Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 21: Oscar Ballot, Online Teaching, Classic Saint Marty

I spent a good portion of the afternoon doing two things.  First, I put together the Oscar Ballots for my family's annual Oscar competition (including a rules sheet and a crossword puzzle based on famous movie quotes).  My sister who passed away last August was usually in charge of this task, so this chore made me a little sad. 

Second, I had to complete an online tutorial for being an online student.  You see, I have been assigned an online class to teach this summer, and, in order to be allowed to teach this course, I have to take a four-week online workshop in teaching online.  Yes, I know.  I feel like have ventured into sublimely ridiculous territory.  However, if I want to earn this money and be a little more financially stable this coming June, July, and August, I must submit to this online tutorial on being an online student in an online workshop on teaching a class online.  I hope that's clear.

Tonight, I will probably do a lot of grading.  Papers.  Quizzes.  Responses.  In a week, spring break begins.  A week of debauchery and drunkenness and naked beer pong.  At least, that's my plan.  I don't know what my students will be doing.  Unfortunately, I will be laboring away in my online workshop during those days.

I found out several years ago that I no longer enjoy taking classes.  After twenty-plus years as a professor, I have difficulty relinquishing control of the classroom (whether in real-time or virtually).  I am hoping that it does not eat up all of my time.  I'm hoping for something simple, like "upload a syllabus" and "design a quiz" and "post lecture notes."  That's what I need to practice.  Don't really want to discuss the philosophy of online instruction with anybody.  My philosophy is pretty simple:  show me how to do it so I can get paid.

Today's episode of Classic Saint Marty first aired three years ago, when my life was perfect.

February 22, 2013:  Most Terrific Liar, Gym, Fact from Fiction

I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life.  It's awful.  If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera.  It's terrible.  So when I told old Spencer I had to go to the gym to get my equipment and stuff, that was a sheer lie.  I don't even keep my goddam equipment in the gym.

Lying is something Holden does very well.  He lies to his teachers.  He lies to the mother of one of his Pencey Prep classmates.  He lies to many of the women he meets in New York.   Most of all, Holden lies to himself.  He hasn't dealt with his feelings over his brother's death.  His hands are scarred from the windows he broke the night Allie died.  In this book, which is, basically, a conversation he's having with his therapist, Holden comes clean about his life and emotions.  For the first time, he's telling the truth.

I thought I would try an experiment on this P.O.E.T.S. Day.  I'm going to lie or exaggerate through this entire post.  If I do it well, you won't be able to tell fact from fiction.  Sometimes, fiction is more interesting anyway.  So, read on, but take everything in this post with a grain of salt, or an entire salt shaker, depending on how full of crap you think I am.

I have nothing to do today.  When I get home from work, I'm going to go up to my office in the attic and read and work on my memoir until it starts getting dark.  Jacinta, our housekeeper, will be busy downstairs cleaning, so I want to stay out of her way.  Perhaps I'll get some Thai take-out for dinner.  I'm feeling a little hungry for something spicy this Friday.

During the course of the afternoon, I'll probably respond to an e-mail I received from J. K. Rowling asking me to look over the manuscript of her new novel.  I can't divulge any of the details, but I will say that it involves a certain character with a scar on his forehead.  Then, I'll return a phone call to Pope Benedict.  He's trying to get me to come to a big retirement party the cardinals are throwing for him, but I'm going to decline.  Partying with those guys in the red beanies is like going to a Weight Watchers buffet.

This evening, I will call Steven Spielberg and wish him good luck this Sunday at the Oscars.  Stevie is a little insecure since Ben Affleck is getting all this attention for Argo.  Just last week, he drunk dialed me at 1 a.m., sobbing into the phone about how ""  I had to remind him of E.T. and Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I told him to snap out of it and check his bank statements versus Ben's bank statements.  That made Steve feel better.

I am so flush with money right now that I'm thinking of booking a vacation in Hawaii.  My wife and I have been wanting to go back since our honeymoon.  Or maybe we'll surprise our friend from New Zealand and show up on his doorstep this weekend.  I'm not sure I want to be around all those Kiwis, however.  The Swedish Academy has been trying to get me to come to Stockholm to deliver a lecture ever since Mo Yan showed up in his rented tux for the Nobel Prize ceremony in December.  It's nice not to have to worry about finances.

Yes, my son is totally potty trained, and my daughter has just been invited to dance the part of Clara in The Nutcracker for the New York City Ballet this coming Christmas.

Saint Marty's life is perfect.

Everybody tells the truth...sometimes

No comments:

Post a Comment