be piled in landfills. I was going to buy myself a new jacket with my Christmas and I still might, but I think before that I want to buy a little wagon to load full of scavenged items from the dumpsters I can walk to. I am thinking that I live within walking distance of Dollar Stores, a Hostess outlet, the Mall, and KMart. Maybe I could even scavenge a new coat from Rural King? Maybe they throw them away for minor blemishes. I also live near Panera, and I hear they throw out their day-old bread. I wonder if Concannon’s throws out their day-old donuts. We’ll see if I have the fortitude to try it.
When I was in high school, Jaymes and I used to dive for potato chips at Seyfert’s distribution center. Usually the bags were still sealed and they were marked out on the date we went, so the chips were still fresh. The books I read suggested that things like yogurt and cheese were good months after their dates indicated otherwise. I am not willing to try it out. I have a weird palate when it comes to dairy: only the most pristine will suffice. It’s the mold factor and the soured factor. I just can’t do it. If I had to, I could. But, I don’t have to—yet.
Every time I turn on the television, look at Internet news services, or pick up a newspaper the economic news is worse than it was the time before. I wonder how low our country will go before it rights itself again. I wonder when I will have to start standing in line for bread or for the Second Harvest Food Bank truck. I wonder how we will pull through. I know the sentiment is that our country has come through worse, but I am not sure if we even know the worst of this yet. I am not trying to be pessimistic, but I want to go into the next few economic years with my eyes wide open. After all, I will be on the job market and Ball State has even put a freeze on hiring. I am trying not to get too scared or worried or concerned, but it doesn’t look good for a person in higher education right now.
I guess this is where faith comes in. Not my strong suit.
*edit* I am going to try to ween myself away from the computer over break. I recognize that I have become addicted, or at least obsessive-compulsive, about Facebook, email, and this blog. I plan to write in my blog every day, but I will not be checking my email regularly. I am going to try to limit it to Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you need to get in contact with me in a timely manner, please call me. If you don’t have my cell phone number, then you’ll just have to wait until I check my email. Similarly, next semester I will have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I will nto be checking my email except for on those days and Saturday.