January 2012


Think back to a time in your life when you just dominated. Call it a “win at life” moment, if you will.  That time you felt as if you owned the world, that the stars were aligned just for you and nothing could touch you.  Let that feeling creep back in for a moment, allow your confidence to grow, relish the taste, the thrill of assurance that things were going to work out and nothing, NOTHING would ever change that.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s how they felt, too.

Until they ended up my local thrift store.

For $ .99.

With a 50% off sticker proudly displayed on the back.

Dear readers, I’ve begun to notice a serious condition that is plaguing students all across our fine state.  It is a rampant, growing epidemic that is so invasive, it threatens to reach into your school and take possession of your children.  It seems that many college students, who are engaged in their class discussions and lectures, are suddenly and without warning disappearing.

Yes, it’s true.  Students all over the state are vanishing before our educator’s very eyes.  One minute, they are there, sitting attentively, taking notes and engaging the instructor in meaningful conversation. The next, they are gone.  It’s as if they evaporated into thin air, leaving no trace of their former presence.  Or so one would think.  Just when you grow comfortable in their absence, they abruptly re-appear, frightening their fellow classmates and instructors with a random question, comment, or concern.  It’s as if their spirit remained in the room, observing all the goings on yet their bodies choose to remain unseen by the rest of the class.  It is a terribly frightening and chilling phenomenon; one that requires all caution to avoid.

Ok, maybe students aren’t actually disappearing in class.  But that scenario seems to make more sense than the reality of what goes on with some students in some classes.  How else am I to explain when students fall asleep, watch You Tube videos on their laptops, text, doodle, or complete homework for other classes, all during class time and in plain view.  It’s a phenomenon I’ve referred to as the “invisibility effect.”  Something happens when a student sits at a desk and faces the front of a classroom – they forget that just as they can see their professor, so can their professor see them.

Maybe this is the result of too much television or the fault of online chatting, where people do remain unseen by their digital audiences.  But this is real life now; the instructor you’re looking at isn’t digital.  You are visible.  Recognize.  I see those cell phones hidden under textbooks and table tops.  I know you’re not taking notes on your laptop when your face reveals muffled laughter and you elbow your neighbor, pointing at your computer screen so they might share in your glee.  Pull your hat down over your eyes all you want; just because you can’t see me, I can still see you, sleeping peacefully in the back row, head leaning back against the wall.  And ma’am, I understand that bras aren’t always the most comfortable of clothing.  However, if you would be so kind, please refrain from grabbing the tops of your cups and vigorously hoisting them upward during my lectures. It’s distracting, at the least. At most, it’s going to cause some chafing, and that’s not good for anyone.

So students, a word to the wise.  Remember that game your parents played with you as a baby?  Peek-a-boo?  Well, consider that your first and possibly earliest life’s lesson.  I. See. You.

You know how your favorite TV shows end each season on a cliffhanger?  Like “Game of Thrones” or “True Blood,” they make you wait months and months to find out what happened to characters for whom you’ve invested your time, energy, and attention.  Will Lafayette be freed from Antonia?  Can Sookie finally make up her mind about Eric/Bill?  Who are the White Walkers?  And will winter ever arrive in Winterfell?!  By the time you get around to the new season, so much time has passed that you’re a little lost trying to remember precisely what was going on when last you saw them.

To that end, I offer you a quick summary of events in the life of super shiksa, since last we spoke:

I started teaching at another university, bringing my total number of jobs to three.

I got engaged,

planned an out of state wedding,

went back to school,

bought a new car,

got married over fall break,

 

honeymooned in New England,

combined households and fur kids,

  

and did it all in time to celebrate three Thanksgivings,

and four Christmases.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.