Greetings scant blog readers! I hope you didn’t think I was dead, because that would be disturbing – just imagining some dead person out there, lying in her apartment, having her face gnawed off by her cat. . .
Here’s the thing – Christmas makes me a little crazy. By that, I mean I love it. I’m a cynical bitch about most things in life, but when the holidays come around I turn into this thing:
A manic, sugar-guzzling, ho-ho-ho-ing Martha Stewart reject. Christmas music plays constantly in my mind – the anthem of my mania. I scrawl out massive ‘to-do’ lists with the fervency of a cartoon super villain creating a blueprint for world domination.
I think to some extent I believe that if I bake enough, craft enough, stare at twinkly lights enough, wrap enough and listen to “Jingle Bell Rock” enough, I will usher in an era of world peace that will bring even Kim Jong Un to his knees and all will behold my saintly glory.
You see – I make a lot of homemade gifts because I’m an adjunct; thus, I am poor. (P.S. This is cute when you’re a kid making fruit loop sombreros, but it’s just kind of pathetic when you’re a full-grown, real-life adult with a master’s degree – it’s like when your senile Aunt Bethany regifts her cat or when your husband catches you eating a spoonful of peanut butter and chocolate icing for dinner).
I can’t just make things easy for myself either and say, “Hey, I know – I’ll just make some chocolate chip cookies for everyone. All I have to do is triple this recipe, bake em up, box em and be done! Easy!” Au contraire. For some reason, I go absolutely batshit and feel the need to
Truffles and peanut butter cups and cookies shaped like snowmen! Biscotti! Banana Bread! Palmiers! I must bake them all!
And while I bake them, I must taste them! Taste them all!
This all sounds perfectly feasible when I make out that to-do list at the beginning of the season, but as Christmas draws nearer, I crumble into a ball of sugary panic and desperation as I sacrifice sleep to dip pretzels in melted chocolate and seriously consider developing a mild cocaine addiction:
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t leave myself any time for blogging or writing or anything except rocking back and forth in a hyperglycemic frenzy, really. I barely managed to make it through my last few weeks of classes without serving arsenic-laced petit-fours to my students whose last batch of essays were utterly abysmal. I’m talking ‘clearly didn’t even read the essay when finished because paragraph three ends in the middle of an unfinished sentence’ abysmal. I’m talking ‘inventing new words like lessable – yes, lessable’ abysmal. Perhaps this was my fault, consumed as I was by my sugar-peddling bacchanal.
(Pssst. Sometimes I really don’t think I’m cut out to be a teacher.)
Anyway – I’m back, and as I noted last week my New Year’s Resolution is ‘leave the dishes.’ I will try to cultivate an attitude of relaxation and tranquility. I will try not to sweat the small stuff.
Unfortunately, I also registered to take the GRE in March, so this should be a fun few months! Yes, I finally decided to apply to doctoral programs, because clearly I need more education debt in my life. I’d love to say that I’m taking this step because I value knowledge and personal growth, but really, I just want a job that pays me enough to move out of the hood (where ‘fireworks or gunshots?’ is a regular topic of discussion over dinners of Ramen noodles and depression), and it seems a PhD might be required for this.
I didn’t have to take the GRE for my master’s degree (my writing samples were enough because I’m so clearly awesome), but now it must be done.
As I cracked open the math section of my study book for the first time, I was greeted with a veritable melee of terms that I have, for years, carefully sequestered in the corner of my mind reserved for cockroaches and speculums and all things unpleasant: FOIL, permutations, functions, quadratic equations, exponents. Integer? That means number, right? Right? Oh dear God, what does it mean?!?
Here’s how I imagine all English majors encountering algebra and geometry for the first time years after graduating:
In other words,