So, today was the first day of a new semester. I hope that the way things went today is not a harbinger. It wasn’t a bad day, there were many good moments in it. But… here are several key moments…
- walked out of the house feeling oh so together as I remembered to get my wallet with the id I need for the bus out of the car AND to lock the car manually so Kev wouldn’t set off the alarm when he went to get in it. Started my walk to the bus stop, got four minutes or so in, just under half way there when I realized I didn’t have the lunch Kev lovingly packed me. So, back I went. Good thing I didn’t HAVE to be anywhere until three p.m. and I can always use the extra exercise (even after a good morning workout.) Not a big deal. But not ideal.
- then arrived at the bus stop and had a bit of a wait. There was a man standing nearby. I soon learned that he was also waiting for the bus. I also learned a lot of other things about him- like the fact that he was divorced from his wife of 13 years and hasn’t had a relationship since, and, I believe, that he’s spent time in jail, oh, and he wants to go into the ministry. He seemed particularly interested in my marital status. I just wanted to read my book about marriage. I thanked him for the conversation, but indicated I’d be reading on the bus. I could have been reading at the bus stop. Not a big deal. But not ideal.
- He respected my wishes and I managed to read my book about marriage on the ride downtown. As it was an express bus this was a short ride. I got off the bus and made my way to the bay where the next bus would be arriving. It turned out I had an even longer wait there. And yet another man struck up a conversation with me. I learned A LOT about him in a very short period of time, including a great deal about his romantic history, and his various addictions, and his six months of sobriety, and his military service. Oh and about his divorce. All very interesting. But I really needed to be reading my book about marriage, and so I thanked him for the conversation and indicated that I would be reading on the bus. Not a big deal. But not ideal.
- I settled into my seat on the bus and opened my book. A mom came on with a toddler and a bulky stroller. i wondered if she would want to put her stroller where I had stashed my backpack, but she didn’t. I encouraged her to wedge it in in front of my seat, somewhat trapping me, but we were heading to similar destinations. Shortly after we got going there was all sorts of commotion. Something was leaking up front. That something was my crappy water bottle, on the side of my back pack, which got tipped over and was leaking out the top. I tried to get up quickly to deal with it when people started (over) reacting. It hadn’t dripped on any passengers, but admittedly it could have and some of the passengers were very concerned for the person in drip range. With the stroller in front of me it was hard to get to it too quickly. I picked it up and then several people were upset because now the bottom of my bag was wet and I was going to drip it all over the bus. I indicated that I would stand at the front of the bus, and that I was holding my crappy water bottle upright and thus it was no longer leaking, crisis averted. They did not believe me. So long as the bottle was not empty, it was a threat. But I knew that if I kept it upright, we would be fine. And I assured them i would. I apologized to the woman in drip range and she could care less. People kept making indignant comments. It was just water. I dealt with it as soon as I could in the only way that I could. You’d think I committed a crime. How is it that I rode on a bus where one passenger was kicking another passenger and no one said anything, but a water bottle leaks and it is a capital offense? Slightly bigger deal, definitely not ideal. Really not a big deal, but super annoying. The man who befriended me at the bus stop offered me his seat, but I didn’t want to upset anyone by carrying my wet bag back and so I declined his kind offer. And did my best to read standing up.
- I then spent the better part of the day until my class at 3 reading the marriage book. I was supposed to carefully read three chapters of this book and skim the rest. I’ve gotten through the whole book now, carefully reading a fair bit of it. More quickly reading the rest of it. When I finished reading it just before 3 and took an internet break, I found an e-mail from one of the profs for that class. I was feeling quite proud of myself for being ready for Thursday’s class already only to discover seconds later that they’re assigning two more articles for Thursday’s class. Sigh. I’ve read one or both of them before, but… really? A whole book and two articles for the first day of class? Not a big deal. But not ideal.
- And then there was class… MANY more students than I was expected, almost all men, almost all white men, many men who were once students that I graded. Interesting… and it turns out that there will be a comprehensive exam at the end of this class. My first such exam since returning to school. Pressured essay writing. Hooray. Stressful. BUT it will be good practice for my big comprehensive exams which I’ll take sometime next year, and the class should be good prep for those exams in other ways. And not writing another massive final paper… yeah, I can live with that. I will have a paper to write at some point during the semester and I’ll have a presentation to give, but I can manage this. So all of that is fine, maybe not ideal, but not fine. Here’s the icky moment. So I got there and was baffled at the lack of seats in the room and at the make up of the class. When I got there I was the only woman in the room. Eventually another woman showed up. I knew that one of the new doctoral students in my area with whom I had only corresponded by e-mail, was going to be taking the class and there were so few seats left I thought maybe it was her and I wanted to be hospitable, so I went over to introduce myself and ask if she was who I thought she was. She was not. Doh! She is a div student and she thinks I’m a freak. The other new doctoral student was sitting directly across from her, though I hadn’t seen him yet. He pointed to the new student as she walked in the door seconds later. Felt like an idiot. Not a big deal. But not ideal.
- Then I realized that the book from which we have reading assignments for the next several weeks is a book that is being shopped to me from England. Of course that would be book number 1. So I asked a colleague if I could scan the essay for Wednesday out of his book. Kev and Caroline were playing outside the window of our classroom so if they were willing I figured we’d walk over to the library and take care of this right away. They were (though Caroline just really wanted milk!) and so we did. The scanner was being used. So we opted for the good old fashioned copier. Which was jammed, of course, initially. And I put the book down wrong and wasted a dime. Oh and the binding of my colleague’s book started to come undone and pages threatened to fall out- he just bought this book. All of this not a big deal. But not ideal.
- Oh, and then we got stuck in a Tennessee Titans traffic jam. Once again, not a big deal. But not ideal.
Ah well, yummy homeemade Ethiopian for dinner and Mad Men after dinner. And an easy bedtime with Caroline. A good end to a so-so day. An immensely boring blog post, but when you sense a theme and feel like blogging… seems worth doing.
(btw… i’m still preaching at that church… will be for a while yet… it has been a very interesting summer…)