I’d like to post today about two things that happen this time of year. One is what I will call The Rankin Bass Conversations, or People on social media and elsewhere enthusiastically discussing mutant reindeer, earnest v. snotty elves, and Gigantic yo-yos and such. (For the Record: Abominable Snowman, thumbs down. Winter Warlock, thumbs up. Winter is The Man.)
The holiday season abounds with Creativity. Herbie’s cosmetic dentistry, Schroeder rocking the house via Vince Guaraldi, a corncob pipe and a button nose. Boston looks beautiful, and did you know every snowflake is unique. Especially Me. And the weather, remember, is Created by the two bitchy sons of Mother Nature, Cold Miser and Heat Miser, who resemble a blue 1960s TV actor and an orange troll doll. But those songs do Rule. You know they do.
The second thing that happens is the end of another semester barreling down on students and professors, itself like a force of nature. And this situation sometimes requires using Creativity to be silly and have some fun, as you float somewhere between This Pile of Papers and That Pile of Papers. And the Island of Misfit Papers…no, ok, sorry.
So I’m borrowing the bratty brothers to create two more opposite, difficult Siblings, called Beginning of Semester and End of Semester, or BEG and END for short. Imagine something jazzy playing.
BEG: Should I accessorize my Look for class today with layered necklaces or a scarf?
END: Clean is the New Black. (Thanks, Leah W of UNH, for this.)
BEG: Now that I’ve Prepped for class tomorrow, let me just get the dishes done and everything tidied up.
END: There’s one mug left for Coffee in the morning. OK, yay.
BEG: Done grading for the day? Prop up the pillows and read!
END: Done grading for the day? Punch down the pillows and drool.
BEG: Student approaches desk. Put on the expression of a goodhearted professor character who will brilliantly help the Oxford police pair solve a complex mystery on the British detective show.
END: Student approaches desk. Put on the expression of any character trying to survive in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
BEG: Well, good morning! How nice to see you again by the staff lounge coffee urns! How are you? Yes! I know! You also have a great day!
END: You’re blocking the spigot. Move aside. Move. Aside.
BEG: A free weekend day with no grading? Make plans. Take a nice little walk. Read a new book.
END: Sudden shocking abundance of free time after submitting course grades? Curl up to read YA fiction you have long since memorized. Decide Harriet the Spy should be APPRECIATED as a Writer rather than MISUNDERSTOOD by a thick-headed world. Sniffle a little. Take multiple obsessive walks. Buy used books you’re too weary to read. Have anxiety. Sniffle a little more. Consume only popcorn and white wine. Stare at things.
I BEG your pardon for this. The END.