18 May 2010

Georgia On My Mind in The Salt Mines

"Another day in the salt mines."  That is what one prof says every time we are about to begin a workday.  He said that today, too, even though most of us didn't have classes.  We have been meeting with students, a few of whom begged us to accept assignments that were due weeks or even months ago.  In between, we're reading and grading said assignments and doing various end-of-semester paperwork.

I feel fat, ugly and tired.  Well, how does that saying go?  "Misery loves company."  Others here at the college would probably say the feel one, all or some combination of those things.

At this point of every semester, I think of what it must have been like to be in one of Hitler's bunkers.  We're in a very institutional setting in a post-industrial landscape.  That's a fancy way of saying the college is in a blue-collar neighborhood without the jobs.  This part of Queens has the highest foreclosure rate in the city, and, according to one report, the greatest concentration of foreclosures outside of  Florida, Arizona or Las Vegas.  Maybe it's not quite as grim as, say, Elkhart, Indiana, or what the media would have us believe about it.  I've never been there, so I wouldn't know for sure how it really is.

When I was checking my e-mail (Students have been sending me assignments that way.), I saw a link for a listing of faculty openings at a place called Georgia Highlands College.  It's in a town called Rome and has satellites in other nearby towns.  Now, I know about as much about that area as I do about Indiana.  I couldn't tell you where in Georgia Rome is.  I've been in the state of Georgia only once since I was about six months old. Dad was stationed in Albany, in the southwestern part of the state, with the Air Force,  and as a consequence, I was born there.  Halfway through my first year of life, or thereabouts, they returned to Brooklyn.  And, of course, I went with them. 

So, let's see:  If we'd remained there, and I had been born with two X chromosomes, I could be a Southern Belle.  How would my life have been different?  Somehow I get the feeling I would've been very, very bored.  Then again, I might've been one of those Southern country girls.  If I became an educator of any sort, I probably would've been an elementary school teacher.  And, if I wrote, would I have been like Eudora Welty?  Carson McCullers?  Or, perhaps, I'd've had a bunch of kids, and the males would've played football.

I wonder what it would be like to move to Georgia.  No one who doesn't work for the Office of Vital Records would know that I'd been born there unless I mentioned it.  So I'd be "going stealth" in more ways than one!

If I could get to do some more cycling, and writing, it just might be worthwhile.  A Southern Belle Biker Chick?  Hmm....

No comments: