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Why School Is Good For Me

The past week has been a perfect storm, work-wise. I’m finishing our annual grant for MPOW, which I spend way too much time on so my conscious will be clear if we don’t get everything we ask for. Today I went in to check our statistics for another bit of braggadocio, only to discover 800 items had vanished from the database. That’s about a third of our annual stats, so it’s a good thing I had just emptied my bladder. Several hours later everything was all better. But there went the middle of my most important day-before-the-grant-is-due, a perfect example of Murphy’s Law.

But I’m glad I spent the weekend on my essay due Wednesday, not to mention my homework due Tuesday and my Aesthetic Statement, which is a fine thing to be asking me about at this point in the semester when the last thing I can do is get in touch with my “aesthetics.” That way I have this entire evening free to work on my Narrative Budget, which is a cruel trick played on English Majors by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, forcing us to assign costs to our grant activities and add them up crossways and down.

Meanwhile I started the evening’s music selection with Bohemian Rhapsody, yes, by Queen, because one of the students in my program, a second-year gal, writes about music, and every time she does I get so into her work that I end up buying music from or fishing CDs out of my dusty collection. I might go dig up a power ballad or two, just to make the evening go better and remind me of all the great essays Lori shared with us this last year. Axel Rose would be good company tonight.

We have to work, and we cherish our families. But we need another place we go that is just for us. Writing and its labors, and the writing of my colleagues, takes me to a whole new island. After I’ve swum back to the prosaic shores of the rest of life, I have a few pebbles in my pockets I can run my fingers over, when budgets loom and servers crash, to remind me of warm sands and beautiful sunsets.

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