Liveblogging my seminar.

And by “liveblogging” I mean “sentences I scribbled in my notebook because it’s really rude to constantly update your Facebook status in a 15-person class. And since I don’t understand 98% of the sentences that come out of ANYONE’S mouth in that class, I need all the “She looks vaguely interested and halfway intelligent” points I can get. Texting? Shoots those to hell.

SO! This would have been legitimate if the iPhone had an app that allowed my brain to send messages to my Facebook. I’m sure it’s coming. iPhone 5G maybe?

7:01- Oh. My. Lord. This room is suffocating. It’s like it’s built over a portal to hell.

7:02- Seriously. It’s like spring break. But with fewer bikinis and more intellectual thought. Probably as much booze, though.

7:03- Mmm. I would literally kill my own mother for some bourbon during this class.

7:04- That would probably make me go to sleep, though.

7:04:30- Yeah. That’s the point.

7:30- *stares out window*

7:45- Blah blah cultural elite blah blah Irving Babbitt blah…*snore*

7:47- HAHAHA! A girl just used Frasier Crane as a reference for some random point. I want to be her friend.

8:20- Eighty minutes to go. I can do this. I can totally do this. I…*headdesk*

8:45- Is it possible to neuter the obnoxious liberal? I would hate for some poor slut to make a bad, alcohol-fueled life choice that was probably motivated by the need to MAKE HIM SHUT THE FRICK UP and end up with his devil spawn.

8:46- We probably don’t have funding for that.

9:01- 18-minute discussion on the “higher self” according to Babbitt. Yeah. My higher self? WOULD LIKE TO BE SNUGGLY IN BED RIGHT NOW.

9:10- And…now it’s become a two-person discussion between the professor and the obnoxious liberal. Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

9:11- Come on, guys. I put on mascara for this. And real shoes. YOU’RE WELCOME, CAMPUS.

9:12- I. Am. Not. Kidding. Shut. The. Hell. Up.

9:15- That’s it. I’m voting for Obama in 2012. This is SO NOT WORTH IT.

9:16- Ooh, the professor voted for Reagan. And Goldwater. Well. No one can be perfect.

9:25- Honestly. Being raped on my way to my car is looking so much better than staying here right now.

Yeah. That’s going to happen.

Scene: Graduate seminar.

Foreign and Very Confusing Professor: But you know if we get through the earlier readings we’ll just move on. So you should be prepared for that.

*18 head swivel to the front of the room*

Entire Class: Wait. What?

Foreign and Very Confusing Professor: Yeah! Just do the reading. You’ll be fine.

Entire Class: *incredulous* You mean like ALL the reading for the semester? All the books? In case we finish with them?

Foreign and Very Confusing Proessor: *as though this were no problem at all* Yeah! Why not!

Because I have 100 students who need to to tell them something about the Renaissance in 48 hours THAT’S WHY.

P.S. Macedonia is hardly a real country. SO THERE.

Freshman 15.

When you get to college, you typically gain weight and let yourself go.

I mean, it is just too easy to stumble down the stairs and into class wearing the t-shirt that proudly proclaims that your volleyball team went to state during your sophomore year in high school, the lettering stretched so tragically beyond belief that no one can actually read the year that you could last consume french fries at midnight without any adverse side effects.

Oh, and one of those fuzzy blankets that every Girl Scout troop in Wisconsin made c. 2000 with the fleece from Wal-Mart.

Oh. I’m sorry. That may or may not have happened to me.

(DSHA Rugby 200…I’m sorry. I can’t tell what year you graduated because your boyfriend clearly broke up with you about a week ago and the cafeteria has been open late for finals.)

I mean, not me personally. In my classes. I actually lost weight when I got to college because I’m poor and had to commute and dragging low-grade fleece around the East Side loses its appeal when you have to drive an hour to appear slovenly.

No, in undergrad I had it together. I was frickin’ adorable. Seriously. My hair was always done. I wore headbands frequently. Dark wash jeans that fit well, coordinated outfits, I only wore sweatshirts if it was Friday (I didn’t have classes- it was okay to be slovenly if I only had to study.) or I had a cold or something. And even then they were cute and fitted.

Hell, I was in heels most of the time.

I had a pedicure until it became so cold that there was absolutely ZERO chance that my toes would be seeing the light of day. And even then because you never know when you’re going to need to wear a dressy peep toe pump.

(Answer? NEVER.)

Honestly. I was that girl. It was like the Preppy Handbook threw up on me.

Well. I graduated. And started grad school. With night classes. And…well, let’s just say that the only thing that hasn’t happened is the weight gain because I’m too tired to eat.

Thank God I have to teach, so I still kind of manage to pull it together during the day.

