Yesterday I taught all day, which involved talking to 18 year olds about Virginia Woolf and fiction and writing and their own lives and patriarchy and Katniss Everdeen and the world of today. Then I met with a kid who’s having some issues with a paper. Then I ran over to the fancy room in the library where a student of mine from last year was winning a research award for the paper he wrote in my class. His paper was really spectacular. During the ceremony my heart was pounding; I was so proud of him, I almost cried. He was so proud too, and wore a tie, and was full of ideas for how to keep working on the paper as his senior thesis. A cute weirdo from the school newspaper interviewed us and I said how proud I was and my student said how he couldn’t have done it without me. I just kept laughing and laughing. As various professors and administrators came up to shake his hand I got to tell everyone what a great student he was, and I remembered my own mentor in college doing the same with me, and I was really moved by the passage of time and the cycle of mentorship in academia. We got our picture taken. When I got out it was full nighttime and dark and creepy and I got in my car and drove through hideous traffic, thinking the whole time how much I love my job, how I have the best job in the world. I barely make any money and I have no job security and I’ll never be able to buy a house but I can not imagine doing anything else and enjoying it half as much.
Today I got an email from FutureMe, remember this? I wrote myself an email 6 years ago and said to have it delivered today, for some reason. The email made me smile. It actually felt like getting an email from an old friend for whom I have affection and also a kind of “oh yeah, whatever happened to that person” feeling. The email wanted to know if any of our dreams had come true, and if I could write back I guess I would say that yeah, a lot of them did.
When I got home after my exhausting day the house was filled with amazing smells and my old man was furiously chopping and sautéeing and stirring and pre-heating. I made myself a fancy cocktail, and went and drank it while lying prone on the bed with an eye mask on. I have eye strain because I waited too many years to get new glasses; what are you gonna do. I have an appointment on the 11th. After an hour of listening to Professor Blastoff and drinking my cocktail I was informed that dinner was ready, and it was lasagna and fancy olive bread and a big salad. And I ate it like a hog and talked about how much I love my job, and then we watched Donnie Darko.
Never forget, future me! All the future mes, whoever and wherever you are and however many of you there are.
I have 10 papers left to grade and I am going to do it before noon*
*probably a lie