The three-hour orientation for all of UT’s new GTA’s is happening.  Like a pro, I skipped out.  (But only after making sure it was all stuff I already knew.)  Instead of sitting in the University Center auditorium, listening inside a flock of smart and unnerved people to presentation after panel after presentation … I’m back in the library, mopping out some of the corners of my brain.  The brain has 2 gigacorners.  That’s 2 billion corners. 

Mopping out brain corners can look something like this: reading Hamlet again after probably four years of not reading it.  I did this, yesterday.  It always amazes me, that play, and I have not been amazed by it in 4 years.  I laughed, I cried, and I finally understood what Fortinbras was doing in Denmark, and the true nature of Laertes (an idiot, albeit a charming one).  And this is strange, but I’m more interested in Gertrude than ever.  Who is that woman? 

But the mopping being done this morning consists of me looking over my 101 course materials, reading the parables of Jesus, and looking out the window a lot, remembering what it felt like to be here, last year.  Things are so different.  I’ve learned so much, and so much that was entirely overwhelming has become familiar, manageable, kind of fun.  Incredible.  Really incredible.  A couple of days ago, a group of first-year MA’s was shepherded through the library’s Starbucks while the Grist staff was having a meeting, and their anxiety and frayed nerves were … “palpable”?  Undecided about that word, but people seem to like it.  Anyways, we waved hello to them, were introduced, and after they left we mostly kept heaving these huge sighs of relief—thank goodness THAT is behind us!!  I suppose it starts all over again as a new Phd., and when you get your first job.  To a lesser degree, each time, though. 

Also I’m playing with my new laptop.  We bit the bullet, and got a deal.  It’s nicer when you can get a deal without biting the bullet, but horrid when you have to bite the bullet without getting a deal.  I’m thankful.  And so, so pleased with this thing.  If I was the kind of person who wrote reviews of things online, I would probably do it.

Last night, installing Microsoft Word, I got caught up in—something—and said to Marshall, “So, now I can be a real writer!!”  And he said, very gravely, “What would Wendell Berry say?”  I instantly recanted.

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