Here I sit (yesterday) in my office feeling like a pig has gone to sleep on the back of my neck and some bird has decided to nest in my cranium. I am out on my feet from the cold, too much Nyquil, the fact that this is my down metabolic hour, and hell I am always exhausted anyway.
I have been sitting here for two hours in this impossible state. Meanwhile back in South Hall 2112 where my class room is located, students sat, from 1- 250, watching a movie called Fight Club upon which they are going to write their final paper. I told them I was sick and going back to the office to lie down and take a nap. I pulled out my thermometer by way of a demonstration, not that they couldn’t tell from my hacking and sneezing, and took my temperature. It was 98. So now I am less than normal.
In my enervated state, I fell into a stupor and would look at the clock now and then and think, damn! But time is passing slowly. I began to feel bored. I am hardly ever bored because I am too anxious to be bored, but now I am too exhausted to be anxious, so instead I am bored. Watching the clock, I felt as if I were watching paint dry or a watched pot that never boils! And I thought my God! How do the students stand it, how do they stand being locked in that boring old room with boring old me for an hour and fifty minutes at a time no less.
Maybe that’s what college ultimately teaches: boredom tolerance, i.e., being brain dead while performing some repetitious mindless act of something or other or standing behind a counter and waiting for idiot customers to walk up. Or how to make a living by killing time.
So I started to thinking again for about the 1000thn time: why the hell is Writing 2 an hour and fifty minutes long especially when writing 109, also a writing class, is only an hour and fifteen minutes long. I have been told that upper division classes, ones listed with three numbers like 1.0.9 are always an hour and fifteen minutes, but why is that I have to wonder. If I rely on my memory, I think I was told that Writing 2 is longer because it is supposed to be a class with a lab attached. The teacher was supposed to say something for a while and then the students were to write something for a while, because the only way to get them to write was to do it in class.
But that doesn’t fully explain the length. Because I remember that at one time Writing Two was only an hour and forty minutes long and then out of nowhere it was an hour and fifty minutes long—a change I was told having to do with the people who schedule the rooms for the whole campus.
Anyway, to make a long story short, the reality of Writing 2 as a temporal entity is clearly socially constructed by a bunch of insane people who are all probably dead by now.
And really is there any way to calculate how long it takes to learn something.
Hey Nick, Kathleen Talbot (used to be Redmond) here. I ran across your blog today. What a wonderful writing voice you have. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Carol!