Had another great weekend in Seattle with M. We went to a halloween party, and man do I feel old. There wasn’t a major age difference between myself and the other party-goers, but it made me realize how long it’s been since I was in college. Things have changed. Those of you who know me were as shocked as I was when I got a cell phone just a few months ago. I am only now discovering the drastic lifestyle changes it brings; things ten year old children have known for at least 5 years. Take, for instance, the drunk dial.
When I was in college, you had to really want it. It typically involved braving sub-zero temperatures in a t-shirt and flip flops on an epic hike through gail force winds and snowbanks to the nearest payphone to make a collect long-distance phone call to the proud recipient. You usually lost a toe or two to hypothermia. These were the things Hemmingway novels were made of. It built character if nothing else.
Nowadays the young and intoxicated have to undergo no such discomfort. At this party I witnessed at least two people simply step off into a corner of the heated apartment and make the call while standing on plush carpet, food and drink in hand. You don’t even have to embarass yourself by speaking to the other person anymore. You can simply text them and hide your level of severe drunkenness. And trust me, these people needed it.
While grading for the 100th hour this week I almost lost it. It’s insultingly repetitive. To know that I’m capable of doing what I do, but having to suffer through this monotony is not what I signed up for. I thought for a second, “can’t we just hire someone to do this crap?” But then my next thought plunged me deep into a pit of despair. “Wait a second, I am that person. And I still have 200 more hours of grading to do. Then next week I get to start all over again.” Trying to constructively criticize 50 something feeble attempts to construct sentences wears on you after a while. The worst part of it all is that my research has been non-existent for the last week or two.
(*Disclaimer: the above post is purely hearsay*)