Monday, July 2, 2007

Death By Office

For the first time in 6 weeks I walked on campus this morning. I don't know why I did it. I'm old enough to know better.

It was quiet, of course, pleasant. A greensward of land just open and pretty. I waved at someone I knew who was across the quad from me. I strolled in an unseasonably cool morning to my office.

My eyes settled on my bookshelves, and I pulled a couple of volumes out I wanted to read at home. The life of the mind, I was reminded.

Then I sat down and looked at the surface of my desk where the remains of my final grading sessions remained. I saw the names of the petulant punks who had made my Spring semester one big fucking nightmare. Complaints. Whining. "I have to get ready for SongFest! Can I do my paper next week instead?"

A sour feeling took over my stomach and I just wanted to go home and black out the windows for a while.

So much of my job is wonderful. The parts that kill my spirit are all tied up in that list of names, the students. They come in to the classroom - and more will come in the Fall semester - and everything I dreamed about for my career gets dashed against their pointy heads and limited ambition.

I could not get out of that room fast enough.