I still my check my mailbox for a last minute call, but no, it looks like I will not be teaching this semester. All the regular profs are back on campus, returned from sabbatical and guest posts, leaving me with a free fall. Pun intended. Yet, not quite accurate. I’ve got some writing to do, and a little travel, too. Still, how strange not have felt the general anxiety over the booklist (wanting to change everything at the last minute), the chagrin that not all the typos on the syllabus were caught, and frantic scheduling of office hours to coincide with bus schedules. O the commute! No more six hours of travel, no more skipping lunch for a big dinner once home, no more grabbing snacks at Starbucks( I’ll take those almonds too.)
I find I am sitting on the balcony, staring into space, recharging unconsciously. The garden does not need tending. I vacuum, wash dishes, do the laundry, scold my cat for jumping onto the tv. Why does she do it again and again? Has she decided that in fact this is her “playtime”? I am clearing the cobwebs, cleaning the windows, reading and taking notes.
My father had a government job once. On the first day (let’s say it was his first day) he retrieved the mail. An hour or two later, he had opened and answred everything, and taken care of the tasks requested of him. He went to his boss, and asked for more to do.
“What about the mail?” asked his boss.
“I did it already.”
“What! Today is only Monday. Listen, you are new to the way we work. You get the mail on Monday, and on Tuesday, you answer a letter; and on Wednesday, answer the next letter; and so on until the week is done!”