Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Death, Silk and Dust*

It's an hour before my first lecture and I've been in my office since dawn doing the "things" I do in the morning (write lectures, answer emails, youtube videos).

My door is open for once, so I look up when she walks towards my door.

At first I think its one of my students (what? coming to my office before an exam? really??!)  but it's one of our awesome departmental work study students.

I was a work study student in the History Dept at Loyola when I was an undergrad, so I take mentoring work study students seriously.

"I hear you might be mentally unstable today...." she says as she stops in my doorway, smiling face framed by heavy bangs and long hair.

I know exactly what she's talking about.

 Earlier this morning as I walked by a huge round planter that I walk by ten times a day and  stopped to feel some of the leaves of what I thought was a towering bamboo plant.

It was fake.

 It was a fake silk plant, pretending to be bamboo.

Then I felt more leaves and there was definitely a dead bamboo plant in the planter, brown and dried.

On the bottom of the planter, dusty silk plants in purples and greens spilled over.

Mortified,  I told the people who NEED to know (and they KNOW who they are) that there is a dead dead plant and a fake plant coexisting in the hallway and everyone is walking by it like it's just FINE to walk by death.

And they laughed.

So I laughed and went back to my office.

That's when she showed up and asked about my mental stability.

"Oh I'm stable, alright. My plants are ALIVE. And I have my new shoes on....don't worry about me! " (I lifted my leg up way above my head so she could appreciate the glory of these black clogs...)

"I guess you're doing fine then," she said before she left.

And that's how my day is going -- the usual mix of laughter, history, death, silk and dust*