Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A New Semester and My Call of Duty

Tomorrow, I start another semester at the university, teaching and molding young minds into great leaders of tomorrow. (It sounded nice. Leave me alone.) My teaching gig, albeit a $5/hour, tedious and mostly thankless job, is my absolute favorite job of all the jobs I've ever had to date. My students are both varied and interesting, and out of approximately 10 to 25 students (give or take) in a semester, I feel as though I actually reach 2 or 3 in the 16 weeks I have to try to teach them something useful. To me, these are great odds, and they make the crappy pay worthwhile.

I've referred to my writing classes as "teaching English as a second language" and "keeping monkeys from throwing their own poo at innocent bystanders." These are both appropriate analogies and explain pretty much what I do while trying to impart wisdom about active and passive voice and the difference between their, they're, and there. Writing is a lost art these days, it seems. I witness the constant slaughtering of the English language on a daily basis, and I'm just doing my duty to keep the dream of good grammar and the transition sentence alive and well.

At the same time, I teach what is now referred to as the Millenial. This is the kid who's raised by what sociologists now call "Helicopter Parents." These are the kids who can't take a crap without Mommy and Daddy orchestrating it. They're the entitled generation; the kids with the iPods implanted permanently in their heads and the attitude that hard work is for suckers. I truly believe that teaching this generation has taught me more patience than any other thing I've endured in life. And, I also believe that I may actually get into heaven one day as a direct result of not killing at least one a semester with a ballpoint pen.

Speaking of duties, today was spent putting out fires with my own spit. I was greeted in the morning by a pseudo-boss person who felt the need to scream at me, in front of everyone outside my office. That was lovely. Then, I was bombarded with client madness as if the whole world's gone mental and I'm the one who's taken away the meds. Everyone's just pissed OFF today, and I was apparently the perfect target. All. Day. Long.

So, I did what any normal, 37-year old woman would do. I came home after my obligatory 10 hours on the job, finally got home, changed into my comfortable black sweats and lounging leopard socks, ate some Lucky Charms for dinner, and then I sat my butt on the couch in front of the big screen TV to try to forget about my day. My stepson sat down with me, and before I knew it, he was teaching me to play Call of Duty. After a day of piss and vinegar, I shot Nazi zombies with a double-barreled shotgun in my living room, and I must say, it was KICK ASS. Even though my stepson had to intervene every so often to make sure I didn't get my head eaten by a rabid zombie, I started to hold my own, reload and everything, and shoot the crazed Nazis like it was my JOB. I'm not bad, people. Practice will make me a force to be reckoned with, I'm afraid to say.

My stepson agreed to leave the game with me this weekend so I could hone my Nazi-zombie-killing skills. I have taken on the challenge of learning what I can, as my stepson has given me a gift - much like the gift of wisdom I impart on those college students in my classes.

Now if I could only figure out how to upload my boss-person's head on the zombies. I would be a pro by Sunday. Seriously....where has this game been all my life?