And can I just say that this whole up-and-looking-like-an-adult-by-seven-am for more than two days in a row? EXHAUSTING. I’ve started keeping flip-flops in my trunk to wear while walking from my car because honestly it was that or wear them for the classes and I’m hoping to scare my students with my stilettos.*

But my night classes? Sweatshirts, t-shirts, the bad jeans that take whatever butt I have (minimal) and make it look…I don’t even know but NOT GOOD. I’m rocking flip-flops with nail polish that I put on around the Fourth of July.

It’s awful. Last night I was driving to class and realized there was pudding in my hair. I kind of picked out the chunks.

It’s just…I’m so tired. I don’t function well after seven and really not at all after nine and so trust me, you do not want me talking about Federalism and conservatism at 9:30 when I have to be back and wearing something resembling a skirt in less than twelve hours.

It’s…it’s just not pretty.

Last night I walked past my mom carrying a skirt. She asked if I wearing it to class. I almost fell over laughing.

Ah. No. I was in fact going to wear the jeans with the odd stain on the knee and the Brewers t-shirt.

But my closet is all the way upstairs and if I didn’t bring it down then? Well, when I had to wake up a shockingly small number of hours after getting home again I was just as likely to just wear my jammies to class.

Maybe by midterms I’ll be accessorizing with the Wal-Mart blanket.

(And yes, my closet is on a different floor than my bedroom. Don’t ask.)

*Incidentally, I can’t figure out if it’s working AMAZINGLY or NOT AT ALL. I’m either the best teacher ever. Or I’ll be murdered during my office hours.

Day 2: Staying in the Room

You know, after I ran away from the students. Pssh. Please. That was last Friday. I was all prepared today. I even was wearing clothes that were vaguely professional and didn’t have coffee on them.

I know, right? ADULTHOOD. I HAS IT.

Except for the part where…I totally don’t. Like, I vacillated between not being able to eat anything all day yesterday to being all MOAR CAKE at about eight o’clock at night…and the fact that I thought about painting my nails but decided eh, I really don’t want to consume that many chemicals and I pretty much have been gnawing on my nails like woodchuck for a week.

Okay, yeah, there was that moment this morning when I was sitting at Mass (totally paying attention. I swear. It was…something about Mary? Oh! Nativity of the Blessed Virgin! See, I got it.) and thinking, “I could go home. I could go home and take a nap and not have to deal with talking to students who are actually my students yeah, nap sounds good.”

But I didn’t! I drove to school and pretended to be an adult and I pretended so well I even believed it myself for awhile.  

No, really. I surprised myself by doing the teacher Hi!-I-have-no-idea-who-you-are-but-I-want-to-help-you! smile when people came up to me at the end of class. Whoa. My mind=BLOWN. I was so surprised that I kind of felt like announcing that to the student who was talking to me, but I didn’t. Because I’m an authority figure.

And yeah, speaking of authority figures, I’m pretty sure the reason they don’t let you friend students is not because of blurred boundaries or anything like that but rather so that they don’t see your statuses. Such as:

“Oh. God. Want. To. Die.”

“I could quit. I could just quit grad school. I don’t need this. My bachelor’s in Jewish Studies is totally marketable.”


“I didn’t throw up on the students.”

(Only one of those was a real status, FYI.)


It helped that my sister texted me “Remember: You have health insurance. They have gonorrhea.”

I don’t know how that could not help.

No one mentioned these pedagogical issues.

Oh my gosh, you guys. Have I got a story for you.

So. This morning I’m in my car and my phone rings. It’s the history department office. Um. Okay. That’s not good. I mean, I’ve been employed all of eleven days and haven’t even done anything yet and they’re already calling? Great.

I answered, and turns out they weren’t firing me. (Whew.) Apparently a few of the students in my first section didn’t check their e-mail and showed up for class despite the fact that it was explicitly cancelled several days ago. And then they went to the office to complain.

(Sidenote: My reaction to that was a.) Bravo, eager beaver who showed up on a Friday morning so eager to learn that he complained when I wasn’t there to help facilitate and b.) oh, hell. I’m going to have to look out for you, aren’t I?)

Whatever. Not my fault. My supervisor had told me not to put a sign on the door, the e-mail should cover it. But I was heading in to the office anyway to do some copying,* so I decided to be an awesome go-getter TA and make a sign anyway and put it up outside the room.

Yep. Awesome plan. I finished my copying and headed downstairs with my sign. Except…I accidentally timed it to exactly hit the beginning of my next section. I peaked around the door a little bit. And…the room was full of people. Waiting for me.

So I taped the sign on the wall really quick and ran up the stairs as fast as I could.

I mean, I know none of them saw me. And the class was officially cancelled. And I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt that I may have spilled coffee on because Lake Drive is hardly a smooth ride anymore, thanks a lot Whitefish Bay.  And no way in hell was I even going in the room like that.

But…my first act as a TA was to run away from my students in fear.

Yep. Picked the correct career path.

*Who wants a copy of my syllabus? It’s collated. I love it. You’ll love it. I promise.