After All These Years

I’ll join the world in greeting 2011 in approximately four days, reminiscing over things that went right and things that happened to go sour. From an outsider’s perspective, I’m in a good place; from my perspective, I could have done better. Silly mistakes have cost me the last remnants of my sanity, proof being getting a shaven head with the weather being abnormally frosty. I keep telling myself not to get a Mr. Clean since my head can’t adjust to the cold, but I’m indifferent to how my hair is styled. Yes, cold.

Over the year, I’ve witnessed Salsa Club crippled, friendships dissipate, and my once promising lovelife fall into the abyss after a crushing setback. In other words, this has been one hell of a year. After last year’s end had glimpses of life and success, my social life nosedived this year, and I admit to playing the main role in my own downfall. Even when I tried to go into seclusion, there were problems concerning how much I knew and why I took the coward’s way out. I never ran before, so it was strange and unbecoming that I ran. I was tired and scared. Losing wasn’t my thing, and even still, I’m unwelcome in some parts.

Fortunately, there was some success. I survived grad school’s first semester…I think. I taught a wildly popular class that let me be aloof, concerned, and best of all, focused. Being the point man in class was a distant thought, but from what my students think, I did fairly well. I’ve developed relationships with my kids where they trusted me, and I helped them see what they could be…or maybe I’m being melodramatic. Either way, that rocked. I look forward to continuing teaching, and perhaps…improve upon certain things.

I’ve got a new car. I’ll have an apartment. New title belts aren’t out of the question. Christmas left me with Mustang gear, deodorant, and a new phone to stay in contact with everyone. Next year, there will be progress. I’ll rebuild salsa club. I’ll get some of my friends back, and stay close with the few that have consistently had my back. I’ll get the girl…probably. Taking no prisoners is not the mantra, but flat out what I’ll be doing. The memories of this year of all parties involved who helped me, who hurt me, and who showed me what it means to be the greatest man that ever lived…they will be with me in spirit and practice. Two years ago, I had a month where I was on top of the world. This year, I was at my lowest point because I lost most of what I considered dear. Next year will be my finest moment yet. Hell, I survived this year when I didn’t think I wanted to continue; anything that follows should be a piece of cake. Skibbedebebop. Much later.

Current Track – Ke$ha “We R Who We R”

Reincarnating Solidarity

The semester is done. The once proud battlefield is a wasteland, where a few scant soldiers nurse injuries and prowl for survivors. Many casualties were lost along the way, and for good reason; we all withstood the first of what appears to be four battles, not including the microevents that will set up the larger frays. I put down my katana after the madness, unsure if I want to continue being a mercenary. Maybe I want to stay home and relax. Maybe I want a wife and kids. Maybe I don’t want an insane amount of emails from kids bitching about their grades. Or maybe I just want a night of sleep.

Since I’ve got time off, I want to focus on life outside the ivory tower. I haven’t seen my friends too much, outside of the ones I’m contractually obligated to see. I’m not sure it’s a bad thing, but I do want to refine who I am when I’m not wearing my hats as a teacher and a student. Recently, I’ve stayed up past my bedtime talking to others, not writing papers and figuring out grades. I thought teaching would be harder than grading, and that isn’t the case. I made unpopular decisions, I’m sure. I’ll deal with the fallout in a month, after I get more cider. It feels so great to be able to demure about these things. Skibbedebebop. Much later.

Current Track – Pink “Raise Your Glass”

Sick Puppy

There have been few times I can remember being too sick and tired to do basic formalities. Grad school, in four short months, has put me on ice for the foreseeable future. Yes, the end of the semester is rapidly approaching, but I am in horrible shape. I will not pretend to be a bodybuilder since my fixation for greasy fast food has been documented. The multiple runs to Del Taco and In-N-Out during my undergrad residency represented the best times of college, besides the occasional salsa domination. But yes, grad school has thoroughly beaten humility into a once proud student.

That’s not to say I’m crestfallen; I do have a cold and Parkinson’s disease, but definitely not crestfallen.

I weigh my standing in the department along with whether this is the correct career path. The odds of getting rich in the liberal arts are small; communication specifically doesn’t offer too many sacks of money. However, I’ll always get a kick out of teaching, especially when my students are productive and entertaining. This was my last week of teaching for the semester, and I committed Teacher Misbehavior after Teacher Misbehavior, but it was in the interest of teaching. Yes, that will make sense one day. My classes were chaotic, I had cider, and Weezer heralded my entrance to class. All in the room saw firsthand what I could be if I plugged in at my full potential, and not to pat myself on the back, but I’m scary good when I’m on point. Sure, my students had a few digs, such as mentioning my resemblance to Kenan Thompson. I swear, my kids were among the most racist, offensive bunches I could have asked for, but I received my wish. However, all is not peachy, since some of my kids were living examples of the dangers of teaching. I’m concerned by apathy I’ve encountered, but that’s out of my hands. Students in general are questionable, because the upperclassmen in my upper-division class seem to be absentminded as well. But, rest is necessary, and I have a future to ponder. Skibbedebebop. Much later.

Current Track – TV/TV “Smoke & Mirrors”