Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It Could Be But Is Not the End

Usually I stop meeting with my composition and creative writing classes 2 weeks before the term ends to allow time for conferences, portfolio work and revisions. That's what I say anyway. The real reason is I am sick of them. In the beginning of the semester, they are sick of me, dislike me (like one said yesterday, "At first, y'know, I thought you was really mean and didn't play but as I gots to know you, y'know, you nice, really"), fear me but by the last few weeks, they love to stop me wherever and chat or hang around after their conferences or after submitting their portfolios. I try to be friendly (esp. with the University chaos and the neediness of our students) but what I'm really thinking (and what I say to the few students I really trust) is, Get away from me, motherfuckers, I'm DONE with you, go away, go the fuck far away. By the time they like me, I'm past done.

I did get a contract. I will be tenure-track again, my old salary and it's possible my department will be in a building this time instead of being the only department on campus in "temporary" trailers (we spent 3 years in that trailer and were starting our 4th when Katrina rolled through--and wouldn't you know that crappy little trailer survived unscathed?). Seniors have just learned that graduation will not be on campus as they had been promised. It sounds small but the on-campus location allowed students to invite several people to the ceremony, a big deal for black folks--when a child is graduating from college, and may be the very first to do so (esp. at the University), EVERYbody comes, from Mom to Mom's best friend's grandmother to 3rd cousins from the West Coast you've never even met, all there dressed in their best, smiling, waving, taking pictures, crying, shouting for joy, tooting whistles when their special little girl's or boy's name is called. It has truly broken some hearts.

There will be a campus again. Most people let go will not be hired back. It will be a tough and lean year. I just hope there are computers and/or paper this time.


Blogger Bardiac said...

I'm glad to hear you got a new contract and stuff!

Wow, graduation not on campus is tough, you're right. Graduation's about family, I think, more than about graduates. For me, both my college and PhD graduations were for my parents. I'd done some work, yes, but both were really important to them, and the earlier one, for my grandmothers.

And good luck on getting a REAL building!

Wed Apr 05, 06:31:00 PM  

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