Monthly Archives: March 2008

My typical Friday: If I can peel myself out of bed by 9:20, I drive down to the nearest 24 Hour Fitness in my pjs for their brand of yoga. I don’t feel bad about taking child’s pose. Then, coffee, donut, trashy celebrity gossip magazine and I’m back to my apartment to lay around in bed reading, reading, reading, and (do they still call it “surfing” the web?) surfing, surfing, surfing. Maybe I’ll do laundry. Maybe I won’t. I need/take this day to recover from teaching as many as 7 introduction to composition classes per semester.
There are still four schools that I have not heard back from yet and I would like funding at one school that has only admitted me so far (CW PhD at University of Nebraska, Lincoln.) But, would I really go there?
Unless something more interesting comes my way, I will probably be off to Pullman for a PhD at Washington State University. Career-wise, this might not be the best choice, but I think I will be happier and more productive if I am able to be close to my friends and family. My main career goals are to be happy and content in my job and to feel like I’m doing something useful (useful for humanity, not useful like pulling lumber at the plywood mill.)
Starting this program will be a serious shock to my system. No more lazy Fridays. No more making my own deadlines. I won’t truly rest until the entire 4? 5? 6? years are over. Eh. Hopefully I can find a niche, a friend, an interesting project.

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I found these sentences hidden in a PhD acceptance letter:

“As you probably know, the job market in English has been tight for several years. In making the decision to enter a PhD program, you should consider that tenure-track teaching jobs at colleges and universities may continue to be limited.”

I am back from a short trip to Oregon. My knees still hurt from sitting so long in the car. I should have stopped and stretched more. The visit was nice. The lambs were cute. I need/want to go again in April to help my parents with branding, shearing, etc. But, I hate to make that trip again so soon. In the meantime, I need to return some phone calls and launch back into life and teaching. This morning I am feeling unprepared.

my version of his obituary

Derek died. I got a message from him on myspace, notifying me that he died. Actually, it was his on again off again (on again) fiance using Derek’s account to let me know. She’s known for shenanigans, so I wasn’t sure whether to trust her. But, it does appear to be true.
I met Derek 8 years ago when I was working in the EOU library. He would come in late at night with a heavy, faux fur-lined coat and he would use the internet. Later, it became clear that he came to visit me too. His then girlfriend, Megan (not yet pregnant with his son), would come to pick him up. Though there was, at times, good stuff between the two of them, he mostly felt stuck in La Grande and stuck to be with her. Later, when she “accidentally” got pregnant with his son, Hunter, the boy became Derek’s greatest obsession. Music and love life suddenly came second.
He shared custody with Megan. He and Megan were not together very long. He was with Hunter a lot. They could always be seen bombing around La Grande with the stroller, getting McDonalds, or going downtown for a coffee and newspaper. Hunter, tall for his age, was very social, trying to talk to everyone and flirt with all the girls. He loved to be out. He was a handful, but Derek always had an easygoing smile on his face when he was with the boy.
Court battles eventually took away much of Derek’s visitation with the child. Since then, which was about a year ago, Derek has not been the same. He seemed fine, but mellower, quieter, sober. Hunter was his life and his truest joy.
One light in this past year was finding the “love of his life.” He was a hopeless romantic and found what he’d always been looking for in a girl named Tracy. I never met her. I saw pictures. I had never heard him talk about a girl like he talked about Tracy. For the troubles they had, it seemed that the good outweighed the bad. He had his grandmother’s wedding ring resized for her.
Derek was terrifying and intense, and yet somehow we always had a lot to say to each other. That began 8 years ago.
24 hours before he died, almost to the minute, he sent me a message, heartbroken that I had never fallen in love with him. He would send those messages to me once a year or so.