Tag Archives: graduate school teacher student

One bottle down.

13 Oct

“You were in the library late last night, Miss.”

My greeting for yesterday’s class by what I can only assume to be a future detective sitting in our midst, furiously tapping away at his computer (probably not the essay he’s supposed to be writing, and probably not even on Microsoft Word or the equivalent. He sends me his work as .wps files from Notepad, not understanding why I give him 0 points for MLA format. Hello, future).

“Well, it takes a long time to sift through the flaming shit that is the essays you all turn in and the computer in my office exploded.”

Not really.

Well, the computer part is semi-true. It wouldn’t turn on. The rest of it is a little gem off the “List of Things I’ll Say/Do When I Have Tenure” I’ve been compiling with my BFF and fellow. Literal fellow, since we’re both fellows in the English Graduate Studies program at our small, regional university, which effectively allows us to teach first-year composition students while taking our own graduate courses.

It really takes a special breed of masochists to get into this field, which is really the reason behind the creation of this blog. Masochism and a bottle of Rex-Goliath Pinot Noir — all $7.99 of it.

I love teaching, truly, I do. Those small moments when you get a student at the beginning of the semester who is a mix between an overgrown toenail scratching against wooden floors (not unlike my cats — because of course I would have cats) and the prominent brow of Sesame Street’s Bert, and somehow turn them into the compostionist genius of Bartholomae are truly remarkable. I have yet to have that experience, but I’m holding out for it, like the virgin holding out for her own Kirk Cameron or Tim Tebow to give it up to post-matrimonial bliss.

I guess my true hope for writing this blog, and maybe having a person or two read it and chuckle, has a three-fold purpose(s): (I’m never sure how to use that; so I just do. As I just did.)

1. To put into words the things I think, because as a graduate student, I’m aware that my words only mean so much (as long as I’m not disagreeing with noted writers like Booth — in his “The Craft of Research”) and it’d be nice to have a sounding board that didn’t consist of my grandmother and 78 of my “friends” from high school that have added me to their friend’s list on Facebook, who I’ve secretly only accepted as friends in order to stalk their lives and reassure myself that all those Friday nights I wasn’t blazed or drunk off my mind at the parties I wasn’t invited to and instead was reading or watching reruns of “Law and Order” with my family have truly paid off, because at 22, I have a BA and am a semester away from my MA, with four semesters of teaching at the collegiate level under my belt.

2. To narrate and elaborate on the thrilling, booze-ridden conversations I have with my BFF (the fellow fellow. Keep up) post-grad class at Applebee’s for its delightful late-night happy hour (1/2 price appetizers and buy one get one on drinks! Hello, Long Island Ice Teas) without fear of being judged, ridiculed, or otherwise demoted from the pathetic ranks I’ve clawed my way up the academic ladder to achieve.

3. To put off writing my thesis because frankly, I don’t wanna. Writing my thesis means leaving this state, which means leaving my family, which means leaving my friends, which means having to adapt to another socially awkward group of people who I’ll have to call my cohort in the doctoral program I’m accepted into while I, myself, am socially awkward (charming, but awkward). So while I work diligently on writing my thesis in my graduate courses (the two I’m taking, the thesis hours credits I’m enrolled in, along with the five sections of composition I teach between a university and a community college — oh, the fun I’ll have writing about those) I need a place to write for fun. I realized I forgot how to write for fun. I advocate for my students to do this, but I have yet to do it for myself (until recently, at least).

So, here’s the blog, one bottle of pinot noir and a bubble bath down, an inexplicable amount to go.

— AM.

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