Like this new idea of a newsletter I have this morning, after talking to Katie last night about sitting in on a tasting at St Fran with her wine blogger and journalist friends. “In a perfect world,” Dad asked me that night at Monti’s, “writing or teaching?” Writing, obviously, and he then suggested, if I didn’t already write this, that I find some fun new spin on wine and write about it. So here I go. $50/year for subscription. That could work, but I need to balance images and copy.. and I need to be on the lookout for stories, wines, everywhere… Can’t wait till this fucking semester’s over.
9:21AM– time to go in. Start looking for stories and images and anything as soon as you walk out this Passat. Drink lots of coffee, LOTS, and keep scribbling…
8:58AM, 11/10/14. Jackie staying home today, and me with my last day off for a while, till the semester’s over actually, I finish the grading today, giving self 10-2PM to get every last article marked. Hopefully fit in a run today at some point. When do I fit in writing? Concentrated, valuable, useful, explosive writing… Not sure. Will be on campus, in office, in that adjunct cell grading. Need quiet and focus, the linear. One month from today, the Mendo teaching assignments will be done, thankfully. SRJC the next week, in one day, Monday the 15th. I just sneezed, and Jackie said, lifting his head from one of his truck convoys, “You timeout!” I laugh, but sadden when I wonder how many of those cute babyish phrases do I have left, before he forms into a cogent and maturely lucid Human Being?
And in the adjunct cell, SRJC. Ten papers down, a whole stack to go. Sounds silly, I know, but this is the part of the teaching I absolutely deplore.. the grading, the poor writing, and the utter disinterest on some students’ parts. But there’s nothing I can do but keep grading and be honest.
All that’s on my mind at the moment, really, is getting out of the winery with this newsletter idea, attending one of those tastings my sister mentioned the other night. And taking more pictures like I did the other morning up the street at Matanzas. Another instructor here with me, down the hall, the former dept chair, obviously a FT-er. Didn’t say hi, didn’t greet or even look my way. And that’s fine, that just proves my point about all this in education. Proud of my wife for making it work for her, she knows what she wants and has all but universally acquired it. I don’t have her patience or professionalism. I’m a writer, a beat one at that, and know only what I don’t know and try to write it, to wine and the vineyards in their Fall attire, set my mind afire.
Set a 24-hour timer, counting down, on my phone. This stack will be graded before it sounds.. so I have to grade a little every hour, some more than others.. a paper here, there, ten here, fifteen, then back to one or two a sitting. “Swiss cheese it” like Dad’s always said. The semester over one month from today, and that’s how I’m looking at it– when Mendo’s done, it’s all done, and I’ll be sane again.
Doing touch-and-go’s on the newsletter. I want it out, NOW. No excess editing and no being delicate. I don’t have time for that. And this is the Kerouac about my mentality that hasn’t left since I started studying him and lecturing on him this semester. Going to grade one papers, hold on…
Graded two. Ugh, ready to leave. Hate this office coffin. Feels so medicinal and clerical. 12:17PM, do I leave now? Switch locations or go back home? This IS my day off, so what do I do, reader? I hear doors closing outside, in one of these halls. Hungry. Could use a nap. And another coffee. I’m a mess. I thought days off were supposed to be relaxing, healing, enjoyable. I blame these papers and the assignments I’ve assumed, why did I do this to myself– don’t fret, writer, you only have 30 more days, one more paper to grade before the finals land. Keep writing, I tell myself, or go to the book store– NO! No more books. Maybe I should stop by Schwab, deposit more money into the house account. Still shocked how well that meeting went the other day with Kevin. No going to overthink it, just move on and keep saving money. Only buy regular coffees if anything, if you go to Starbucks or the campus cafés.
Thought about grading another paper, but no. Trying to write, in my head, how I want the rest of the day to go– well, no spending money, that’s the first statute. Then.. a run at some point. Ms. Alice logged herself five lovely miles this morning. And that’s about it, I guess… How about this newsletter, I need a template, a design, one simple but not too much so, so what then– how about.. let me investigate…. Because I’m working with a budget of ZERO dollars, I’ll just use one of the templates that came with this laptop.. and if that doesn’t work, then I’ll have to learn graphic design on my own, and play with pagination with the WP program. I’ll charge $50 for a year’s subscription to my letter– I’ll “review” 3 wines every issue. Already have three for this first letter, so not to worry.
12:39PM, and I think I’ve reached my tolerance with this hole. Trying to make Art form it, this swiveling chair in this room which has a continuing hum of a vent, just to my right and up above the other desk, in the corner. But if I leave, what will I do? I know, go to the running store, look around, that’ll motivate you for a run today. OR, go to the bookstore, don’t buy just look around, right? 22hrs and 30min left on ticker. Okay, one more paper then I’ll go.
Done. One paper graded. And I leave.