Buried with a donkey
I’m sitting in my usual spot in a campus coffee shop stealing electricity from the university (well, technically I guess I pay for it) without buying coffee. I came down early for a meeting with my advisor, who was AWOL but who arrived an hour late after I tracked him down by email in his study in the library. The meeting was more productive than I expected given that I’m still mired in the chapter that ate Mars (now over 200 pages long and counting and probably doomed to be subdivided at some point down the road). But we drummed up another job for me to apply for. This one’s local. Another long shot, but an interesting non-teaching but education related gig at a place where I did a lot of my diss research. In this case, it’s clear that they think they want a different kind of applicant but they actually want someone with my skills. It should make the cover letter relatively easy to write, because the point of the argument is clear.
It’s an entertaining day to be down here. For one thing, the weather is gorgeous. I met my friend H. for our usual lunch. Instead of holing up in the cafeteria, we walked to the deli and took our sandwiches and ate them on the edge of the fountain in the park. It’s nice to see people out and about. There are still a lot of gloves, recently thawed from their ice age flattened on streets and sidewalks – I counted five on my walk back to campus. Winter is not yet so far gone.
Back on campus, it is the end of the week of the annual scavenger hunt, where undergraduate teams find insane numbers of things and perform crazy stunts for points in order to gain a year’s worth of bragging rights. In the middle of the quad, teams of students were building small replicas of the pyramids of Giza out of plywood, spray paint and duct tape. One team carved the face of King Tut and impaled it over the door of their pyramid. Another made a mummy that looked so lifelike (if it’s even possible for a mummy to be lifelike) that there may, in fact, have been a real person under all those bandages. Another team had people dressed up as King Tut and Cleopatra wandering around and posing for pictures.
When I walked back toward the music department, I discovered that someone had installed a pair of giant googly eyes the size of tympani heads over the second floor balcony of the building next door, making the whole building look like some crazed jack-o-lantern.
I am hanging around waiting for a dissertation defense at 1:30. Dissertations defenses in our department, unlike most places, are usually a big event. They are open to all. Defenders often come with a posse of friends and sometimes bring snacks. My advisor has been suggesting I attend one in advance of my own (I’ve been to many over the years, but not in a while), an as luck would have it, not only is there one scheduled for this afternoon at a highly convenient time for me, but the person defending is from my original grad school cohort. We studied for comps together. I went to the baby shower for her first child, a child who is now probably in high school. The defense, however, is in a teeny tiny room, so I am hoping I don’t get booted out to make room for faculty.
And now to get a little more work done.