Only Substance Is the Fog

Odd blossoms on a forsythia bush.

Evidently, it’s reading glasses season in my front yard. I guess these are ripe, but I didn’t pick them and worry about squirrels.

The classes I’m taking are a study in contrasts. One features interesting subject matter, engaged classmates and a professor who appears to be winging it. Anything could happen. I could watch my Grade Point Average rise or drop like a rock. In the other class, the subject matter is interesting some days and unfathomable on others, I have no contact with classmates and my instructor has prepared for this semester for years. My first exam in this class is later this week. Anything could happen. I could be Queen of This Here Thing or turn up in a chicken suit.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your Magic 8 Balls.

She’s Filing Her Nails While



Whatever you do, don’t make eye contact.

My spring classes started a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been a piquant adventure. I’m taking a class called Youth & Work, in which the first assignment was to write about our first jobs and what we learned from it. Some of my classmates were still working their first jobs because they only just took one. Some started working when they were 14. All of them found something positive to say about a job that probably sucked and was in some way illegal. My first job was writing a weekly column in the local paper about girls’ sports in maybe 1979, and I sucked at it, and what I learned was that everyone was concerned about something, and I had no idea what that was. But I learned I shouldn’t be in the newspaper business! Will I pass this class? Film at 11!

My other class is Intro to Formal Reasoning and it’s like learning to speak another language. Do you speak a language besides English? Good for you, showoff! I’m struggling with the vocabulary, ideas and a desire to flip the bird at Aristotle, who most assuredly does not give a shit that, to me, argument forms sound like pre-teens looking for ten bucks for the mall. To make matters weirder, though the textbook’s author took great pains to update quizzes for contemporary examples, he did not screen for his white privilege, so yesterday, I wrote to the instructor to say, “Blah blah blah racist doing racism, please do not with that, kthnx!” Will I pass this class? Consult your Magic8Ball!

In about three weeks, I should have some sense of how desperate I’ll be to meet deadlines while I work a full-time job at the unnamed university while navigating the complexities of my extended families’ politics as gardening season approaches. Or I might lose my mind. Will I climb a tree? Wear plaid with checks? Glue on my slingbacks?

No one knows!