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Monday, Oct. 20, 2003 - 8:11 p.m.

Hereís an email I sent L:

This morning an old man, fairly well-dressed, stopped me on Saluda. Our conversation:

Him: Do you know how to turn Monday into Thursday?

Me: Um, no...

Him: Thirstday! [raising imaginary cup and pointing at my coffee mug]Thirst-day! Like when you're thirsty!

Me: Oh, I get it [smiling, starting to walk away]

Him: I like to do that, but not before I take my walk. I have prostate cancer.

Me: Um, uh...I'm sorry.

Him: They took the cancer out about, oh, five years ago, and ever since then if I drink anything, every fifteen minutes I have to piss! It makes it very hard to take a walk! I have to piss all the time! I piss everywhere!

Me: Um, enjoy your walk, and your day.

Him: Okay!

Iím reading a paper on context-shifting, wishing I had beer in the house, and grinning every time I remember how empty of scheduled time tomorrow is. I have a lot to do, but only two hours are dedicated to other people. I was interviewed by a student over lunch today Ė one of the freshman classes requires them to interview an instructor Ė and I was forced to confess that control over my own time is a major reason I want to stay in academia. How that must have inspired his young mind! I love teaching because...well, because I donít have to get up at 6:30 every morning (though this semester is challenging that convention.)

The highlight of my weekend was a series of drunken answering machine messages from Mary and Bettina, two of the women I love most, who havenít seen each other since I last saw either of them, I donít think. And then Bettina wrote this, and all I want right now is to be out in Colorado.

In addition to the context paper, Iím reading On Writing Well and A Glenn Gould Reader, and I have several academic papers lined up as well. I feel happier and more in control than Iíve felt in months, mostly because Iíve resolved to think about teaching less and do it more. Iím not certain itís a good idea, but with this obsessive mind of mine any resolution against thinking should be productive. I need to make more handouts, spend time on mini-lectures, and not agonize over how discussions might go and how they have gone.

Maybe next I should resolve to think about dishes less and do them more. Cause thatís what Iím thinking about right now: dishes.

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