09 February 2010

Storm Coming

It looks like we're going to get the storm that just missed us on Friday night and Saturday morning--and dumped anywhere from six inches to a foot of snow just a few miles away, in Staten Island--not to mention two feet in Washington, DC. The college will be closed tomorrow. I learned of this early in the evening, when I went to the ladies' room in the college's administrative area (sometimes called "The West Wing"). There I met Lara, whom I hadn't seen in a while and who gave me the news. Turns out that Mayor Bloomberg ordered all of the city's schools and a number of other public institutions closed.

I've heard a few different forecasts: for two feet of snow; for a mixture of snow, slush and torrents of ice; and for a deluge that will make the city's streets run with Diet Pepsi. Do I sound like the stereotypical New York Cynic now? Obama talked about "snow-maggedeon" in the capital; some local forecasters say the end is nigh for us.

Well, the aftermath of a blizzard is what some imagine the world will be after the post-apocalyptic mess is cleaned up: a windswept alabaster landscape.

Oddly enough, thinking about the storm we're supposed to get is making me sleepy. Maybe it's my blankets calling out to me. Or, perhaps, Max and Charlie are sending me subliminal messages to lie down because they want to curl up by me.

It seems like I'm spending longer and longer hours at the college. For one thing, each of my classes is 25 percent bigger than the ones I had last semester. So, there's more of everything to do. Plus, there are profs and administrators who are chasing tenure, grants and "bigger and better things."

Around 8 o'clock, I was waiting for the director of the writing program to call me, as he said he would after setting up a webpage for one of my classes. So, when my desk phone--vintage circa 1988--rang, I picked it up. The phone has no caller ID, so, when I picked up the receiver, I greeted the caller as if he were the director. Instead, he was someone whom I've been avoiding.

"Great! I've got you on your work phone. It can't die, like your cell phone." Just what I wanted to hear--someone I didn't want to talk to, giving himself a carte blanche to my time. That, after advising students almost nonstop between my classes. I don't mind doing that--in fact, I like it. It's just that I did, in essence, 13 nonstop hours of teaching and advising. I've worked longer days doing other kinds of jobs, but when you're talking or listening to people, your attention can't waver. That gets to be tiring, if not in the same way as a more physical job.

So now I'm falling asleep. At least I don't have to set my alarm for tomorrow.