Thursday, September 27, 2007

Like a Band-Aid

I dropped my classes at Hunter yesterday.

There, that wasn't so hard. What was I worried about? Crafting a clever way to break the news to friends and family has honestly been the least of my concerns for the past few days, but today I've been prepping a canvas and waiting for the clouds to roll in.

I could give you a long list of whys, but I'm as done with the decision as I am with Hunter. Maybe we can talk about it later?

So many fun things came and went while I was grinding my teeth over this. Jim and Sommer came for a visit and I was awful. My folks stopped in on their way back from London and I was a mess. We took a quick trip to Austin and the unbearable effort that it took to have a good time was only relieved by seeing really wonderful friends. Every trip to Austin from now on will include time for seeing these amazing women -- I just hope they'll have time for me!

So, the knot in my back has started to loosen, but my stomach is still churning. I don't know what's next, but I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wide open spaces

I've been thinking a lot about the relationships between certain concepts lately. In my therapy session today we talked about the connection between motivation and commitment (more on that some other day). Right now I'm thinking about the difference between venting and breathing.

Because the last two posts have been venting, not breathing. And as good as it feels to vent, what the body demands is breath.

Breathing shows you where the open spaces in your body are, the spaces you can fill and empty, fill and empty, fill and empty. (Geez, I miss yoga.) In the past few weeks I've been finding those places in the apartment and the difference is palpable. Full shelves became empty shelves became no shelves. The wide open corner is so luxurious.

By getting rid of some boxes of junk, I've been able to find some open spaces in myself too. Space to be more forgiving, to myself and others. Space to let the past drift away and be forgotten. Space to get my arms around a memory that got lost somewhere in all the clutter. Hmmm.

So check out my horoscope today:

Weather report

The precise meteorological term for today's weather is "totally gross," drippy enough (or threatening to be drippy enough) to require an umbrella and a raincoat. And by raincoat I mean the one that seems to be waterproofed from the inside, so that I accumulate my own humidity as I walk along the steamy streets, and not really waterproofed on the outside, so that if it gets serious about raining I'll be soaked through.

I had the. most. boring. class. ever. this morning. This is my Pre-calculus lecture. We're not going to cover anything I didn't review for my test this summer. It's two hours long and meets at 9am in a big old auditorium that I guess they are trying to keep nice: "PLEASE no EATING or DRINKING" says the big sign at the door. So I have to sneak in my coffee. Like a kid sneaking booze into a high school football game. Not that I ever did that. I didn't go to football games in high school. Or college.

No, the coffee sneaking is just one of the petty demoralizations that fill my days at Hunter. It's not unlike the bathroom situation. Many of the bathrooms have been remodelled, I think to make them ADA compliant. The non-handicap stalls are often so tiny that you have to bend over the toilet bowl to close the door. My mom used to refer to cramped spaces as "so small you have to step out into the hall to change your mind." Exactly. The powers that be installed sparkly new hands-free sinks, but usually only one (of two or three) is functional.

But it's the toilet paper that makes me think they really hate students. It is, of course, the one-ply institutional stuff that shreds when you even think of touching it. They've installed it in such a way that it doesn't roll smoothly from the dispenser. It tears off, flimsy piece by flimsy piece, if you are lucky. It takes an inordinate amount of time and a very light touch to gather enough to be effective. This is not how I want to put my carefully-developed hand skills to work.

And I don't want to put my finely-honed writing skills to work informing the chemistry department that the home-grown lab manual, which they have obviously been reprinting for years, has a typo that takes the form of a racial slur. I don't want to, but I'm afraid I must.

Molly, I'm with you.

While the technical term for today's weather is "totally gross," I'm afraid the layman's term is "slightly bitchy."

Friday, September 07, 2007

Dear New York Lady,

This is just to apologize for my part in the misunderstanding on the bus today.

I was the last one on at 57th and Lexington. I don't think you realized I was behind you, judging from how you lingered at the door, blocking me from dipping my Metrocard. When I finally got up the stairs, I found you paused just past the seats for the disabled and elderly. When you put your hand up to grab the handrail, I assumed you had decided to stand.

So I moved to pass by you in the aisle. Imagine my surprise when you suddenly lurched over, into me. Color me shocked when you started cursing at me. You looked like a professional, middle-aged, well put-together though you might want to do something about the smoker's lines around your lips. I shouldn't have mumbled back at you under my breath, but you started it.

I really didn't need to hear you vent to the rider next to you about the perceived slight. I could have done without the dirty look for four cross-town blocks. I didn't require an announcement that you "didn't need this" because it had been "a long week." New York Lady, who doesn't have "long" weeks in this city?

So, I'll admit I may have been in a hurry to sit down, and consequently I didn't wait for divine confirmation that you had settled on standing. I don't like being on my feet while the bus is in motion, especially when I am still faint from the fumes of being in the lab for three hours. That's thirty minutes longer than any of my classmates, because I got there to find my carefully stocked drawer had been looted and I needed to request new glassware. Then my assigned partner, Precious, was late, and I had to repeat to her everything the substitute instructor had already said while trying to listen to what she was in the process of saying.

New York Lady, I bet you don't have a lab partner named Precious.