Things and stuff

I’ve been taking a young adult literature class for my master’s degree. We’ve read a little of everything–problem novels, poetry, historical fiction, mystery and horror, romance, adventure. My current required reading list includes a graphic novel of my choice. I don’t like graphic novels. They are too busy for me, too much on the page, and it’s sometimes hard to tell if you’re supposed to read across the page or down. That being said, I’ve enjoyed many of the titles I’ve read for the class, but It’s been a long time since I was so captivated by a book that I wanted to miss work to read it. Until now. And that book, the one I wanted to spend my day with, is a graphic novel. If you are a fan of graphic novels (this one is actually an autobiography), or if you love Alison Bechdel, do not delay–go now and find a copy of Fun Home.


I watched Charlotte’s Weblast weekend, and while it was as wonderful as I’d expected it to be, the spider scared the bejesus out of me. It’s just a computer-generated graphic, I know, but it LOOKS. SO. REAL. After a few minutes I got past my revulsion, but the movie made me think of something most unpleasant. Spiders like dark, cool corners where they can be creepy and eat bugs in peace. My desk, which is in a building which happens to be in the woods, is just such a place. Because it is hotter than the earth’s core in my classroom, the outside door is open most of the day. Things can crawl in if they wish to do so. Now I am freaked out about sitting at my desk. Even now, just thinking about that vast expanse of spider-friendly darkness where my legs are makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. To make matters worse, I am wearing a pair of capri pants with ties at the calf, and they keep brushing against my ankles, and if I get through the day without cracking a kneecap on the desk or falling down, it will be a freakin’ miracle.


I might have a new job, but I don’t want to talk about it. I’m experiencing a heightened state of superstition. A red superstition alert, you might say. Just keep your fingers crossed.


Speaking of work, the man who is to be our New Principal next year has joined our staff for the remainder of the year. He and Acting Principal are wonderful, and you can almost imagine that, given some time, this place might someday be good again, the way it used to be when I started working here. The really weird thing is that no one talks about Old Principal anymore. It is as if she never existed. It’s strange.


And also speaking of work, the School Formerly Known as My Workplace has been leveled, and preparations are being made for the temporary buildings that will serve as a school for the next 3-4 years. On Saturday we had the opportunity to go collect whatever was recovered from the building before they destroyed it. I actually had 6 boxes of stuff, most of which I will toss in the trash due to mold, or because it’s useless (the stuff I used was out in the open, so I’m sure it was destroyed by smoke and water). But one of the boxes contained a hanging folder full of notes and pictures students had given me over a 10 year period, and another contained a ceramic coffee mug I bought at Eddie Bauer my first year of teaching. It is wide at the base, very sturdy with rubber on the bottom, and on the side it says “Never confuse having a career with having a life.” I once unknowingly drove all the way to work with it on top of my car, full of coffee, and when I got there it was still sitting there, not a drop of the still-hot coffee spilled. It is not even dusty after its time in the destroyed building. I am certain that mug could survive nuclear halocaust. I am glad to have it back.

4 thoughts on “Things and stuff

  1. Hey, HD. I saw your comment on my blog about “Donorboy.” I do like it…at first I had trouble starting it because I was, surprisingly, really heartbroken at the thought of the moms dying. That was a big paradigm shift for me because I usually identify with the teen (regardless of my 32 years). For the first time my first thought was “How awful not to see your child grow up.” Huh.

  2. Fingers crossed for you and toes, too. I hear ya on the spider business. There are places in my home (the attic and underneath) I’ve never even seen due to the spider factor.

  3. I rather enjoy graphic novels, and thanks for reminding me about the Bechdel. That was a good one. You should DEFINITELY read Persepolis and Persepolis 2 now that you liked one graphic novel, because they are truly fascinating – Iran in the 80’s… in comic book form. Marjane Satrapi. Find it.

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