A week from today will be the first day back in the classroom for our fall semester, and I couldn’t be less thrilled. I’ve barely gotten done with summer semester nonsense. In fact, I am still receiving desperate emails from a student who was supposed to have graduated after summer semester but he failed to complete a single assignment for my class and so he did not graduate and he thinks that now (days and days after the entire course has ended and commencement has taken place ostensibly without him) is the ideal time to see if he can still write those essays. I think not, my dear chap.
Nonetheless, I soldier on. I’ve spent the day designing syllabi for my courses — in between hacking coughing fits, of course — and finding Ways to Deal with the existence of that one unsavory writing theme I have been assigned. Things are nearly sewn up on that front, thank dog.
In other back-to-school news, the city and the college have timed their summer construction projects perfectly, causing the most heinous and disruptive phases of work to coincide with the week when students and faculty move back to town and campus. While we once had a whopping two roads leading into campus, we now have, like, one entire lane through which is funneled all the county’s traffic. The lane is being officiously guarded by a tiny Mexican man with a bright orange flag, and dog help you if you annoy him. You will never get past that flag if he’s pissed. I won’t even go into the current parking situation except to mention that half the spaces in the faculty lot have been roped off, apparently so they can be put to use by dozens of fat, middle-aged men standing around drinking sodas and ogling passers-by.
Luckily, of course, I have my glorious new bicycle to carry me to and from school any time I choose, road construction and parking lots be damned. Except for the issue of the implacably humid and crotch-like weather, I mean. It’s hard to say which is worse: spending 40 minutes in the car to drive 1.5 miles past Pedro the Gatekeeper, or slogging it out on the bike only to arrive soaked and besweatted and greasy. Life is hard, man.