Frustrated I won’t be home to give babies their bath, help put them to bed. Though, mind you, I’m making not the best of this, this semester, but making it mine. I’m taking it seriously, to a point. Walking here from my car in the C Lot which of course is entirely across campus, I thought about me. Of course I did. What I do, where I am… what I want, the usual shit. Then I told myself to stop thinking altogether and just DO. Writing… my doing. Got a sparkling water in the bookstore, now here in the conference room where I’ve had I don’t know how many sittings. I have to be candid, I’m burnt out on this, too. Just like the wine industry. I love teaching, really. Especially the students, the discussions on writing and literature, music and life and student life and trials, but the teaching late like this, and having spilt, split, schedules with the 4-hour a week gig, I’m just exhausted. Headed toward 40. I’m centralizing, consolidating… no more of this shit. This semester, more than likely my last—and yes I know I’ve said that before— will be easily my supreme, my most showing and self-promoting. Not that that’s the only reason I “teach”, but.. well, maybe a little.
Thought about getting a beer on the way to campus, at Plow Brewery just up the road, Piner, from my Autumn Walk studio, but felt a little tired from 6.3-mile run, sipped coffee in tumbler and ruled it out. I’m going to have fun tonight, in class. Talk about writing, reading, being a student, being a teacher, being and adjunct, being a Human. The whole bloody bit, LIFE. Assigned the English 100 class last night two pages… “Write two pages on anything.” I said. I think I said that. Something like that. Just urged them to start with their paginating practice. Put something on the page. Hopefully they’ll have some manuscript or portfolio, something to show people, show themselves.
Full-time, obviously tenured, instructor just walked by, into this room them into the neighboring mail/copy room. He observed, evaluated, me a few semesters back and wrote perhaps the most endorsing and favorable write-up of my career, of my teaching life I mean (being an adjunct isn’t a career). I’ve seen him here late, before. He must teach late courses every semester, and I don’t know why I’m taking notice of this, or maybe I do. How do you decide what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. A career. I honestly thought the wine industry was going to give me a career, provide some opportunity at some point which would enable, you know, a life. Be able to put my babies through college, get a vacation home in Carmel or Pacific Grove, Monterey…. But, still FULL-TIME in a goddamn tasting room. Makes me feel failed, but I know I’m not. Or I’m telling Mike Madigan he’s not. 12 years of learning… learning what. Well, don’t pursue wine as a career, and write for your fucking life.
This second day of the semester, I’m not going to teach them a goddamn thing. Still, I’ll share and advocate certain thought, thoughts, writing ideas and story directions. Not how to read, but what to look for— Wait, need write that, jot that in Burgundy Journal…. Done. Who knows if this giddy and dizzy instructor. Second Day, Fall ’18, one more meditative than most. 17:39, something romantic about the building at this hour, about this conference room. Maybe ‘cause I’m listening to Coltrane, I don’t know. The writer, me, I’m in a peace-prone pose that I’ve never experienced. I’m ready for meeting this 1A section for the first time, and then not. ‘Cause I don’t care. I do, but don’t. I’m not worried. I’m going to do everything as a not-me, if you see what I’m saying. I need more variance. We all do. Newness, new experiences and new challenges and topics. This second day if like the first of a new life, a new book, new pages and new pushes of these laptop keys. Romantic, immediately and wholly.
If this is my last semester as an adjunct, I have to have some, I don’t know. Theme isn’t what I want to say, but is. I hate the word motif, and I mean truly deplore it. This semester needs a … WAIT, a piece of this book. Or, its own book. What’s its thesis? Love the Mad. Madness, travel, new thought and conversation, different approaches, and loving your life, making it what you want. As that’s precisely what this writer’s doing.
This conference room, what do they talk about in here? What do they compose, create, resolve in here? Do they let adjuncts participate? And if so, to what degree? What was the last thing said in here, in a meeting context or consistency? Rooms like this are precisely why I can’t do this, anymore. For a number of reasons. First, all the structure and course outlines they build and re-build, then change when they see it permissible. Then they could say, “You have no idea what goes on in our meetings.” Exactly. ‘Our meetings’. Forget that for a second… look at this room, though, and all its more beatific form and thematic delineation. Books, and more books, pencils by the computers. There is creative work done here, I’m sure, just its conference room visual and perceptible anatomy is what repulses me, I guess. Meetings, meetings.. for what? What is solved? What is created? How much are the students truly considered? This is not a conference room now, though. It’s my studio, my temple, meditative corner. I collect here. I’m here but not. Sip my water, look at the clock, and with a little under an hour, I keep writing. Taking random notes, hoping I teach myself something. I’m having my own meeting, conference, convention, mind meeting.