Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Once more, expecting different results...


They don't make steel folding chairs like they used to. I felt the sickening bend of fragile metal under me as I lay sprawled backwards across the thing, its back laying against my futon, its spindly legs against the floor. I'd gotten it there, throwing myself backwards with it to reach my shirt at the further end of the mattress on the floor. This was something I'd done before, and the poor damned chair hadn't begin to creak, bend and break at the spot welds. I sighed, shirt in hand and stood up. It was bent all to hell – not unlike everything else – so I stood on one leg and pulled on its opposite eventually wrangling the beast into a semblance of its original features, minus a few solid welds.

Its that time of year again, when we crouch at our desks, slavishly pounding out term papers, or pouring over books trying to put together what we spent the first 14 weeks of the semester so madly undoing and testing the structural limits of cheap portable furniture. Our success, or failure, seems dependent on staying up just that much longer, drinking one more Amp, having that next glass of rum to get the juices flowing and further break our give-a-damn's into finally studying, eating that next three day old donut to keep hunger at bay into the wee hours.

This is the time when we engage in counterfactual thought, wondering what might have been had we only done something different. I think there is something to a classically based undergrad liberal arts degree from the right institution... I just never could figure out quite what that something was, or if it was a good something or more akin to the dark green death smelling "something" in the bottom of your vegetable crisper.

Once upon a time, at the end of a semester, I prayed for more time to get it right. And the answer was a semester that went faster than any I remember. And so we've returned to this again... energy drinks, coffee by the pot, and rum and donuts.