this week’s stand-out moments
The first day of school finally arrived. I am taking American Sign Language (ASL) 3 MWF. Goshen College has a mask mandate, but in ASL, we need to see faces. Thus, we were all given face shields. This was me waiting before class on the first day:
I was super nervous because I tested into ASL 3, skipping two semesters of instruction with this professor whom almost everyone else in the room had last year. I wasn’t sure what the structure of the course would be (some ASL teachers use a screen and type in English as needed, but others make gestures until you get it). I felt so lost. I mainly caught that she lives on a Christmas tree farm and has some goats. Then something something something videos? Not! Helpful!
Thankfully, the ASL 1 course met directly afterward, so I stayed for that. The professor had an interpreter, which was great, except he didn’t project as he spoke, and LOL, I’m hard of hearing. Afterward, feeling quite stupid, I ran off to the registrar’s office and dropped ASL 3 to sign up for ASL 1. There, I thought. I made a decision.
Did I mention a train runs right through campus? Me on one side, I hadn’t eaten or drank anything in eight hours, my car on the other. Also, my phone has no service in Goshen and I couldn’t get on the Wi-Fi because there is a special set up for it, which I couldn’t do because no service to Google the instructions. I kept sending poor Nick text messages while crying, holding my phone toward the sky hoping that’s still a thing that helps. I made my way to a Culver’s fast food restaurant where I sad-girl ate ice cream. While there, I got on the Wi-fi and saw an email from my ASL professor, saying she thinks I should stay in 3, and that no one knows all the vocab. I got the registrar back on the phone and changed classes. Again.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays I stay home, so I whipped out my old vocab and got to studying. I looked up how to sign words I should know, like HOMEWORK and COLLEGE and COVID. I felt way more confident in class on Wednesday, and once we got into things, I realized I was often the only one laughing at the professor’s funny moments. Is it possible I know way more than the others? Or that I understand adult humor that these lovely teens cannot yet appreciate? Maybe I’ve been reading The Bonfires of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe with Biscuit for too long, but I kept silently calling myself a “Master of the Universe.”
However, my schedule at the bakery is designed to “hug” my classes. I head there at 8:00AM, leave for my class, then go directly back to the bakery. Remember that train? Yeah. On Wednesday it was stuck on the track for over 40 minutes. I wasn’t separated from my car, but I was separated from the bakery.
At the bakery, I help with closing. We’re scheduled until 3:30PM, which isn’t bad. But it was taking us until 4:10 to finish. And then it crept to 4:30. And on Friday, we didn’t get out until almost 5:00. I am not happy about this. I have a sneaking suspicion that either the closing duties change based on whether the cake decorator has some big projects that day, so there’s more to clean . . . or that my coworkers might be stretching out their tasks so they get more hours. By the time I left and made the 45-minute drive home, which took an hour due to construction and Labor Day Weekend traffic, I was hopping mad. I’ll have to think more about this “job for fun” business.
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
Well, another thing that’s got me worried about working at the bakery is I’ve become slow to respond on my blog and read other’s posts. I spent three hours on Tuesday reading comments and your blogs. Chances are good I was drinking coffee, flossing, brushing my teeth, or hopping into my clothes while reading your reviews. Plus, there seems to have been an issue with my last Sunday Lowdown because I wrote it late Sunday and hit “publish” rather than scheduling it, which prevented my post from appearing in some people’s WordPress Reader. Thankfully, I’m scheduled out for several weeks and got out a review and interview like clockwork. I do see that my cushion is getting smaller, though . . .
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams sounds like a romance, and as Karissa pointed out, looks like nonfiction about Black Lives Matter and the George Floyd protests from June 2020! I would call it more an examination of fiction genres, treatment of writers, and how to navigate a relationship by creating boundaries. The audio was an especial treat.
Beth Gilstrap is a short story writer you may want to check out. She notes that writing has helped her survive and goes back to her elementary school days to discuss her creative life. Her answers were shorter than most authors’, but Gilstrap makes a memorable impression.
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
I’ve been watching so many slasher movies, so why not listen to a slasher novel? Security by Gina Wohlsdorf takes place in an elite hotel that’s about to open, but unbeknownst to the staff working hard to get things ship shape, a killer in a Michael Myers mask and jumpsuit (speed suit? mechanic’s onsie?) is on the loose. Review Tuesday.
I haven’t read a short story collection in ages, so I figured I’d pick up Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell. This is a book I bought at the author’s launch party . . . in 2015. I went in with high expectations thanks to my love of Campbell’s novel, Once Upon a River. Oh, and if you’re feeling quite pissed about Texas and abortion, please do pick up Once Upon a River as soon as possible. Review Thursday.
BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE
Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 209