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2006-12-15 - 9:40 a.m.

Just got an email from a student who pleaded for an A in the class. If she doesn't get the A, she says her cumulative GPA will put her into double-nasty academic straits and she'll have to drop out. I feel for her and she came to class and tried answers when I asked questions, but the facts are the facts: she deserves a low B, and that's because of raising of the hand and the showing up every week. Her papers got better as the class went on, but she in no way deserves an A. I'm making my coldheartedness better by telling myself that she's probably trying this same thing with all of her classes. I'm kind of a soft grader, so maybe she thought she had a chance with me. I give them all kinds of time to hand stuff in and do revisions. Partly because I know how bad I am at grading in a timely manner. In other news, I had a sophomore girl call me "an amazing teacher." She sent me this compliment in an email to which a paper was attached. The subject line was, "Can u tell me what u think?"

Sending out emails and letters to agents. Here's what one agent said after I sent him the whole manuscript:
"Thanks for the quick turnaround. You can certainly write. I'm afraid however, that I just didn't feel drawn into what seemed to be your story. It's funny and compelling, but it seemed somewhat 'aimed.'"

A friend at work--a new guy who started here two months ago--gave me a mix CD of Christmas music. It's indie-approved (Aimee Mann, the PC guy from the Mac vs. PC ads on TV, some kind of James Brown song I've never heard before but like) and he went to a lot of trouble to make a label for the actual CD. He's a funny guy. He's tall and really in shape, or "fit" as the soccer announcers always said of World Cup players last summer. But every time I make some kind of sports reference, his eyes glaze over. We ate tacos for lunch yesterday and I asked him if he was a theater kid in high school, and he said yes, and he asked me if I got laid in high school, and I said no. He didn't, either.

Jesus, what would art be without boys and girls getting all hot for each other? Mountains? Flowers? Dark canvases with sad, faint eyes peeking through?

I'm looking forward to buying new basketball shoes. I haven't done this in maybe ten years. Maybe never. I have a pair of proper basketball shoes, but they belonged to my older brother and he gave them to me because they were really small for him. They're a little small for me, true, but mainly they're stupid looking. The laces run up the side. Some shoe designer, from seven years ago, thought laces up the side would look really good. And there's velcro involved.

Secret santa or jingle presents or something in my office today. I'm, you know, not going to participate.

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