Sunday, 25 September 2011

school daze

I've never been busier.  More to read, more to write, more miles to drive, more people to try to satisfy (do NOT go there) -- and the same old amount of time.  Thank heavens for coffee, for not needing much sleep, and for low standards.  These last (the standards, I mean) are in fact invaluable.

All this is by way of apology for not posting more often.  I think of you guys sometimes.  I want to talk more often, really I do.  Only every time I turn around or look up I find another deadline ready to pounce on me.  Deadlines are like mountain lions.

You want to know about school?  Well, it's really fun.  I sit at the back with the cool kids.  I mark up my textbooks and pass around notes.  We trade lunches and everything.  I can hardly wait until birthday season! 

Seriously, it's more work than I thought, and the other students are way more talented than they have any right to be at their age.  I suspect them of mentally patting me on the head when I make a comment.  Poor old fellow, let's humour him.  He thinks we're back in the 1980s.  While I am struggling to keep up at school, I am also trying to finish a book about a kid with an accidental tattoo, and a kid who falls into a comic ...  and do some mentoring o my own ... and of course there are still my kids to drive around, and when I go too fast there are speeding tickets to collect.

Last time I was stopped I tried to tell the officer how busy I was.  She listened with a smile of sympathy.  You shouldn't be driving around at all, she said.  Say, do you want me to charge you, and confiscate your license so you can stay home and rest?
She was laughing, but I tell you I was tempted. It'd be a totally great excuse for not doing the week's assignment -- and a DUI or something might get me some more respect in school. Scrimger the bad ass.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

3:20 moment

The saddest moment of my kid year was always Labour Day Monday, 3:20 pm.  At that precise moment the holiday ended.  Today might as well have been a school day, I would think, year after year.  If it had been a school day, I would have the same amount of time off as I do now.  I am already back at the grind.  Hello Grade 3  (or 4 or 7 or 12).  Three hundred more days until summer. 

Cheery little fellow, wasn't I?  No wonder I didn't get invited to many late summer barbecues.   (Sure, I'll have another hot dog.  Who cares about indigestion?  Holidays are over.  There's nothing to live for except the present  ...)

In fact, it was even worse than that.  I lived the entire season in a state of diminishing expectations.  I would divide the nine or ten weeks into little playtime-sized pieces, and count them like a miser:  how many were gone, how many remained. I loved the first week or two of July, but as the month stretched out I would be increasingly aware of time passing.  In the middle of August I would think:  Only a couple of weeks left now.  It isn't really a summer-sized holiday any more.  More like Christmas.  Another week and summer would be the size of a March break.  (March break?  Why, that passes in a flash! It's barely a holiday at all.)  I would play harder, faster, in an attempt to get more out of my shrinking freedom.  In the last week I would count down the days, until there was only a long weekend left.  Then a weekend.  Then a holiday Monday.  And then ...  3:20.

I told Ed about this last week -- one of those early morning coffee and toast musings.  I don't know what I was expecting.  A laugh, a head shake, a moment of sympathy.  He stared at me over the comics page.

What a weirdo, he said.