Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Because She Can Do Whatever She Likes Around Here, Bitchy Bear Reaches Back a Couple of Weeks To Obliterate Silly Puffy Thad from the Thunderdome.

Thaddie, who like Wicked Walter before him, wants us to man up and get some perspective while he beats his chest. Unfortunately, I have been there, and done that, and I'm just a sissy girl.

I work at an expensive and hard-to-get-into university. But I've got stories like Thad's, and I've only been working here a few years. I can't wait for the next 20. Here's just one from last semester: A student who got space on campus where he then shot amateur porn that "went too far" for one of his leading ladies. Nice.

Some of our faculty are real sweethearts, too, when it comes to violence against women, and I have to worry over my female graduate students like a mafia father. Being part of the elite means we can keep that shit out of the papers, that's all, and none of our snowflakes will ever feel the cold steel of handcuffs next to their Dior cuff links. We got class around this joint, I tell ya. I have more war stories if you want, but we all know what the first rule of Fight Club is...

The other problem with perspective is that I am from a rural ghetto, which is not unlike The Wire only it's full of impoverished, fat white people surrounded by meat-packing plants. Going to Iraq is a celebrated outcome for my friends' boys there. Do you know what middle-aged meth addicts look like? I do; let's go to my class reunion and I'll show you. Best borrow a gun from one of your students because my friends will make fun of you if I have to let you borrow mine (it's a girl's gun, but it's still adds a jolly punch to my purse if I have to clout somebody on the subway with it. I gots me a taser, now, too. No stapler though.)

Have I sufficiently established my street cred yet? Am I allowed to have problems now? I hope so. Because even given that I have seen a fair bit of how shitty life can be, texters still piss me off. They aren't just putting their evening plans in order as you seem to think, Thad. Texters mean any or all of the following for me: endless emails demanding I re-explain what I already went over in class, flouncing around that the texter "went to class every single time" and still isn't "getting an A" in class, etc, etc, etc. We wouldn't be bitching if students occasionally shot off a text or two to solidify plans. Some of these little bastards try to text the entire class. They look like compulsive masturbators poking away under the desk. It's irritating and undisciplined, and the fact that human behavior can get much much worse is cold comfort.

Let's think of it this way. How sympathetic would I be if I said to the average adjunct: yeah, my best friend from high school electrocutes turkeys for a living while trying to raise her two kids alone in a place so drenched in drugs and factory farms it has the ambient smell of mothballs and pig shit--oh, and she has breast cancer now, but that's nothing next to not getting a tenure-track position, I know. That my friend's life sucks worse is immaterial to the fact that most adjuncts worked hard for something they wanted, they still work hard, the work hasn't paid off, and that blows. It may or may not be a grand miscarriage of justice as Archie thinks, but it blows for any given individual going through it.

In the end, I recognize that there's nothing special about me and that other people who have not had my opportunities (and would kill for them) would have worked just as hard as I have. But I have still worked hard here and eaten a lot of shit along the way. Maybe I don't deserve it, but I don't not deserve it, and so I'm going with it.