Monday, December 23, 2013

The rundown of an academic calendar is always a sight to behold. Students are exhausted, Professors are exhausted and both want to be done with each other - at least temporarily - yet there is always one more assignment, one more narrative to complete.

Without fail, my colleagues and I ask ourselves "Why do we require this assignment?" when faced with stacks of grading, of reading and responding to portfolio's, of editing and revision.

I've staggered over the finish line of this term, particularly exhausted, having felt all term as if I am three steps behind myself. My organization has been mediocre, at best, and I have struggled in finding my groove in any of my classes.

Last week was the end of exams. I pulled the exam times on Saturday (!) and at 7:45 a.m. on Tuesday.
Terrance was heading to NYC for his week of meetings and this left me with surly teen, crazed feline and very baleful rabbits.

After dropping Terrance off at the airport at 9:30a.m. on Monday, I drove home and hopped into the shower. After performing my ablutions, I stepped out to find the phones of the house blowing up. Texts! Ringing! Beeping!

I grab my phone to find 4 texts from Terrance. I'd been in the shower for 12 minutes. He was frantic:

"Where are you?"
"I've left my computer!"
"My plane boards in 15 minutes"
"Where are you!!!!"

I begin throwing clothes back onto my moist self. I text: "I'm on my way. I was in the shower."

I get dressed and out of the house in under 2 minutes with his computer and charger in hand. I hand it off to Terrance and race back home. Did I mention it is 8 degrees outside?

Later that day, I get the mail and find in it a letter that agitates me mightily.

I am upset. I get in the house where Emily is agitating for me to take her out to dinner. Um, No. You'll eat these hamburgers that you need to watch. It is the simplest of cooking tasks - Watch this and make sure they don't burn.

I go upstairs to call Terrance because I am losing my shit.  Just as the call connects us, the fire alarm goes off.

We don't have a normal fire alarm in this house. We have one that yells in an annoying humanesque female voice "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!" while blaring an incredibly annoying siren.  They go off in a zone formation meaning that they only get louder.

Terrance is yelling on the phone, Emily is screaming downstairs and I am trying to coordinate both of the humans to whom I am legally bound to both calm them down AND get the fvcking siren to turn OFF.

I finally hang up the phone and wave enough towels in the direction of the fire alarms to silence them. Rabbits are now thumping loudly, angered by the noise. Emily is eating her hamburgers and I walk back into the bedroom to calm the rabbits and look something up on the internet.

It was at this moment that Emily barrels up the stairs shrieking "SOMETHING IS HITTING THE BACK DOOR, SOMETHING BIG, AND IT IS FREAKING ME OUT!"

I look, incredulously, at the flapping child before me. At 15, she is almost as tall as me. The idea that some thump has sent her screaming in my direction is unbelievable. I yell, unkindly, that she needs to get some god d@mn ovarian fortitude and get down there and figure it OUT.

She continues to flap and scream. I go down ( she is my shadow behind me) and walk toward the sliding glass door when the THUMP happens. Emily shrieks "THATS THE NOISE!!"

I walk over and grab the blinds and pull them back to find the cat. The never been outdoors before cat who is now Throwing himself, repeatedly at the glass. He is in 3 inches of snow. He looks terrified.  THUMP! He hits again while I scrabble to get the security stick out of place and get the door open.

He tumbles inside looking traumatized. I realize he must have snuck out behind me when I walked over to the mailboxes to get the mail.

When everyone is finally in bed and Micha, the cat, is now attached to the hip of every human he sees I ponder my "No drinking during the week" stance.

Considering I have an exam to give at 7:45 the following morning, I mentally tick on off in the "Owe you one" column and try to go to sleep.

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