Alien

My mood is like the stock market these days. It goes from bad to worse and then back up to bad followed by worse. I don’t think I will ever reach 1400 again—not that I mood wise was ever up to 1400. I will die before we reach 1400 again. And that thought does do anything for my mood.
I have a hard time answering when people make the mistake of asking me how I am. I avoid the awkwardness of this question by hardly seeing anybody except my students and for some reason students never ask a teacher how he or she is.
Today, I tried to tell my students how I was. That was a mistake.
I was tired at 12:30 and the temperature was over 80 in that classroom. (At this moment, as I sit here typing, I am told by my computer that it is 90 degrees. How does that happen in October?) So I am tired what with it being 80 degrees and I have just come from my office, where, for some reason, unknown to me, the heater is on. I swear it is sweltering in that office. So I open the window and turn on my little fan. I have told people several times about my office over-heating, but as far as I can tell nobody has done a thing about it. I am afraid to ask again because deep down I am sure, in my paranoid self, that I am somehow responsible for the fact that my office over-heating.
So I try to tell the class that I am tired. I tell them that I feel as if one of those aliens from Alien has attached itself to my brainstem. It’s rather fuzzy-wuzzy not particular mean alien but it is putting me to sleep. I ask if they have ever wondered why in Alien the alien jumps out of the chest, while in Alien 3 (the worst of the Aliens) the thing seems wrapped around Signorey Weaver’s brain stem. Or does it start at the brain stem and move down to the chest.
And I look out at the class and they appear stony faced and dumbfounded. Perhaps a teacher is not supposed to say he is tired. I have felt that teaching is a good deal like lion taming. One should never show fear. And while saying one is tired is not showing fear, it does show weakness.
Then I ask, you have seen Alien? And from what I can tell almost nobody in the class has seen Alien. Maybe they are just messing with me. Surely somebody has seen Alien in that room, but if so, nobody is admitting it. Jennipher, I ask directly, have you seen Alien. No she says.
So now I am stony faced and dumbfounded. How the hell has anybody living in the 21st century failed America to see Alien. One of the all time great American movies and absolutely seminal in its development of the female action hero (or heroine). Maybe they aren’t messing with my mind. A few years back I asked how many people had seen Godfather and two thirds of the class said they hadn’t.
My day is done. I am increasingly passé, if that is possible.

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