Friday, November 11, 2005

The Bearded Man, the Midterm of Doom, and the relief of three sleep-in days ahead of me

The other day there was an older guy on the bus. He had a bushy beard, bright orange rain pants and a yellow rain jacket. As usual for 9:15 on a Wednesday morning, people had to pack onto the buses. I manage to get on and am working my way down the aisle when the guy tells people to move back to allow more people to board the bus. I appreciate it 'cause it causes a bit of shifting, and I manage to press myself on one side of the aisle. Of course, a small handful of people are left at the bus stop to wait for the next bus that'll be along in, maybe, five minutes. Before the bus even pulls away, the bearded guy says, "Because you people in the back refused to squeeze together, people have been left behind."

He says it like there's a disaster headed our way, that this is the last bus out of town, and the people left at the bus stop are about to die horrible and agonizing deaths due to our selfishness. I'm amazed I only heard one muffled snicker. He sounded so serious and indignant. I hadn't heard anything so frivolous stated so arrogantly since Ari's pizza stick speech back at BCA. ("In Alaska scarcity was a joke. Eight- I daresay eight- pizza sticks?! Uncalled for, unnecessary, and totally out of agreement.")

Anyway. I'm so happy that there are no classes tomorrow. I just got my second Soc 15 midterm assignment today, and let me tell you: it ain't pretty. I'm daunted. Five essay questions and a total of six pages.

Question #2: "The assigned readings and lectures describe the transition from a nationally bounded, state-centered development strategy, institutionalized after World War II, guided by Keynesian economic and social policy, to a period of neo-liberal regulation originating in the seventies. First, drawing upon your close reading of the assigned books and the articles in the reader, briefly summarize first the basic principles of Keynesian theory and how they differed from those of Adam Smith and the Classical Liberals. Second, explain the most important reason why the Keynesian-managed welfare state experienced a crisis which eventually brought about a return to Liberalism or neo-liberalism."

That one question alone takes up about a fifth of the assignment sheet; how am I supposed to limit my response to only one page??? Nevermind the strenuous act of wading through the wordiness and commas....

I can only say "Thank God I have until Thursday."

At least my cold is better. I finally got a good amount of rest yesterday and last night (until this morning when I was woken up on my one weekday sleep-in day at 9:30 by a phone call).

My housemate is gone for the weekend. I can leave my text- and notebooks on the table and my dirty dishes in the sink overnight guilt-free. It was too inconvenient for me to clean up after my solo midnight-frozen-pizza-and-study-party.

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