Well! I’ve been sitting in Tompkins Square Park for the last three hours with the intention of writing this blog, but there’ve just been too many other things going on.
First of all, there’s the lovely glowing shock that this damn park is 72 seconds from my front door.
Second, there’s the effervescent joy coursing trough my veins regarding the fact that I don’t have to work until Saturday, a schedule that will maintain itself for the rest of the year, barring any unforeseen getting of (non-restaurant) job. I’ve been scouring CL for a 11-3 position as a personal assistant to a really nice, well/traveled old lady painter pays $45 an hour plus frequent flyer miles and a Starbucks discount from her barista granddaughter, but no luck yet.
Third, Bobby Darin Radio on Pandora. It’s like crack in that it’s addictive and makes you move your head in weird ways, but different in that you probably could never OD, and you don’t have to go to East New York to get it.
Fourth, I’ve been sitting here watching a sode unfold for a really long. So a group of those ratty, fake homeless youths that have been rotating cast members, but not clothes, for years (seriously, what is their damn deal? You know the ones I mean – growly, angry dog owners with stud jackets, combat boots, and a tendency to sully an otherwise gorgeous afternoon with their belligerence) having an MMA training session right near my shady tree. That’s nit an exaggeration: They were high-kicking, right-hooking, and arm-twisting, and stated multiple
times that it was an MMA training session. The guys were in combat, the ladies watching and cheering.
At a certain point, the blood started pouring out of the trainer’s head, which apparently amused the hell of this Garbage Pail Kid version of Snookie, so her grating laugh starts backgrounding against the no bueno jazz sax in the background, making for quite the soundtrack. In retaliation, the trainer slammed the trainee, and broke his jaw. I know this because the guy fell to the ground yelling: “You broke my fucking jaw!” The paramedics came, and after much ado about this broken jaw, forced him, vomiting, into the ambulance.
Anyway, back to the blog, I started grad school yesterday! Re-started, really, as I did technically do one full semester two years ago, a fact that is not reflected by the number of credits I attained. I commenced well, rolling in 15 minutes late to Modernist Moments because I was at Muji in Chelsea trying to pick out the perfect school supplies.
Grad school is very anti-climactic. Each class is 1 hour and 40 minutes and meets once a week. The maximum classes allowed is 3. That’s 5 hours total spent in class. Even when you add to that “Departmental Events” that transpire every now and again on Thursdays and Fridays, the reading, the writing, the question is still the same: What the hell am I supposed to do with all that spare time? Not that I have trouble entertaining myself, but seriously, that’s a lot of spare time, especially considering the fact that my summer was exploding with activity; between the 58-67 hour work weeks and 10-20 hours of community service (cut from resume: worked helping young children assimilate into adulthood through demonstrations of heavy drinking at the River Roadhouse several nights a week) I really haven’t slept since June.
But to discuss my first day, anything involving wanna-be writers is inherently pretentious. In the Modernist class yesterday, we had to introduce ourselves. The number of “isms” that were dropped astonished me. “I’m interested in transatlanticism.” Pardon? Yeah, I like traveling to Europe, too. But my iPhone doesn’t even recognize that as a word, so it definitely doesn’t exist.
There was also a blowout debate between three guys as to whether or not Robert Moses was a fascist. Um, didn’t he invent Jones Beach? I feel confused.
The best moment, though, was when the teacher mentioned Remedios Varo, a Spanish-Mexican surrealist. In my self-presentation I’d mentioned my stint in Mex, so the conversation went something like this:
“You must LOVE Remedios Varo.”
“I’ve never heard of her.”
“You spent almost two years in Mexico and haven’t heard of Remedios Varo? What were you studying there?”
“Grammar. And then I taught English.”
This is what I hate about the educated class. They become informed on something utterly obscure, and then pity you or regard you in horror when you haven’t heard of their esoteric fetish. I bet you if I went into any restaurant in this city the percentage of Mexican-born individuals who’ve heard of Remedios Varo would be smaller than the yearly income of that crackhead who got his jaw broken earlier.
Other than that, though, it all seems to be panning out well. I’m about to head out to a Fiction Workshop, so we’ll see how my patience and ego fare in a bit.
Happy Back to School!