2013: The Year in Review

I’ve started this blog three freakin’ times now.

Here I am, a creative, intelligent woman, and I am STUMPED by a task as simple as: write a recap of THIS YEAR.

I mean, I was there, wasn’t I?

Except for those times I was sleeping.

And grading papers.

And for about an hour during the afternoon of December 20th…

So, yeah. What the HELL, Man. Why can’t I write about this?

I’m thinking that maybe I’m trying too hard to be deep. To wax poetic about a year during which I did very little.

Okay, sure – I went to work every day, I taught folks how to write and stuff. In my down time, I read a few books, saw a couple of movies, took a trip or two.

But what really happened?

What singular event, or series of events blew my logs back and pleated my granny pantries?

Well, now I guess that’s the problem – that I’m too busy looking for the heart -stopping, technicolored shit.  Some Lord of the Rings sized awe and wonder, layered in prosthetic makeup.

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[Spoiler Alert] The Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale, Or: How a Television Show Ripped Out My Heart and Ate It With Fava Beans and a Nice Chianti.

R.I.P. Herschel. (sniff)

Y’all.

I just…

I…

*takes off glasses, rubs bridge of nose*

Listen. I’m not usually this emotional about television. Books? Yes. Actually, I took to the bed after a few of them.

(Have you read Little Bee? Sweet teenaged Jesus…)

But television?

Nawl.

In fact, I have been known to throw shade at folks who argued about Scandal. Still do, in fact. Because, come on.

A SISTER? Sleeping with the married President? With bunker clearance and all that?

Totally implausible.

But, a virus that kills off 95% of the world’s population and causes its victims to reanimate into mindless cannibals?

That could actually happen.

Okay, so maybe in this one, tiny way, I am a hypocrite.

But the writers of The Walking Dead made me that way.

I should have known that last night’s mid-season finale…

Pause.

First of all, what the Hell, man? You’re just gonna interrupt right in the middle of the season? Just to screw with our minds?

I hate y’all. Seriously.

But I digress.

I should have known that last night’s mid-season finale was gonna be a heart-stopper. I mean, it’s their M.O., over there in that sadists’ lounge they lovingly refer to as a “writers’ room”. Start the season off slowly, showing everybody all happy and calm and shit. Maybe throw in a few easy-to-kill walkers just to remind you about the fuckery surrounding them, but give you a glimmer of hope for the future.

And then, they cue the zombie extras and kill off a main character.

Or two.

Or ten.

It’s George R. R. Martinism at its best [See: Game of Thrones].

Don’t get me wrong. I was glad to see them go, for the most part. Sure, I was a little sad when Dale was killed (he was really the only one who still tried to hold on to a shred of his humanity), but the rest of them?

Like, Lori?

Man, I couldn’t wait for them to get rid of her. I was so glad, that when they tried to bring her ghost back (remember that phone call?) I screamed at the television for 20 minutes.

Then, there was T-Dawg. With his useless self.

Basically, anyone who asks people to call him T-Dawg kinda deserves to be zombie food. It was for the greater good, right? I mean, let’s keep it real – what would T-Dawg have been doing if there was no apocalypse?

That’s right – not a cottdamb thing.

So, his martyrdom was the crescendo of his life. So, no sadness there. It’s beautiful, man.

But, then… last night’s episode.

I mean, there are some unspoken rules here that need to be revisted.

Like, number one, you don’t kill the kind, gentle, old white guy who looks like Santa Claus.

Number two, you don’t kill the kind, gentle, old white guy who looks like Santa Claus and only has one leg.

And finally, if he must die (because we realize that in this world, shit happens), it shouldn’t be like that.

What. In the ENTIRE. HELL. MAN.

You just gonna disrespect that dude like that? After getting us all attached to him? After making him survive his leg amputation like a G? After he held that whole prison zombie-outbreak by himself, with his one good leg and the Word of God? Halleloo?

You just gonna have Duh Gubnah decapitate him, with Michonne’s sword?

And show us the blurred image of his detached head?

Unforgivable.

“But wait,” I can hear y’all say, “we also killed Duh Gubnah”.

You. Were. Supposed. To. Kill. Him. That’s the rule!

Someone like Herschel is supposed to die in bed, with his kids around him, after saying some hip, cool shit like, “Don’t let the dead guys get you down,” or, “You’re the future of this crazy world, don’t fuck it up.”

Or something.

And what’s worse? What really set my gears to grinding?

Robert Kirkman. Y’all know him? He’s the creator of the comic books.

You know what he said on “Talking Dead” last night?

“I have a theory – that the more beloved a character, the more brutal his/her death has to be.”

That’s some cold shit, man.

(hey, what about Baby Judith, says the voice in my head).

I don’t know her. *in Miss Millie voice*

What was she in, like 1.5 episodes? Playing with her own toes?

*sigh*

Herschel, man.

I fucking trusted you, man.

And you blew it.

I’ll never trust another writer again.

*sigh*

(see you in February)

That Awkward Moment When …

… you find out that your enemy is dead.

And your feelings are, well, conflicted.

She was my most memorable boss,but not because she was my favorite.

In fact, she tormented me. For MONTHS.

Y’all.

Seriously.

She did just about everything an employer shouldn’t do.

Oh, the list runs the gambit – from talking to me like I was stupid, to laughing at my questions, and even screaming at me when I stopped into her office to discuss a matter with her.

I’m telling you, she made my life Hell for over a year. Under her shitty tutelage, I learner absolutely nothing about classroom management, course structure, or lesson plan design.

And the only thing I developed while working with her was a drinking habit and a list of “Other Things I’d Rather Be Doing Than This”, which I kept on my flash drive.

I came across the list a few weeks before finding out about her death. It included such tasks as:

1) Peeling and eating my own skin.

2) Wearing a spider shirt.

3) Watching “Staying Alive “, starring John Travolta, on constant loop.

4) Cleaning the only toilet in a 2nd rate Indian restaurant.

5) Macy Gray’s vocal coach.

Yeah. She made me miserable .

It was so bad, I almost quit the entire profession. I thought, if this is how it’s gonna be, then…

NAWL.

Instead of mentoring me as a brand new educator, she did everything in her power to discourage and downright humiliate me.

And dammed if she wasn’t almost successful.

Almost.

I stayed, and put on my big girl pantries. I told myself, over and over, that I was an outstanding educator.

Until it became an undisputed fact.

Meanwhile …

I’d like to say that over time, the two of us got to know each other and became friends. That I learned that she was merely a wounded soul, who used her baleful managerial tactics to protect a vulnerable blah, blah and ting…

But sadly, that was not the case. Instead, we managed to stay out of each other’s way until I found another job elsewhere.

Then, years passed.

Eventually, I thought about her less and less.

Except …

Every time I observed someone’s class.

And every time someone came to my office with a question.

And whenever I hired someone with the right credentials, but no classroom experience.

I would remember how terrifying that first semester was, and how her behavior towards me made it even more awful.

Well, imagine my surprise when I heard that she had died.

Because I realized then that as much as I hated to admit it, that woman shaped me into the educator I am today. Because of her, I was careful to always be compassionate with brand new instructors, to remember what it felt like to be “green “.

I realized that she was ever present in my teaching and coaching philosophy.

I realized that because of that one horrific year with her, I can handle just about anyone .

I don’t know how or why she died.

But after all these years, I do hope she didn’t suffer. I hope she is at peace.

And that she knows that I hold no grudges.

And she sees that I did learn from her after all.