I Wish I Could Go Back To College (Blogisode Eighteen)

I Wish I Could Go Back To College (Blogisode Eighteen)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!  I can tell you right now there will probably only be Halloween pictures tomorrow because I will be Trick-or-treating with my kids all night and will not want to sit down and write after a long day of denying myself candy.  But I will give you some pictures! Now for TODAY!  I'm happy to be writing again, I feel recharged and ready to go.  We've had a big weekend; let's get right to it.  Did you hear it snowed?  Um.  Ridiculous.  I can't even discuss it.  Suffice it to say that I spent the better part of an hour looking up teaching jobs in California and real estate.  Some people drink hot chocolate when the first snow falls, I look to warmer climates that have had a housing collapse.  It's an annual ritual.

1)  Update on Beaz and the hitting.  I am thrilled to report she's been picture perfect and will often "remove bugs" upon request.  She pats them away, which is a big improvement.  Naturally the bug removal has caught on and now we all remove bugs regularly (we're like a family of chimps).  Sometimes she'll say, "Remember when I hit you?  Remember?  You were so sad?"  We'll see how things progress, but it does seem like it made an impression.  Lisa Zeitz and family watched her for many hours over the weekend and the report was, "She was perfect!"  Okay, so Lisa was making cupcakes and basically giving her whatever she wanted, but a good report is always welcome!

2)  We are in the middle of high school selection/testing/interviews for Charlotte.  This was a big high school weekend, we toured The Ursuline School in New Rochelle (I went to Ursuline Academy in Cincinnati) and Charlotte took the SHSAT(click on it to learn more) after studying for it for months.  Whew.  Glad that's over.  According to Rob (who has been prepping her for the test, she came out and said,  "I didn't know how to get the surface area of a sphere before, but I figured it out!"  Right, yeah, well duh, Charlotte, ANYONE can figure that out.  (And...a sphere is like a long circle?  Surface area is...uh...what you can see?  Seriously guessing.  No ideas.  Brainiac child.)  Rob said he couldn't get 100 o this test on his best day, so there you go.  I have hives just thinking about it. The test was at 8am and they were up at 6, so I put her to bed when she got home.

And that's enough of the Daily Dose portion for today.  I've been writing waaaaaay too much of the home life stuff and barely made a dent in this story, so let's get the lead out, okay?  Number two pencil anyone?  (Get it?  Get the lead out?  Pencil?  Crickets.  Never mind.)

So I was in a full out Albert Brooks Broadcast News flop sweat waiting to read my paper in front of not really very many people.  Like, probably a dozen.  But I think what I was so nervous about was the small crowd of uber academics that had magically appeared to listen to me.  The biggies, like, the head of the Fellows Society and some other fancy people.  They were going to ask questions.  I was going to go down like a house of cards.

I wanted to be home on my couch in my P.J.'s eating a PB&J watching football.

Fraud.  Fake good student.That's the kind of pep talk I gave myself.  Empowering, right?

So here's what happened.

It was okay.  I wasn't great, I wasn't exciting, I read the paper, I mispronounced one thing because I was nervous.  I was thinking, This is boring, you are being so boring, jazz it up! Don't just read off a paper!  But ultimately I did read off a paper...because it was an academic conference and not a musical.  Right?  It woulda been kinda awkward if I'd suddenly started doing the Charleston.  Fun, yes.  But odd.

So I read the 5 pages.  Then, I answered questions that were blessedly easy because guess what people wanted to know about?  The theater stuff and the part about the playwriting.  Right?  They didn't want to ask me what year the Social Security Act passed.  They wanted to know if there had ever been a revival.  They wanted to know what if there was anything on Broadway that was political theater. I could answer these questions.  Praise to everything sacred, I made it.  I was the last to go in my group and we were told to come down to the main room for the awards ceremony.

The WHAT?  Me not know of no awards ceremony.

I had to get home to the kids.  I packed my bag, ran down to the room because they'd used the magic words "refreshments served" and sat with Dr. Blumberg for a little bit while having some coffee and fruit.  And by fruit I mean a plate full of of thumb sized brownies with one strawberry for show.  I had on my coat (the better to hide my jeans skirt with, my dear) and was ready to bolt out the door.  But then the weirdest thing happened.

I liked the people at my table.

I am not naturally outgoing in a crowd of new people.  No, I'm really not.  Rob, on the other hand, the "quiet one" of the two of us, can work a crowd like a champ.  It's amazing.  I sit in the corner and feel weird and then check anything I can think of on my iPhone.

But the people at the conference were really interesting (especially the students), and I got into a big conversation about unemployment and the value of a degree and finding a job in this economy and all of that sort of thing.  I got to talk to Dr. Blumberg for an extended time and learned things about her, like, she has two kids and they are really far apart in age.  She went back to school when they were young.  She got her Masters and Doctorate later in life.  We are twins separated at birth.  I like her so much, have I said that?  She's very cool.

Just as I was getting up to slide out the door, the awards ceremony started and everyone lined up and blocked the exits.  This was certainly a fire hazard, but more importantly, it was blocking my escape route.  My Fantasy Football quarterback was playing.  I needed to get home.

The awards, it turns out, were financial awards and there were  five of them.  In all there were maybe 50 participants?  Not sure.  Anyhoo, I was stuck there, so I sent a text to Rob that I was going to be late, filled my coffee and listened to the speeches about the Society's history (many speeches) and eventually we got around to the awards, which meant almost time to go home.

And you'll never believe this but....