Pull In

Now if I haven’t made some grave error, I’m all caught up on my 1A grading. Did I leave something at home? Don’t think so.. if I did, I’ll email the grades (for a short response piece I assigned, the only thing I can now think of that I may have forgotten..). This morning when I woke, soon as the cell’s alarm alarmed, I only felt defeat, and wanted more sleep. Felt more like Kerouac in ‘Sur’ than I ever have but not now, no, I feel alive and I credit the student responses and….. Have to check my SRJC email, it boots, and….. No additional classes for Summer. Goddamnit. I’ll keep trying, but if all falls into my envisioned falls, I won’t need more classes– someone will grant me with this writing, someone or some set of someones (readers) will carry me away from the robotic and circuited patternization of days. I’m not depending on or hoping for a publisher’s eyes. They can’t read. But readers can.. DO! I hear the heater in this building roar like a coach, telling me to absorb my surroundings and not care, not care about the future or some career but I have to, but that doesn’t mean I ever have to resign dreams, right? And compromise.. compromise.. I never liked much that notion.
The coffee, nearly gone. Already? When I left home Ms. Alice and little Kerouac were very much asleep. Had the temptation to stay with them, call in. What would it hurt, right? And would I be that missed? Would it be that damaging? I’m an adjunct.. I’m replaceable, and like my friend Anne-Marie said a couple weeks ago, “We’re a dime-a-dozen.” But she’s full-time now. Shouldn’t say ‘but’, she still entirely empathizes with our place on the gameboard, and that’s all this is, anymore. What am I to do, be a full-time parttimer? Don’t get me started. While at the hospital yesterday I looked around, the characters close and distant to me, in lines waiting for who knows, and then the people just passing in those bland pale-smelling halls, then the workers– the nurses and everyday hands, the doctors.. what if I would have done different, I wondered. What if I did better in Solari’s Bio class at Serra, and in the Bio class at Foothill.. what if I would have tried harder in Sawka’s Algebra class, the Intermediate Algebra course where I earned my now-famous ‘D’? (The one for which I had to petition to get into Stats.) What if what if WHATFUCKINGIF. I’ll stop there, ‘cause I’m going to be 36 in 17 days, 2 months. And I know what I am. A writer.. don’t know how many times I’ve written that proclamation and affirmation, but there it is. And there’s the blog which I no longer down upon look. And me. And the adjunct thing. When Jack’s old enough to read and thoroughly survey his father’s work he’ll know where I stood, stand, and by then I’ll be on the Road, in a hotel, either after or before a lecture.. in my hotel room writing. People, whomever, might expect that I have a separation from home, from my immediate dad/husband role that I’d be out, having a few drinks with readers or publishers, or new associates, maybe new writers… But no. That’s not why I want the Road. The Road is LIFE, and that’s what I write about! So why would I waste my time just ‘going out’? Maybe here and there having a glass of Pinot in a lobby, talking about the Craft or publishing or whatever but I need time, QUIET moments to collect mySelf and record my moments, then mold them.
What room is this, this office? I forgot! Can you believe that? Probably ‘cause I never share the number with students, as this isn’t MY office. And it’s not. And it’s not an office. More like a rest-stop for adjuncts.. the adjunct, the freeway falcon, gypsy educator, Comp Book dweller (me).. transient lecturer… HA! I like that one. 6:44.. shit. Out of time. But I’ll make another pitstop before heading directly to PC, where I’ll change character habit and scoot to the Reading Room in the library, maybe even read a bit, something.. borrow a book… Dostoevsky? Tolstoy? Joyce? I’ll figure it out.

Class is done, and I’m in the conference room. Collecting myself. And thinking of how to approach 1B. Definitely sharing Anne Sexton like I did in 1A (by way of net, as I couldn’t get her book yesterday..), talking more about clichés in writing. Didn’t cover that as much with the 1A as I wanted. Now I feel awake. Now I feel alive. Why do I feel so nihilistic when I wake on T’s & Th’s? Oh well.. here I am. Thinking of lectures to write and how to see the Road.. writing on everything from student writing to journal contribution and maintenance, to reading, and intimate reading– not “artful” reading as I saw literally advertised in one of those “Great Courses”, which you can buy on CD or DVD or both. ‘Artful’ reading.. I’m not trying to be artful when I read, I’m striving for more connection to the author, to understand his or her innerworkings, and build my own positions on the work and the author, whether together or separate of each other (which I love to do, dividing the author from their work..). Will certainly reflect the same energy in 1B, offer different prompts, though.. 500 words to teaching blog then go from there, in many other directions and directions compounded by other “directions”… Singular words in Bell Jar, Ms. Plath and the notion of intimacy; Dickinson, Sexton… Have them associate themselves more with the author. Not sure why more professors don’t do that. Never understood it, really.
Hear full-timers talking. I’m listening but not. Have to proof the 3 pages from the Massamen Novel I wrote yesterday. The Adjunct War… The way I’m fighting it is by aiming for the outside, taking my teaching and lecturing abilities to the Road! Oh the Road! It IS LIFE!