I don’t know where this week went. It sort of slipped by me or something, but here it is Friday. Maybe that night with four hours sleep put me in a waking coma, or maybe I was absorbed in getting through the first week of classes. I just don’t seem to have been thinking about much of anything. I can’t remember doing anything in particular either but here it is Friday.
I can’t tell much about my classes yet. Well, probably there isn’t much to tell. After 27 years of doing it, they seem pretty much the same and all blur into each other. Yesterday, I am in this class room with a bank of windows along one wall. It’s good to have windows because that’s ventilation and some of the other rooms in other buildings don’t have that. But this is an old building and one side has windows running from about four feet up to the ceiling. Lots of windows.
They have Venetian blinds—I think that is what they are called—and none of them work. They just hang there. Some of them are rolled half way up and are just stuck there—with the little blinds open, and others are hanging all the way down with the blinds open and I tugged on the string this way and that and couldn’t get them to move. I got one to move and it went up on one side but not on the other and when I wanted it to go down, and I couldn’t get it unstuck.
This wouldn’t matter but I want to show part of a documentary on the development of the consumer society. Just 30 minutes or so and then we will talk about it. But it’s late afternoon, about 4 and the sun is streaming directly into the window. Really bright. So when I turn on the DVD you can hardly see the documentary on the screen. It’s like ghosts swimming around on the screen…the light is so damn bright from the windows.
People have complained about those blinds over the years. I have complained about those blinds. But nothing happens; they remain dysfunctional. I console myself by thinking that sometime in October the clocks will change and it will be dark outside when I want to show my DVD. At least I think the clocks will change sometime in October.
This is kind of absurd though really. Over in my old parking lot they are throwing up a multi-million dollar building, but they don’t seem to have any money for Venetian blinds. Or more exactly they don’t have the money for Venetian blinds for a classroom where students sit. It’s a little diddly thing I know, but symbolic, to use a big word, of the general attitude of the UC towards students, undergraduate students I mean.
They just don’t care much for them or about them. If they did care at all really certainly that room would have had new Venetian blinds by now. I just don’t get it.
The windows of my office have not been washed in ten years and the Venetian blinds there don’t work either. But then I am a teacher. I expect neglect. Also my office smells of mold, but I open my window and turn on the fan I bought and the smell goes away.