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Thursday, Sept. 18, 2003 - 1:37 p.m.

There will be no hurricane for me here in Columbia, SC. It's supposed to be sunny and pleasantly breezy all through the weekend. This is puzzling to me, because on all the weather maps there's an enormous green or white blobbous swirl a mere few inches away, with some of its tendrils reaching right into my town.

Well, it's not really MY town. I don't know that I'll ever claim Columbia.

And in fact, I've spent the last hour plotting my escape. I wish I knew where to escape to. My interest in the linguistics PhD program at Northwestern is waning...I don't think corpora-based pragmatics is anything I'd be able to enjoy on a long-term basis. I like Big Ideas. I like Theory. I'm not much for data. This would also be the problem with many of the Comp/Rhet programs I'm looking at: somehow, all this practical research about how people actually learn writing bores my pants right off. And like I've said about eight kajillion times lately, I'm not entirely sure I need to continue teaching writing anyway. But I'm also certain I need to continue.

Band practice was silly last night...we're falling apart, definitely, but nobody seems very concerned, and it's entirely possible we'll swing back together before too long. We worked on a new song by Will. I want to practice every night, and I never want to practice again.

And now I'm reminding myself of my student who came to my office today. She was having a hard time with her paper because she claims to have "no opinions about anything". So I started chatting, trying to draw her about...and it turns out she's super-intelligent, very articulate, with a very similar sense of humor to my own. She's a rich girl. She's studying biology and wants to be a radiologist. No opinions? How can you engage with the world enough to want to be a doctor and a scientist and think you have no opinions? She's not shy, even, and certainly her self-esteem is in good shape. I have been puzzled ever since.

By now my father is here.

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