liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

standing in the hall

On the bottom floor of the 3 story brick building that houses NCNM there is a row of computer terminals lining one wall of the hall. There are several printers also lined up, and during the daytime students are at every terminal checking email and printing course notes from e-reserves. Now I'm the only one standing here. The library is closed. I am officially at "work" doing my security job. I just cleaned out the three fridges in the student lounge. Well, not really. I didn't clean them, I just tossed all the rotting food in the trash. The non-rotting food continues to sit there, and the leakage from the entire first 6 weeks of school is still in there. Maybe next shift I'll really clean them. It's not "my job" but somebody really should. I also just walked around the entire school and checked all the windows and doors and classrooms that were still open. No bums around, just students and staff. This job is easy but it is not rewarding. I would rather be at home. I took this job so that I could apply for food stamps. I have never had food stamps before but being a student qualifies me as poor enough, as long as I have a workstudy job.

This week I flunked one test and aced another. Next week I have two more tests. It seems that the testing just goes on and on. There is barely a week during which I do not have at least one exam. There is no homework, so exams are the entire basis for my grade in most of my classes. In one class (philosophy) I need to write a paper. I'm going to write it on a book that I haven't yet read. I don't know when I'm going to read it. Perhaps I should check out a second copy and keep it in my locker here so I can read it when I have a chance to read, without having to haul it back and forth in my backpack on my bike.

I've biked to school every day this week. It takes about 10 minutes to ride from my house to the school, across the Ross Island Bridge. The Ross Island Bridge is not recommended for bicycle traffic because there is only one sidewalk, on the north side of the bridge. So when I ride home tonight in the dark, I'll be riding on the narrow sidewalk against the flow of traffic. It is a long bridge and when the wind blows it is more difficult to stay on the sidewalk. When I see another bicyclist or a pedestrian I get off the bike to pass them, because I am not confident enough that I would be able to pass without falling off the curb. To fall off the curb and into the traffic would be instant death. So no falling off allowed.

It has been raining some, but it's not raining all the time yet. It rained all night last night. I've been riding in the rain, but the rain just hasn't been hard enough to really soak me. I have the gear for it when it comes. Suzanne was checking the historical weather patterns here and January gets the most rain, and has the shortest days, and will be a hibernating kind of a month. She seems to be holding up fairly well in the face of the moisture. She is having the same experience that I had when I first got here---that of being uncomfortably sweaty alternating with chilled cold, of always being dressed wrong. I don't understand the weather here yet so I didn't have much advice for her. I wear a wool sweater to school every day, and just take it off if it gets warm.

In front of me on the wall is a portrait of the NCNM class of 1986. Thirty one students graduated in 1986, and most of them are men! My class is about 90% female. The few men who are enrolled are very alternative--either gay, or physically different, or just radical "outliers". I have found in the last week or so that I'm not the only one who is very frustrated with the quality of one particular professor's lectures and power point presentations. I resent paying for such confusing lectures. I want to be taught. I want to learn. I don't want to just jump through hoops. It seems that education more and more is about jumping through hoops. I can learn without paying big bucks. I can read a textbook all by myself. So it gripes me a bit to sit through poor lectures, or to skip them not knowing what useful information I am missing. But I'm sticking with it. Still.
Tags: biking, education, ncnm, rain

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