Of Zur-En-Arhh

What’s your job like? Are you busy all day? Are there down times when you can browse the web or read a book? Do people need you constantly or is it hit or miss? Mine is definitely up and down as the semester comes and goes, waxes and wanes. Beginning in August, the Fall semester is usually crazy for at least a month as students get accustomed to FSU and college life. Since I work in the English department and *most* freshmen have to take at least one of our basic courses, I see a lot of students. And a lot of issues arise. I am slammed, usually unable to even take lunch in those first two weeks of the semester. By about late September/ early October, it’s leveled off and I can relax a little. Though things come up all day like canceled classes and sundry other tasks that are part of my job. My position is sort of a catch-all.

Spring semester is more chill but no less full of tasks, especially since I am on a few committees and we have meetings and projects. Now, as the semester ends, I am heading into the Big Lull called Summer B Session. We only offer 3 English courses (as opposed to something like 150-200). I have a few small things to do, like email the 40-50 incoming grad students about completing their employment paperwork and getting books sent off to them. But for the most part, it is very quiet in my office. A little too quiet. I admit, I go a wee bit crazy during this time. Once I reach the end of the internet and get sick of whatever books I have gotten from the library (in the summer of ’07, I read 6 James Bond novels in about two weeks) I start to lose my mind.

In the recent Batman series, R.I.P, we learn that when children have to go through a traumatic time, they sometimes create an alternate self or reality to make sense of their current situation. In Batman’s case – and it’s far more complicated then what I am about to say – but he created the Batman of Zur-en-Arhh, which helped him deal with the death of his parents. He reverts to this when poisoned by the Black Glove and it almost functions like a backup operating system on a computer. Now, I am not comparing my extreme boredom to something as horrifying as becoming an orphan. What I am trying to connect is the state of mind I prepare myself for when this very slow period of the summer comes around. Nine hours in an office with little to do might be one person’s dream job but for me, I seriously think I lose a little sanity.

Things I could do during this time:

  • Write the Great American Novel 🙂
  • Organize
  • Apply for online jobs
  • Work an online job
  • Read

And yet, I do these only sparingly and allow my brain to rot and fall into this void-like place. I usually leave in the afternoon feeling numb, eyes glassy and extremely exhausted. But don’t get me wrong: I do love my job for the most part. In fact, there are so many pluses to this position it’s not even funny. They offer great benefits, I can pretty much up and leave when I need to (like for a sick kiddo) and I like the people in the department (for the most part.) It’s also very comfortable. I get an office with a window and web browsing isn’t limited. Right now, I am listening to music and it’s not bothering anyone. Really, if I got paid more, this would be a dream job. And the summer thing could be the one big downfall.

But I plan on hitting up the library when the students have finally filtered out to their respective homes and jobs and vacations and look into all the suggestions you guys sent me (all four of you!). I am thinking about starting a new, different blog soon and focus on something specific. It might give me something to do that is on a polar opposite. Change things up a little. If I do, I’ll let you know.

Happy Friday you guys.

2 thoughts on “Of Zur-En-Arhh

  1. Finally got to my much neglected Reader, and I get this. Which reminded me . . . I still need to send you your book. I had forgotten, and I’m so sorry.

    So, hang in there. Summer reading is on the way . . .

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