Good Lord Almighty! The roomie showed up. He let himself into the hotel room at friggin’ 12:30 a.m. Okay, not a huge deal. I was still up, working on the new novella. We chat for a bit, he calls his wife and leaves the room to talk, comes back in and, while he’s talking to me, who he just met minutes before, he strips down to his undies. Oh, he did turn on the TV first, tuning in a Steven Seagal movie that he watched until 2 a.m. It gets better. He finally turns off the TV and the light and promptly falls asleep. And snores. Loud! I mean, I sleep through thunderstorms, but I couldn’t sleep with that noise going on for a long time. I did finally doze, only to be awakened less than an hour later by a particularly loud inhalation. I throw a dirty look toward his bed only to discover he’s thrown off the covers and in the faint light of the room he see him laying with his back to me, uncovered, wearing nothing but his panties, snoring happily. After another half hour of this, I get up and dig my CD player and the Planet of the Apes soundtrack from my backpack to tune him out. Now, I often listen to music through headphones to fall asleep, but this time I had to turn it up so loud I was afraid the music would keep me awake. It didn’t. I managed to sleep … until the wake-up call he requested woke me up at about 6:24 a.m. It was some odd time. He slept through the call, me answering it and me slamming the phone back down. A bit later he slept through my cell phone alarm going off, too. He finally woke up as I was shaving, was all flustered that it was 7:35 a.m. and the workshop started at 8, decided to forego his shower, packed his stuff, said it was nice to meet me, and left, saying he may or may not be back.
What the hell?
Whatever. I checked with the desk and they said he checked out. So tonight I’m bolting the door and going to sleep.
The first day of the conference has been interesting, I guess. We took a sample AP test. I scored higher than our instructor on a couple of the sections. That said, there is a bunch of stuff I don’t know. And, honestly, I’m totally confused about just what AP is all about. Are we not supposed to teach the non-AP kids how to write essays or what ethos, logos and pathos are? I was doing that with my classes already. Not as in depth as this, but we covered different kinds of essays and appeals to emotion, logic, etc. Oh well. I’m sure I’ll have a better understanding of it at the end of the week.
The most impressive (depressing?) thing has been hearing the other teachers talk about what they’ll be teaching this fall. “Will you be teaching AP language?” they ask. “Uhh, I won’t know what I’m teaching until the week before school starts,” I answer. “That doesn’t give you much time to do a lesson plan.” Nope. No, it doesn’t.
So, I did the first chapter of the new novella last night. Went pretty well. At the last moment I decided to change the main character from a man to a woman. I saw that having a female in that role would open up a whole vista of back story I could explore. It seems I end up writing from the female perspective quite a bit, which always makes me think of Jack Nicholson in As Good as it Gets. The publisher’s secretary asks him how he writes women so well and Jack responds as only Jack can, “I imagine a man, then I take away reason and accountability.” Ya gotta love Jack.
One of my fellow Western Heights English teachers here at the workshop was shocked to learn today that I am a Republican. “With the ponytail, I never would have guessed,” she said. She’s also a Republican, one of the few in education it would seem. One of our other die-hard liberals is here, too. They’re both good folk, even if one of them is delusional.
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