Monday, April 28, 2008

My Kids

The other day, Friday, despite it being one of the busiest days in my nine years at CGS, did have one bright spot for me. It's a day when the sophomores hand in their Capstone project, a fifty page policy paper/presentation that they work on in an group of six or more. The idea is to combine all of the disciplines at CGS into one immense undertaking and tackle a big, global issue. This year had something to do with the environment. I don't know because, thank God, I didn't have to do it. I did, however, have to set up two different powerpoint presentations and a portable PA system, since our regular one went kablooey a mere 24 hours before.

So, a busy day, but still a good one, because, seriously, I'm not sure that graduating seniors are as happy as sophomores handing in their Capstone project. Something about that group dynamic really brings out the joy when they are done. What could it be?

Anyway, this day also sees various awards given to deserving sophomores who have excelled academically or just in general. I think there were only ten or eleven awards given out on the day, and two of my prized work-study students, Marlene and Justin, received two each. They split the Judson Rea Butler Award, which is named after the deposed Study Center guy, but is still prestigious). Marlene got one of the top GPA's in the whole college, so I think she got a little scholarship money, and Justin won a big cane, the history of which escapes me at this moment, but I know it's pretty cool.

These two were the first hires of the new Katzenberg Center and the first students I hired all by myself without guidance from any higher power. I remember interviewing them individually in one of the new Capstone rooms (probably being the first people to ever sit in them.) It was the very end of summer 2006, and it was a new era. We had a new work place, and most of my staff had graduated (or was Gabe) and I was in need of new blood. I felt really cool being able to hire who I wanted, and I'm glad I hired these two. I certainly hope they don't regret it.

After they won, I leaned over to Tracey and said, "See how great I train my kids?" It was a joke of course, but I do sort of think of it that way. Not that I taught them how to be great scholars or anything, but I hope they learned something from working with me, at the very least how to plug in a laptop. But since I don't have (and probably never will have) any children of my own, I don't have anyone to impart my wisdom to. And I'm not saying I even have a lot of wisdom (So, what am I talking about, anyway?), but I do have some experiences to draw on, and I have been through what these students are going through, so I think I can at least be a sympathetic ear, so hopefully that's enough.

Obviously, I won't take credit for any of their successes, but I can share in it, because they're not just drones who work for me, or just students who I happen to work with sometimes. They are my friends, and that means a lot to me. And I hope it means a little bit to them.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Girls in their Summer Clothes....

... Pass me by.  And if you didn't recognize one of my new favorite Bruce songs, click on that iTunes link up there or just buy Magic here, because it's fucking awesome.

Anyway, I chose that title because this is my favorite time of the year to live in the city and from now until probably late September (thanks to Global Warming), it'll be nice to walk around the city and see the young students in their summer clothes, even if they are passing me by (some of them at least smile at me.)

So, anyway, John and I were planning to attend the vaunted San Diego Comic-con this July as we did last year.  The problem is last year we decided in February that we wanted to do this, and booked accordingly.  This year, we discovered that, while about 50,000 people go to this convention, there are only about 9,000 hotel rooms in the area, so we have no place to stay.  To that end (and in an attempt to make up for my horrible planning of last year's trip), I called my aunt who lives out there.  Mind you, I haven't talked to her in about five years, but I wouldn't ask if I didn't think she was a nice enough person to allow us to crash at her place for a weekend.

Anyway, I spent all afternoon carefully wording a letter to her just to tell her what dates we would be out there.  That's what happens when you don't talk to your family for years.  If she lets us stay there for a couple days, it'll all be worth it.  We shall see...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Give the Man a Hand

I was told by a friend the other day about someone she knows who feels that not only should her husband never be allowed to "lend a hand," so to speak, but to do so while thinking of another woman would be tantamount to cheating on her. Apparently, this woman is some kind of uber-female, and her husband should be satisfied with that and not need to help himself out in that way. I don't want to get too gross about this (I honestly don't even remember how this got brought up, but I think it had something to do with George Costanza.) but because I find this completely ricockulous, and I bet there are literally thousands of women (and probably men) who feel the same way as this one, I must make my voice heard.

This is taking mental cheating to the extreme. I find marriage weird enough, but at least I've seen it done right. However, the very idea that a person can go through their entire life and not find another human being attractive is just the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I mean, I don't watch a lot of TV, but I watch enough to know that there are beautiful people all over it and I'm hopelessly attracted to almost all of them (I even have a kind of weird man-crush on Alec Baldwin). So, for this woman to think that her husband shouldn't get an urge once in awhile, well, maybe she should watch 30 Rock more often. She should actually be grateful that her husband takes care of himself rather than seeking out other real women. To me, the man's got morals.

Honestly, I've been through a lot of shit in my life. So much that I usually pull waaaaaaaay back in the face of any emotional connection for fear that I'll drive the poor girl to prostitution (Don't laugh. It happened). So, if I ever did find myself in some kind of relationship, and the girl one day says, "Durs, I'm sorry but I'm in love with somebody else," I would probably be sad, and slightly annoyed, but jealous? Pissed at her? Come on! Let's face it, the odds are pretty good that I had fallen for someone else, too, so if this imaginary girl wants to follow her heart, who am I to stop her? I hope I'd be big enough to wish her the best and head for the nearest tavern.

'Course, I would doubt she'd do better than me.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Happy birthday... truly the best of times.

John made me this hilarious video for my birthday. We've had this running gag (Well, all we have are running gags) on our birthdays where we imitate Kirk and Spock from Star Trek II. Anyway, check it out, even though you probably won't think it's as funny as I do.