Wednesday, January 21, 2004

She Bangs

Every winter, see Pappy fall.

And not the momentarily-losing-your-balance-before-slipping-on-your-ass falling down, the kind where your embarrassed face blushs red, betrayed by the laws of gravity but momentous, gorgeous flights of fancy, legs kicked forward, arms flailing, what aerodynamic engineers refer to as sheer horizontal. The type that Looney Tunes animators masturbate about.

Previous theories as to her malady centered on her high center of gravity. That her long, scrawny barely chicken legs ill-supported her top-heavy torso which to complicate matters further threw off her already skewed sense of equilibrium when carrying the additional load from a huge backpack slung over either shoulder (her noticable lack of calf muscle in itself lacked the necessary ballast to offset any imbalance). This awkward and uneven distribution of weight caused teetering steps that lacked firm footing on any icy surface. Someone once even suggested ankle weights to prevent further accidents.

But last weekend at night coming home from a wedding picking up the boy gingerly tiptoeing down eight concrete steps on unseen black ice scored a perfect Nadia Comaneci as she went face forward, a projectile arc that resulted in five hours in the emergency room, a CAT scan, seven stitches above her lip, two chest x-rays and a whole bottle of prescription Vicodan.

It is her birthright, an annual tradition and painfully, a bloody curse.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

An adjunct life

A noble act based on friendship relies on patience and sometimes, good timing with even better luck. How else do you explain disembarking into fifty degree weather from single-digit temperatures without the slightest clue? Naturally this is what happens just as soon as I leave town.

It seemed a foregone conclusion that both my classes cancelled but oddly enough (or maybe not), wheels began spinning almost immediately and then suddenly two messages appeared. From the void came hope, a respite from the powers that be which sounded too good to be true. And so it was, this instinct proved correct. My good fortune as the deck of cards shuffled meant that another colleague, my good friend who recommended me in the first place to teach here, bend over and grab her ankles.

If not for foresight and an itchy trigger finger to finally follow through the proposed bait and switch might have screwed certain parties involved royally. Given the hierarchy which enables those tenured to usurp any adjunct, the unlucky loser left holding the bag usually ends up with nothing. As would have been the case as trading spaces meant relinquishing a preferred time slot more suitable in terms of convenience and schedule. Finally and fortunately a contingent plan (paying more salary) called back to confirm.

So the endgame of playing an awkward shell game while sweating bullets finally yielded bountiful fruit for the whole gang. When the merry-go-round stops, when the music ends, the three circling the chairs do find enough space for all to sit.

And despite the surreptitious phone tag, all is well that ends well.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

A solemn duty

Another sad, snowy day by which to measure terms of closure.

It became in its mourning a tally of sorts, to see who in such circumstances simply shows up. No doubt, someone kept count. Eyes stared and heads swiveled about, all noting those in attendance and those conspicuously not. And of course among that select company the most glaring absence betrayed a lack of manners. Their impropriety as such then is an inexcusable trangression against the rules of civility, a symptom of vast and misguided egoes so self-involved that it failed to do the right thing.

But paying respects is more than giving face. Let bygones be bygones, no matter the vitriolic of past wrongs because that moment should not be the time for such pettiness. Sooner than later, though, the time for reckoning will arrive on hand.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Behind door number one is...

Monday Night Basketball or Survey of Art, Part Three (From Impressionism to Contemporary)...which shall it be?

So nothing like being on pins and needles awaiting whether next week will be the last evening of shooting hoops until the end of the spring term (which might be a crying shame considering that the nephew gave me a brand new Nike indoor/outdoor basketball for Christmas). Therefore to teach or not to teach depends quite simply on enrollment and to be honest, it looks bleak. So far, only one student is enrolled and the magic number ought to be double-figures at the minimum in order for the class to run. Not many people appear enamored of learning about modern art willingly. Too many bad cliches still persist.

But crossing your fingers sitting in front of the computer monitoring the real-time registration smacks either of desperation or dooficity. Somehow the latter says it all. It is after all good and needed income.