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Friday Afternoon Confessional: Transitional Period

I confess that I’m about teaching workshopped out, but I can make it through another day. I confess that this past week has been difficult to me, given my challenging move, the very time-consuming workshop, and the need to meet other obligations the last few evenings. I feel like I haven’t had any significant time to myself for a long time.

I confess that I’m glad I’m going to be able to go back to Chicago to see The Girlfriend this weekend. I confess that I’m not glad that I have to begin applying for jobs again before my current one has even really begun. I confess that I’m beginning to worry that the Kalamazoo post office just doesn’t deliver Netflix. I confess that when I visited HR this week to set up my direct deposit, the worker seemed to think I was a student, which is worrisome.

I confess that I hope the weather cools off quickly after classes begin, because I have significantly fewer “nice” outfits with short sleeves than long sleeves. I confess that I am really happy with the new desk I got to replace the one that broke in the attempt to get it into this apartment.

I confess that distances where walking seemed routine and unremarkable in Chicago seem much further in Kalamazoo, perhaps because no one else is out walking. I confess that I miss Chicago’s rigorous grid system, though Kalamazoo’s quasi-boulevard layout is pretty interesting.


September 11, 2009 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional


  1. It is a strange thing that the seeming distance of a walk is directly related to the number of people observed walking… something I’ve noticed since leaving the city. I’m sure there’s a formula for it somewhere.

    Comment by Chris Marlin-Warfield | September 11, 2009

  2. i confess that a tendon hurts in the back of my knee, which is a very unlikely place to strain it in any possible way
    combined with bronchoobstructive dry cough lasting about a month i think it’s like some kind of strange collagenosis

    Comment by read | September 11, 2009

  3. I’ve experienced the exact same thing regarding walking in going between my more suburban middle-American hometown and the Bay Area. I routinely walk distances greater than a mile here, and there a quarter mile (even parking somewhere not directly adjacent to my destination) seems extreme.

    Comment by Hill | September 11, 2009

  4. I confess I liked beating up Chad.

    Comment by burritoboy | September 11, 2009

  5. I confess that my first class this semester was extremely successful. I confess that since switching to Google Reader, I spend less time reading blogs; this is a good thing.

    Because Adam neglected once again to have a TV post (possibly on account of his move), I should like to make the following observations:

    * Not showing an episode of a show because it is Labour Day weekend is a load of shit. I speak, obviously, of the season finale of “True Blood.” I eagerly anticipate Maryanne’s death. Also, Eric’s suit was really good in the previous episode and the Queen of Louisiana is hilarious.
    * I am glad, albeit through lame deus ex machina, that Sam no longer has demon in him. “Supernatural” has an unfortunate tendency towards super-weapons that makes stuff really dumb; e.g., the Colt with neverending bullets, Sam’s ability to kill demons outright. I am also glad that Castiel has been promoted to star rather than guest start. New bad-ass Castiel is awesome. I look forward to the episode when Dean has no option but to accept being Michael’s vessel — I don’t think Jensen Ackles is able to play anyone other than Jensen Ackles/Dean; his attempt to be the Archangel Michael is just going to be funny. Dean also had some great lines, calling Zachariah an “asshat” and a “double-faced douche.” The guy who is Lucifer’s vessel looks like a pussy: not the righteous and beastly monster that Lucifer should be. The continued malleability between the world of the audience’s fan culture and the show was also well done, with a slash writer being used to send a message from Chuck the prophet to Sam and Dean.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | September 11, 2009

  6. I confess to having walked past a dumpster which said on the side (in official dumpster company lettering, below their name) “ENJOY LIFE”.

    Comment by hugh | September 11, 2009

  7. I confess that Chris is absolutely right about the perceived distance and even difficulty of a walk. Distances that in Irvine (shudder) I wouldn’t think of walking, I’ll gladly grind under my booted heel in a city.

    I confess that yesterday I did no schoolwork. I confess that instead I cleaned my room, somewhat halfassedly, and somewhat halfassedly put my copious correspondence into something like chronological and sorted-by-sender order. I confess that the latter task allowed my to indulge in some unhealthy nostalgia, as some of the correspondence stretches back over four years.

    I confess that I’m digging The Phenomenology of Perception.

    I confess that I was recently shocked to discover that the quarter begins in ten days. I confess that I am supposed to teach a TA training class. I confess that I think the department secretary is disappointed in me because I have a two-year-old incomplete which means I’ll have to take some ungodly number of units to reach whatever status I’m supposed to reach RSN. I confess that the department secretary has a Ph.D..

    Comment by ben | September 11, 2009

  8. That’s a great observation about perceived walking distances. Last fall, I lived in Oxford and had a twenty or twenty-five minute commute basically every day to the middle of town. This year, I’m back “on” campus, and I live in a house that is maybe two blocks at most from campus, and since I’m not in a dorm on top of everything, it feels like a terribly long walk.

    Comment by dave | September 11, 2009

  9. I really think that going without a car in Kalamazoo is doable, even without relying on other people to drive me around. Everyone I talk to is incredulous, but I don’t trust their judgment, because they live in Kalamazoo and have absorbed the general attitudes. But that means that I have no trustworthy source of information other than my own experience, and I’m not sure I’m stubborn enough to go without a car just to prove a point. But maybe I am!!!

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | September 11, 2009

  10. i can drive, but don’t drive b/c have fear to hit someone accidentally coz i saw once a dead man hit by a car when i was 5-6 yo now i recall, so got traumatized i suppose by that
    else, i was told that my spatio-temporal or how it is called, movement coordination abilities are like 20 or more times weaker than that of the average people b/c of the non-paralytic strabismus, couldn’t see how a butterfly on the special test sheet moves her wings folding them and spreading, if it’s normal (the vision) should have seen that and try to catch her wings when she folds them, but her wings were just spread and not moving for me
    so i’m confined to the bus rides my whole life :( and it would take like great mental efforts to start to drive

    Comment by read | September 11, 2009

  11. I’ll admit I’m a bit skeptical of being able to make it in kalamazoo without a car. Western’s campus is about the same size as Michigan State’s (i.e., unspeakably massive), but it’s got these huge superhighway/boulevard-things running right through campus–always seemed far less walkable than MSU’s neatly square-shaped university-as-park layout. Still, if you’re reasonably near a grocery store then you’re probably ok.

    You’ve got some seriously long walks back from the bar ahead of you, though. And it SNOWS there, man–hardcore lake-effect 3 inches-an-hour stuff. Bring snowshoes.

    Comment by Michael Schaefer | September 14, 2009

  12. I went to school in Houghton and lived in Hancock, and it was without a car. I certainly wished I had a car when I was crossing the Keweenaw River and the wind chill was -20 or worse, but these things can be done.

    Oh, and it was, of course, uphill. And there were coyotes at night.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | September 14, 2009

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