From GOD

(From July 2007)

On Saturday morning I packed the kids into the car for errands.

By noon we were back home, Zoe watching TV in her room, Zack positioned at the breakfast bar to watch me cook.

Can I have a spoonful of icing?

Icing? No.
I save that for bribing you or rewarding you for being sooooo brilliant.
How about some muffins?

No. Yuck. Those are Zoe's.

Fine. How about some grapes. They're healthy.

How are they healthy?

I get some from the refrigerator, buying time for a great answer.

Grapes grow from the ground. They're natural. I deposit a plate of grapes in front of them.


Yes. Grapes come from God.

He holds on up. GOD is in this grape?


Zack pretends to hug the grape, then eats it.

Is God everywhere?


Is God in your boobies?

I laugh and look down to admire them, then turn to the cabinet.

Would you like chocolate or vanilla icing?

Donald Duck' Awkward VD Poster

WW2 VD Posters

Please. Stop. Staring.

I’m feeling much better and almost up to my usual breakneck speed.

I leave my office (and the line of invisible students who never seem to come to office hours) to check the faculty room for donuts and/or interesting people to talk to.

Before I can enter the room I see something that stops me in my tracks.

I spin on my shiny black patent heels that have cute rosebuds over the peek-a-boo toes and walk into the staff room.

Four women, of a variety of ages from 20 to 45 working by phones and computers look up.

I untie my scarf, then announce, “She’s staring at my crotch. I can’t go in there.”

They all stop. They are silent.

 I repeat myself.

“She’s staring at my crotch. Inappropriately. I can’t go in there.

Because no one gets up to help, I pull Charlotte up to see.

There, on the door, I tell her, pointing to the culprit  -- an important flyer posted at crotch level  that included a cool glamour-shot photo of the presenter. 

Charlotte scowls for a minute then – in her magical way --- agrees with me while denying me …“Look at her gaze, clearly she’s staring at MY crotch…

An artistically gifted work study student takes credit for posting the flyer, and at that the conversation turns to me, pulling my scarf on and off and on and off, retying it, taking it off again. 

Why are you flashing us so much today?” asks a beleaguered worker.

I shake my head. “Not flashing, deciding. Is this scarf too much for WW2? I think it might say Cold War.”

Another beleaguered worker answers, “No, wear it… it breaks things up.

I nod, then agree, repeating her advice.

Yes, yes, break things up for WW2. I’m ready…..” and off I go into professorland, fixing my scarf so it hangs straight down, covering every bit of my cleavage from that inappropriately staring woman in that flyer.

I'm the One They Warned You About

I believe that one small act of chocolate kindness  can make a ridiculously big difference in someone's day, so over my many years of professoring I've developed a ritual of bringing lots and lots of candy for my students on Valentine's Day.

Each year after I pass bowls of candies around my classes there is always a ton of candy left, so I've make it a habit and ritual to walk the halls of my building offering Valentine's Candy to students sprawled on the floor texting, students standing in the halls whispering, and other students generally milling around doing what students do in college hallways between classes.

And each year -- no matter what candy I offer -- students respond the same.

With widened eyes and serious frowns, they say "no."

All of them.


"No, no thank you, no candy, thanks."

I offer again, again and again.

And they always turn away a little and whisper again, again, and again, "No, really, no thanks..."

And as I walk away, I know what they're thinking, whispering and texting "FINALLY! A STRANGER just offered me CANDY!. I know I'm supposed to say NO to strangers offering candy, but no stranger has actually been kind enough to offer my candy, so finally I was tested and I passed the test!!!  Yay! I passed the test!!"

So I take my bowl of candy back to my office, thankful to have played a small (and non-toxic) part in other people's holiday,  and offer myself a small act of chocolate ....and laugh.

Happy Valentines Day*

Monkey Girl

It's a sweltering Sunday morning in August, and I'm helping my friend pack her house into a horse trailer so she can leave Tallahassee, leave me, go far away and be a professor in Palm Beach.

That's OK. She will be happier there.

She hates moving, so I keep things light.

I brought drinks for everyone, and post-it notes so I could stick silly dirty notes into her boxes.

Around noon, her almost-fiance leaves with a friend to pack a bed from his house.

Power Man is an unusually large man whose "day job" is a powerful position.

He is a man who is used to commanding respect and holding people's attention.

He also is bigger than 300 pounds and completely bald... but I can't write that, can I?

No one has appointed him chief engineer of the moving van, but he has assumed that title and power that goes with it.

Each and every (motherf*ing) time his engineering hit a glitch, he called for Monkey Girl to climb over the boxes, through the little air space, over the headboards and move things.

Each time, Monkey Girl did what she was asked. Enthusiastically and proudly.

Monkey Girl is flexible, fits into small spaces, and gets a huge buzz out of winning small missions.

So anyway, off goes Power Man for an hour to get something.

Monkey Girl (a mover) and Ms. Jackson (the moveee) end up in the airconditioning.

Ms. Jackson (who, shhhh, has MS and fibromyalgia) gives me the look.

That look.

The one that says please please forget all the boxes, just use your strong and accurate hands to rub my back.

15 minutes later, Ms. Jackson is facedown on the floor in a pool of drool as I work yoga positions on and with her, stretching, pulling and threatening her muscles.

By the time power man comes back, Ms. Jackson is smiling, no longer in pain, no longer as anxious.

Monkey Girl? I need you to climb under that sideways bookcase, go to the other side of the mattress, stand on the sofa and dislodge that rocking chair leg. Then slip this rug between the two.

Fine. I grab the rug, hustle to my mission, thinking I'm leaving the lovebirds.

He follows.

Minutes later, drenched in sweat, I emerge triumphant.

He mops his face with a towel.

Where did you learn these amazing Monkey Girl moves?

I smile right into his beet red face.

On top of your girlfriend.

I flash him the peace sign, and dash back into the airconditioning.

Soon after that, I left the moving party, went back to mommyland.

But as far as I know, Power Man is still standing there, speechless.

Name This Dictator --

On the PRETEST for Unit #2,  put up a picture of Benito Mussolini and asked them to fill in the blanks:
This is ___________, leader of ___________. 

Ten students (out of 76) correctly identified him by name and associated him with Italy. 
The rest…. Well…..  Here is a sampling:

Jefferson; US
Jerry King, Leader of Hitler’s Army
Fester Adams; ?
Hector; Guam
Mr. Clean; Russia
General Cobbs; Congress
General Cromwell; US Army
Lennon; Russia
General Patton; US Army
Hamler; Russia
Mow; France
Putin; France
Bob; Germany
Serious Man; Leader of Insane Asylum
Hugo; Bulgaria
Gorbachev; Russia
Jean-Paul; ?
Steve Wilkos; Russia
General Baldo; Japan
Sherman; Shermanville
Curly; Soviets