Friday, July 23, 2004

smoke gets in your eyes

n.b.:  i know i haven't been smacking my forehead about politics lately in this medium.  please don't interpret that as a signal of indifference.  life here leaves me too drained for public displays of indignation, yet i can't stop reading the news.  iran/iraq, the 9/11 commission report, the release of catwoman -- none of these horrors have escaped my attention.  only my comment.

this session is harder.  everyone agrees.  one by one, each RA wanders into the office, sees another RA writing up a camper and realizes s/he has to write up a camper too.  at around 11 pm, if you walk into the office, you'll see every RA grimly scribbling away: so-and-so eats nothing but honeydew; so-and-so's consistently late to class; so-and-so is fighting with her instructor.  it never stops.

it wasn't like this last session.  most of us agree we don't want to romanticize the recent past and still we recognize there are more incidents this time around, more insubordinate kids.  that the weather's getting intolerable doesn't help.  at some point yesterday i was ready to walk off campus, write off this whole thing, pull a Rob.

Rob is alternately scapegoat and hero here.  he's a Man of Mystery, a red-headed skinny RA who showed up two days late for orientation, claiming his "car" broke "down."  he didn't say much else then, or later; he hung around with a half-smile, looking by turns bashful and awkward.  then, two weeks in, he disappeared.  poof!  nobody could reach him.  at the phone number he left, the person who answered said, "Rob doesn't live here any more."

the question remains:  was Rob al qaeda?  a quantum leap-type time traveler?  a shlimazl who got trapped under something heavy?  all of the above? 
signs point to yes.

i should mention that various RAs and one quintessential TA talked me off the ledge, with the help of two excellent margaritas and some less-excellent but more-hilarious karoke.  (yeah old skool alanis!)  now i'm fine.  i'm not going anywhere.  i will deal with my depressive/bug ridden/needy/terminally shy campers, as well as everyone else's, and by gum when i'm finished i will be more than able to withstand the same that awaits me at The Company.

No comments: