Used Donuts

Sometimes people leave a box of used donuts in the copy room and then we all pretend like it’s gross but then within an hour all the donuts are gone. I really appreciate how everyone also will take just one little chunk out of a donut, until all that’s left in the box is a bunch of little crumbly chunks. I am not being sarcastic. I don’t want a whole donut; I just want a little chunk, and the fact that my colleagues have no qualms about tearing into donuts and leaving the remnants strewn around for me to pick through like a carrion bird makes me happy.

Today someone brought in a straight-up full tin of cheap shortbread cookies

You have to get your kicks where you can in this stupid game of life

I am here once again for yet another bylaws meeting at which we practice using Robert’s Rules. Nonstop meetings. Just meetings all the time. Nobody ever told me it’d be this many meetings. Two faculty meetings a week plus regular committee meetings. Next week I have a three hour meeting on Sunday night plus more faculty meetings during the week. What is happening. How is a person meant to live their life. Why did we agree in the 1960s to hand over so much power to administrative control. I got into this racket to teach kids about J.S. Bach, not generate reports for some Vice Assistant to the Acting Sub Provost of Entrepreneurship. I do so much “playing along” in this job. It’s not worth it to everybody and I get that. My old man is becoming a farmer. He wants tasks that are tangible, that reward precision and perfectionism, and he wants labor that is unalienated. I want those things too, but I care about teaching enough to spend the vast majority of my time doing deeply weird non-teaching-related activities in order to get to keep teaching.

Yesterday I was shamed by an undergraduate engineering major into fully realizing how shitty my office looks. I’ve always known it looked shitty in here but seeing it suddenly through this kid’s eyes, I was ashamed. He looked around in surprise and said “can I ask what you got your Ph.D. in?” and I said “music history” and he said “huh. I thought your office would be more decorated and colorful. I have engineering professors with nicer offices than this.” I sat there for a beat, stunned, and then I was just like, HE’S RIGHT. Now I can’t stop thinking about it. I think the problem is threefold:

– I share this office with between 5-7 people, depending on how many TA lines the Dean has decided to cut in a given semester due to university-wide budget cuts due to our shitty governor just deciding to cut 60 million dollars from our operating budget due to his own need to make budget cuts and we all know educating our state’s young people is not as high a priority as, I don’t know, subsidizing gas companies or making sure rich people don’t pay any taxes or whatever the hell he spends his dumb time doing. Anyway, I have this small staff. My TAs work in here, practice their trombones in here, etc., because our building is a travesty and should be condemned and there isn’t enough space for all our students to practice and do their homework. I also have a part-time assistant who helps me run this one bizarre course I teach, and he has a desk/computer/etc. So it doesn’t really feel like “my office.” I mean, when I came here, they just plopped me into this office, which was already jam-packed with the crap of decades and already had a person sitting in here working. They hadn’t cleaned it out in any way. So it would’ve felt weird to immediately be like “all right, lets get all this furniture out of here and take all these weird posters of Duke Ellington off the walls.”

– It is very hard to get anything done here. If you want them to repaint your office there is a waiting list that is over a year long (I’ve been on it for a year and have heard nothing). It is weirdly hard to get OR get rid of furniture; you have to call somebody who first acts like they don’t know what you’re talking about and then sends you eight other numbers to call before you find the guys who come take furniture away. I also don’t think our offices are cleaned, which is a different issue

– I have a suspicion that they’re always about to take my office away from me. They do this periodically to people and it could totally happen to me. I’m on teaching leave next semester and I think I’m waiting to see if they use it as an opportunity to take my office away, before I commit emotionally to spending 8 hours in here painting and moving shit around.

All my colleagues have done such nice jobs with their offices!!! I have just realized they probably talk shit about me behind my back. My office is legit BAD looking. Bad feng shui, ugly, terrible jumble of nonsense on walls/shelves, poor use of light, no rug, no comfy chair, nowhere for a visiting student to sit. It is shameful! Ok I gotta get my shit together. You heard it here first. I will make my farmer husband help me with his strong farmer man muscles.

Since it’s been spring here for 5 months it is taking me awhile to realize that it might be really spring now. Late February? Is that normal spring? It seems more springy than usual out there. Birds are chirpin, the ground is mushy as hell, there are cool smells, geese are flyin’ by above. I wonder if summer will be weird too, and, if so, in what way(s) that weirdness will manifest. My guess is after all our cider preparations we will actually get no apples this year. Nonetheless I am looking forward to: sitting on the porch; using the firepit; getting a hammock; writing my book

Nothing funny or interesting is happening to me lately; I feel like I have nothing to really talk about. Sorry! I got a cool new book about the history of sea monsters on nautical maps

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