I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me โ that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter โ except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
December 17, 2013 - 11:37 a.m.
Today's entry might be interesting, at least the subjective parts. Of course I mean interesting for me. I might be veering into singer/songwriter material and the problem with writing about yourself is that most people are just not that interesting. An album getting inside Joni Mitchell's head is revelation. Getting inside most people is to explore mediocrity. I'm basically counting on being weird to amuse you.
So first the fact's ma'am just the facts. I gave my final yesterday. I like getting to school at least an hour early for that but I HAD to finished yesterday's Wise Madness and I HAD to make a real breakfast and it took me a bit to get dressed and ready and the upshot was I got to school just in time. Good thing I'm an expert commuter.
I was on facebook on my phone much of the time I was proctoring. I'm not sure if that's wise but I do walk up and down the rows. Unfortunately I can no longer see well enough to make out what the students are writing. I can just tell how far along they are. And I take note of when they finish. The test is 2 hours and the median time was 1 hour and 45 minutes. That strikes me as just about right. There was one hitch. I reused some old test booklets. I took, out the old test questions from them. I missed one of them. So one student had two tests in his booklet, the final marked "final" and test 3, which they took a week and a half ago marked "test 3." He couldn't figure out that he should be doing the one marked final not the test he just took and didn't think to ask me. He thought he should do both. It didn't even strike him as strange till he realized he wouldn't have time to finish. Yes he was being stupid but I was at fault so I gave him an extra half hour to finish the final. That's often what it takes to have a disaster, two people being idiots. Leaving the test in there was not the idiocy on my part. That was a physical error. The idiocy was trying to recycle the test booklets. I was lazy. I didn't grab enough of the new books and it was easier to reach the old ones
One student had a conflict. I told him to take the final from 3 5. His other final ended at 2:45 so that gave him plenty of time. I told Reggie the admin I didn't expect him on time and perhaps not at all. My over/under was 3:15. I lost the office pool. He showed up at 3:50 for a two hour final. I told him that he still only had to 5:00. He knew the time and had no excuse. I almost went home. It isn't like he's some hotshot student that knew he didn't need the full two hours either. He did finish but neglected to put his name on the booklet. The way I grade, one question, not one test, at a time I have no idea how he is doing.
I am proud of myself I actually used the time waiting for him to take the test to good purpose. For the first time ever I did the attendance and the quizzes on my spreadsheets before I graded the final. Now when I'm done all I'll have to do is enter how many points they got off on the final exam and Excel will tell me their average and I just have to convert that to a letter grade.
OK enough mechanics. The most important thing I did yesterday was write Wise Madness. In case you missed it read it now, There's Nothing Fair about a Fairy Tale. That was the best spoon bending I've done in ages. It actually made me see the world differently. It made me feel more in control of my life. It did what spoon bending can do, give me emotional wherewithal to work on changing reality. Everyone knows that spoon bending is what I've been calling changing my view of life? Not only that but I was able to write about things that I could not do in a straightforward manner. I don't know if any of you could pick up on what was going on in my head but I feel better getting it out. I didn't have therapy yesterday, my shrink is on vacation, but this was more productive than most sessions. I might ask her to read it next week. The thing is she won't get it either. It was effective cognitive psychology. After I left school instead of going to Hill Country Barbecue Market for my therapy meal I went to the Columbus Circle Holiday Market for the first time this season. I had a great sausage at the German place but the truffle fries at $7 were too much. I don't have friends there like I do at the one at Union Square even though I spent more time at Columbus Circle the last few years. Even the salami guy didn't remember me. This is me and salami, we have an intimate relationship. I went for the new beer salami not the incredible black truffle salami I got two years ago. I forgot what I got last year. Maybe nothing as I was in such disarray at the time.
I got some cognitive psychology tools, things to trigger me thinking in better ways. They are working. I just started having anxiety and used them to drive it away. Maybe they'll let me do the things I need to make my life better.
When I went home I made the Trader Joe's frozen mashed potatoes. I'm trying to get better quick to eat food at home. I did make it therapy food by adding peanut butter. That works.
I will spend today grading and in the early evening I have my Fantasy Baseball League's "Polar Beer Party." The winner throws that. I will not have beer. This is my male bonding day.
Yesterday I figured out how to post songs to soundcloud and play them here. I wish I had my full library available, not just the songs I've acquired the last year and a half. Let's see if I have something that fits today's entry.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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