Leverett Butts - Musings of a Bored English Teacher

Occasional web log from Southern writer Leverett Butts.

My Photo
Location: Temple, Georgia, United States

English Professor in Georgia. Writer of Southern lit

Monday, April 26, 2004

Estee Lauder has died.

She swore there were no ugly women.

Now there'll be no ugly corpses, either.

Rest in Peace.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

So a couple of Fridays ago I was supposed to have lunch with Rob Cole, an old friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in over a decade. Ordinarily I'm off on Fridays, so this shouldn't have been any big problem. On Thursday, however, my boss told me I had to go to the main campus in Milledgeville (about two hours away from my home in Temple) to attend a curriculum meeting for her.

So lunch was out, regardless of how badly I wanted to go. Rob suggested, though, that he could ride with me to Milledgeville and keep me company. Unfortunately, though, he, too, wound up with a last-minute business meeting and so couldn't go no matter how badly he wanted to.

That was fine, though. These things happen when you're all growed up and trying to stay under a roof with a full belly. I decided instead to ask another friend, Jim Shimkus, if he'd like to go with me. Jim's a fellow grad student at Georgia State, and he's been diligently working on a term paper discussing the importance of vampires to Joyce's Ulysses. I figured, correctly as it turned out, that he'd enjoy getting out of Atlanta for a day, even if the trip was to the city which until fairly recently housed Central State Hospital, the state's primary loony bin facility.

Within minutes after agreeing to join me on my trek across Middle Georgia, Jim received an email from one of his professor's asking him to submit a paper for publication her journal.

The paper needed to be on her desk in a few days.

No matter how much Jim wanted to, he could not go with me to Milledgeville.

I wound up going alone.

Now this curriculum meeting involved among other things getting a writing center practicum class put in our catalog. I actually designed the proposal with one of my volunteer tutors at the campus writing center. I wanted my tutors to receive something for their hard work other than a smile and a pat on the back even if it was only class credit.

It took two hours trying vainly to convince the committee that I was not exploiting my students by asking them to pay for the privilege of working for nothing. I patiently tried to point out to them that course credit wasn't exactly "nothing" and if even if it were it sure as hell beat the actual "nothing" they were getting now. I also pointed out that I had no budget to pay tutors, so they were working for me for free as it was and if that didn't count as exploitation, I didn't know what did.

No dice.

I even feared briefly that they'd tell me to fire my free workers because it wasn't right to abuse them in the manner I had shamelessly employed heretofore.

But they didn't.

They didn't give me my class, though, either.

No matter how much I want to, I still can't give my tutors any recompense.

I was off for Spring Break last week. I wanted to work on my term paper for my American linguistics class. It's good, I think, all about Stephen King's use of Southwestern dialect in the Dark Tower series.

Monday I had to take the Jeep in for repairs.

Tuesday I had to take Tina to the dentist

Wednesday I had to cut the grass.

Thursday I had to find a lawn mower repairman.

Friday I had to get my taxes done and go to the chiropractor.

Saturday I had to take my son Mother's Day and Easter shopping.

Sunday was Easter. I had to visit family all day. I also had to put my lawnmower on the back of my brother-in-laws truck.

Monday I had to go back to the chiropractor.

No matter how much I wanted to, I couldn't find time work on my paper.

The other day, my son got upset because I had to take his video games away since he couldn't balance his schoolwork with his games.

"I can't wait," he whined, "until I'm grown up because adults get to do anything they want."

Incidentally, I haven't played my video games in almost a month (New Year's Resolutions 8 & 9 are in trouble as a result)