Monday, September 18, 2006

NETWORKING IN THE HOT TUB

“Your eyes become like petrie dishes.” PP is still contemplating this weird remark as she climbs into the hot tub, freezing, tired and spaced out. How can eyes become pietry dishes? How the hell do you even spell pettry? Granted the woman who’d made the comment while getting dressed in the locker room was chatting about not wearing contacts anymore. But peetree dishes? (PP likes this spelling the best!) Does this mean that the contacts trap all sorts of live little amoeba and bacteria on your eyeball?

Disgusting!

And so, this is what is going thro her brain when the head of Mills College English Dept pops into the Hot Tub. Gives her a hearty smile. Asks how she is.

“You teaching this fall?” Head of Dept asks.

“Yeah….” PP is trying to form some response in her morning post swim haze surrounded by peetree dishes. Opts for a question instead. “How about you?”

”No, I’m on Sabbatical”

PP tries not to sigh and glare too loudly. Can you glare loudly? PP can so she'd better be careful. But a sabbatical? How luxurious! What she could do with a sabbatical! Finish her Trollope Novel. Get it published. Write lots more PP blogs. Watch a ton more bad TV. (Would that count? Sure she could do a ‘Paper” on Soap Opera in Contemporary American Culture as seen thro the eyes of the Victorian Mastermind of the Soap, Anthony Trollope.) It’d be a cutting edge, avant-garde sorta sabbatical. PP often wished she’d chosen that academic path. Now it’s too late. Or she’s just too busy. Going to the pool!

Nodding, PP forces a hopefully ungreen grin. “Are you writing a book?”
she asks Head of Dept.

“Not a book, but an Article.”

“Ummm…..” PP nods again. She gets a whole year off to write an Article? Hell she’d like that gig! “What’s it about?” PP asks.

“George Eliot and the New Testament.”

PP wants to blurt out, “HUH?” but decides against it. Not a smart political move on her part! And as you’ll see, dear readers, politics does come into play here. So it’s a good thing she refrained!

“But it’s turning into what might be a book,” H of Dept continues. “I have so much material.”

PP smiles, I bet, she thinks to herself. “Well, a book would be cool, wouldn’t it?” PP offers.

“Oh yes! A Book out of it would be wonderful! But it is a lot of work. I see my students around campus, I work here on campus cuz it’s the only office I have, and I tell them about my work and then they stare at me glassy-eyed from taking 4 classes, and I think this isn’t a good system! To be taking 4 classes all at once. How do they do it? It gives you a real appreciation for what they do.”

PP nods, “Yeah, I often am amazed by what students can do. I’m teaching a class to international grad students, mostly from Asia, and many of them have been here only a week or two and they’re taking classes, and learning a new language and culture, and somehow getting around San Francisco. It’s amazing!”

Head of Dept nods, the wheels are turning, PP can see this, even thro her chlorine eyes. “What do you teach them? Do they bring in their own writing?”

PP chuckles. “Oh, no! I give them assignments and we go from there! But it’s a difficult bunch sometimes since they are grad students and do have degrees from their home universities, but then they come here and their English is pretty rudimentary….”

”Yes, it can be a challenge.” Head of Dept agrees. “We were thinking about offering
such a course here at Mills, but I’m not sure what happened with it.”

”Really?” PP tries not salivate, tho guesses you wouldn’t be able to see drool in the Hot Tub. “I’d love to teach this course for Mills!”

Head of D nods, “Cool, why don’t you send a resume to the director of ESL, K. S.”

”RS’S daughter?” PP wishes her mom were in academia so she could get cool jobs. On second thought, maybe not.

“Yes, tell her C S suggested you contact her.”

“Wonderful…. Thanks!” PP nods and bobbles her head in wondrous subservient job applicant mode.

“Tell me your name again?”
PP does.
“Great. And just think, if you taught here, then you could go swimming!”
”Yeah!” PP nods, thinking how she swims here already, but maybe it’d be free or she’d get a special faculty card. She loves faculty cards!

PP watches as CS steps outta the hot tub, her square swimmers body dripping in her black suit. How the hell did she get a gig here at Mills with a sabbatical and all?Not that body shape should be the criteria for full time teaching jobs with sabbaticals at snazy private colleges. If that were true....PP glances down at her slender pale thighs and sexy curvy waist. Well, PP would have LOTS of jobs!

Knowing this, PP often wonders what sets her apart. Why she’s not more ‘successful’ in her stupid career?
Oh, maybe cuz she thinks it’s stupid?

Grinning, PP is glad she doesn’t have to go read the New Testament and George Eliot, but gets to go home and write anything she wants instead.

There are some perks to being a near do well bohemian, she thinks. And she might even get a job from it!

Smiling to herself, PP heads into the locker room and spies her stuff piled up next to Amazon Thong Woman.

Yup, things are definitely looking up, she thinks as she has to bend close around ATW to grab her shower stuff, trying not to hard to not stare at her ass …

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