Wednesday, October 09, 2013

What I Do (When I Remember To)

An average Wednesday of remembering and doing and thinking and forgetting.

Just before Jack and I left for school this morning, Roger calls. Trouble with the Jeep. He's turning around to bring it home. Can I drop him off at work on my way to class? Sure!

Arrive on campus. Park in far-flung student parking. No room at the inn in the employee parking lots. Run into one of my students and immediately feel sheepish carrying the bag from McDonald's that held my breakfast. It was not horribly sinful--an Egg McMuffin sans bacon--but we had recently discussed Super Size Me in class and she had been most vocal about avoiding fast food.

Hang out in the faculty room in the library. Consider using my time wisely. Make a hopeful start by printing an article I need to re-read and annotate for class later (which I wouldn't have had to do if I had remembered the copy I left on the printer at home). Then get distracted by googling a high school English teacher that had been the subject of a freaky coincidence this week. Find his email address, so of course I write to him to thank him for influencing me for good. Have to proofread the email multiple times before clicking send because, well, high school English teacher. Hang out online until it's time for class.

First class. Finish up the second half of a two-day presentation full of song and dance about grammar, punctuation and exciting things like easily confused words (such as affect and effect) and active vs. passive voice. Got extra credit points from my students for showing the Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timblerlake hashtag bit (#evolvingusage).

Back to the faculty room to read the article we are going to discuss in my next class. I have to be done by noon because I've got a committee meeting for an upcoming conference on writing for social change. The article is mostly about the history of and issues with Skinner's behavior modification theory and partly about the development of apps to help people lose weight. While I make physical notes for class, I also make mental notes about how to move forward with the possible development of an app to help people who have been caught up in the criminal justice system.

Finish up by noon, but I forget about the meeting and head straight to my classroom. I walk in and none of my students are there. Another instructor is at the front of the room. I am all disoriented. I look at the clock. Oh, right, noon. Meeting.

Head to the meeting room. No one is there. Check my email. Meeting cancelled. Found time! I get a few things done. Check email for my other job. Discover a meeting at the county commission office is re-scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. I definitely don't want to miss it. Not sure what that means for the plans I have with my parents, who will be in town then. Hang out online until it's time for class.

Finally, class. Good discussion from the few who participate. Hopefully the rest listen, because they've got to write a paper, synthesizing the ideas presented in the documentaries we watched and the article we read. We talk about the balance between our environment and our own free will. We talk about the role individuals, parents, business, and government play in shaping environments. Stories emerge that help us illuminate the issues. School lunch changes at Spanish Fork High. Fast food restaurants surrounding Provo High. Selling alcohol at the Walmart in Cedar Hills. Owning backyard chickens in Springville.

Hike to another part of campus to meet someone in the placement office to invite him to a meeting I'm attending tomorrow about organizing a job fair to help people with a criminal record find work. I've been meaning to do this for at least three weeks. Decide to walk up four industrial-size flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator because I don't think I'll have time to exercise later. He's nice. He will come to the meeting and share his expertise.

Hike the long distance back to my car. Good. Another bit of exercise. In fact a little more than I expected because I can't find the car straightaway. Call Roger while I'm searching to keep myself entertained. He tells me he's made an appointment to get the Jeep fixed on Monday.

Drive to the bank to deposit checks that have been sitting on my desk since July. True story. Our bank just isn't convenient. Our account pre-dates our move to the town we live in and we don't have a local branch there. But we like our bank.

Stop by the Volkswagon dealer to have our coolant topped off. The dashboard panel has been sending warnings the last few days. The service department is extremely nice. No charge. Use the time to make notes for an essay I am writing about chickens. Well, not chickens exactly. But chickens will illustrate the point I really want to make.

Decide that since I had already missed being home when Jack got home from school like I usually am, I'd run a few more errands. Call Jack. He's fine.

Stop by the Stouffer's outlet to stock up on cheap, easy frozen food. Sadly, no French bread pizza for Jack. But, mmm, Asiago Cheese Tortellini? Yes, please.

Stop by to see an elderly neighbor. I was supposed to go last night to help her take off her pressure socks, which she's not supposed to sleep in. I completely forgot. Wanted to apologize in person. She just laughs. Luckily someone else helped her out. I promise her I will not forget next Tuesday. She laughs again.

Finally get home. Jack's hanging out with friends. I tell them they need to empty the trash if it's so full the lid doesn't close. (I do say hi first.) I take care of the sink full of dishes while my cheap, easy frozen dinner is in the microwave and my organic frozen whole green beans that I buy in a giant bag at Costco are steaming in a pot.

Check stuff online while I eat dinner. Decompress. Engage in Facebook conversations about stock market investments and about the impact of e-books on the publishing world and about chickens. Create an event page for next week's "So You Want To Read" lecture at the Springville Library that I will host. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Can't wait to hear what our presenter says about the book.

Talk to Roger in passing when he gets home from work. Head to a shift at the jail. I always think I can make it there by 6:00, but never do. Check inmate messages. Meet with inmates about planning for their release. We talk about everything from applying for student aid to finding 12-step meetings to finding food to eat.

Get home pretty late. Enjoy the fact that I don't have to set an alarm tomorrow because it is Fall Break. Chat with Roger. Eat an apple. Read to Jack. We love the book we're reading together right now. Think about writing a blog post about it. Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow I will likely procrastinate grading papers just like I do today.

Stay up far too late writing this. Roger should be asleep. He had to set his alarm. No Fall Break for him.

1 comment:

Rich Beem said...

Nice story At what school do you teach? Keep reading, and reporting details, like the subjects of interest, such as "chickens."