Are things getting worse or are they getting better? This driving question occurs to me often when I am trying to find a place to park during the first week of school. Or when I am in search of sustenance and the lines are unbearably long, or the smoke alarm goes off in the food court. Or when, despite my spark and inspiration and hard work, I'm still not entirely ready for class when the first session rolls around. There I am in my office, one hour and fifteen minutes before class is to start, and I say to myself, it's okay if all the boxes in the schedule aren't filled in yet. I don't need to have every, every thing completely ready. It's entirely all right to leave some room for discovery! New ideas!
and so forth. Leaving aside the fact that I have left the AV adapter for my Mac at home, and also the fact that I don't have the damn key to the damn AV box in the classroom. So. No audiovisual work today, the first day, when one of the first things I am going to tell them is:
"There is no textbook in this class. All the readings will be online. Also, the syllabus and schedule are online. I would show you, except. Well."
--and then sweat out loud about the adapter and the computer and the Google and sound like a tragic, not-quite-ready-for-prime-time person impersonating a teacher. So: worse. Possibly things are getting worse.
But enough of that, because class went beautifully. There they all were, the students, improbably eager and enthusiastic, given the cold and the January. I walked them through the big picture of the course, and gestured around at an imaginary internet where the syllabus and the schedule and the readings live, and got us all even more excited to begin. It was swell. So: better. Things are getting better. Or things are, at least, good. From time to time.
In the afternoon, after my obligations were complete, and after I had changed my network password because the network bossed me into doing so (worse!), but I was able to do an excellent wordplay/rhyme with my old password (better!), and I was back in--after all that, I went to have tea with my darling friend, so we could talk about the movies and Downton Abbey
and whatnot (better!).
I arrived at our tea place, and the countergirl said, very forthrightly, I'm only serving to-go drinks and desserts.
And I was all wha?
and she gave me a very full explanation, twice, of how I was, basically, the first person to come in that day, so they were closing their kitchen, and I was all but I'm meeting someone!
and she was all JUST to-go drinks. and dessert.
Which, finally, we were able to agree, meant that we'd be allowed to eat/drink
in the teahouse, but just not eat kitchen-cooked food. Okay, fine. I think we can agree that this state of affairs means worse
, because not only is this situation a little jumbly for the person coming in, hoping for soup, but now she also has to worry about the fate of the teahouse, which she loves! Why is no one coming in? Alas!
However, we had a lovely chat about movies and Downton Abbey
and whatnot over to-go drinks and dessert, and had at least an hour and a half before we were told to skedaddle because they were closing for real. So: better? or okay, at least.
I drove home in not-too-bad traffic (better! or good, at least), knocked off a stupid thing I had agreed to do (worse that I agreed to do it, better that it was over), and was about to do some one or another portion of the errands on my agenda when my daughter called and said that her day had been difficult, and didn't I want to meet her for dinner? (sorry about the bad day, honey, seriously! but getting to see you, and my grandchildren, for dinner: better!)
My son was returning from his physical therapy just as I was pulling out of the garage, so he jumped in the car (better!) and we headed off. Our dinner was excellent, with a discussion of Lego guys, a Ninjago pinata, the woes of a new boss, and our means for getting through the rest of the winter.
"Every day you should say to yourself, there's a little more light every day. Like, every week, there's twenty minutes more light,"
I said. Because this little speech seriously cheers me
up. It honestly does get me through.
My son and daughter both laughed and rolled their eyes. But it's true: every day there's a little more light. Every week. Things are getting better.