Wednesday, August 04, 2004

life of buddy don, chaptur 126: day in the life of a graduwait student

fall quarter of 1981, i wuz takin two classes, one on the modern novel, tuthern on elizabethan poetry. i also had me two composishun 101 classes to teach, one that met fer 50 mints ever mundy, windsdy n fridy at 7:50 AM, tuthern fer 50 mints same daze at 12:10 PM. emily had her four histry discushun seckshuns n one class n her masters to finish a'ritin. then thay wuz the group that met ever fridy n fambly visitin n sevrul such other obligayshuns to whar twuz amazin me n emily could keep up with everthang we had to do.

sum folks gits thangs dun by pullin all-niters n such. they git to whar theys so far behind they hardly know whut to do. then they wurk a big long stretch to catch up. i never wuz able to wurk thataway. fer me, twuz always importunt to do a lil bit everday. so twuz the sweep of the day that made thangs possibull fer me, n so tiz to this verr day. i had always had to wurk by habit, but i gut into the habit of gittin up at 4 am everday whenever i wuz in graduwait skool. heres how i wurked a typicull day.

frum mundy thru fridy, i wood always git up at 4. weekends i mite sleep in till 4:30 or 5 on a counta habits is hard to brake fer a day or two. quick as i wood wake up, i'd turn off the alarm befor it rung n woke up emily. i wood give her lil kiss jes below her left ear n tell her i luved her. then i'd git my dirty socks n underwear frum the floor whar i had left em the nite befor n clean socks n underwear frum the drawer n git into the bathroom. thar, everday that i lived, i wood clean out my rite sinus, witch still had a tendency to git plugged up overnite even tho i had that operayshun to fix my deviated septum. i larned the hard way to git it clean everday or else git a sinus infeckshun sooner or later. i wood spit whutever i could git into the toilet n take my shower.

once i wuz clean, i wood git dressed, generly in blue jeans n a flannel shirt n boots. i wood then go into the livin room whar we had our dinin table, reddy fer the daily warfare: i wood turn on the lite n quik as i could, git to killin the roaches i tuck by sprize. on a good morning, i wood git into the duble figgers. corse, i mite fergit they wuz a'gone be thar n not git a one. but i gut to whar i knew which way they wuz a'gone go, climbing the walls or trine to hid under newspaper i had dun lef out on the dinner table, witch twuz easy to kill em thar by jes smashin down on the paper. nex cum the kitchen, whar i wood kill me sum more of em n put on a pot of coffee.

once the coffee wuz made, i wood settle into a chair that daddy give me, witch twuz a favert that i literly wore plumb out over the years. emily had her one that mama give us. once i wuz in that chair, i wood spend the best hours of the day, a'readin literchur n listnin to classicull music turnt down low on the stereo. we dint have no recurds ceptn fer classiculls, so thats whut i listend to. faverts were the beethoven n mozart n belioz simfonies n beethovens late strang quartets or his piano wurks. we also lacked bach n haydn n vivaldi n a slew of otherns.

whut kinda thangs did i read? heres a lil list of the thangs i wuz a'readin that quarter:

  • The Faerie Queen by Sir Edmund Spencer
  • The Mirror for Magistrates by Thomas Sackville
  • Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
  • The Defence of Poesy by Sir Philip Sidney
  • Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
  • Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student by Edward P. J. Corbett
  • Quentin Bell's biography of Virginia Woolf
  • Michael Holyroyd's biography of Lytton Strachey
  • The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf
  • Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf
  • Mrs. Dalloway (three times) by Virginia Woolf
  • The Common Reader (first series) by Virginia Woolf
  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  • Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  • The Waves by Virginia Woolf
  • The Years by Virginia Woolf
  • The Courage to Be by Paul Tillich
  • Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (dipped into thisn mos everday)
  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (ditto)

corse, ifn twuz a mundy, windsdy or fridy, i wuz lack as not to be gittin reddy to teach my classes. mundy mornins i wood generly have a few last essays to grade n a verr busy class to git perpar. the papers i had lef to grade wuz purty easy to do on a counta i wood save the ones i eggspeckted to be the bestns fer last. after that, i wood git to gradin the papers fer my 12:10 class, witch that wuz a dismull chore on a counta i hadnt gut started yet n i always lacked to tackle the hardest papers furst, witch thay wuz the ones that tuck the mos time.

all of this wood git me to 6:30 when i wood go in to wake up emily. lack as not, she wood ast me to cum back at 6:45 n then agin at 7:00. once she had dun gut up, i fixed us a brakefuss, generly biskits n sausage n gravy n scrambled eggs. we couldnt hardly afford to eat out innywhar, not even at smokeys. bout as quick as we finish eatin, twuz off to class fer me. emily always tuck keer of doin the dishes n cleanin up.

ever mundy, i wood innerduce the ritin patturn fer the week: compare/contrast, divide/classify, cause/effeck, argument, etc. after class, i wood go to my offus n spend the time twixt classes a'gradin the papers fer the nex class. then i had to hike across campus to teach the class in dougherty hall, witch twuz a odd place fer a english class since most of em wuz in mcclung. twixt 1:00 pm, when the secunt class wuz over, n 2:30 i wood go back home, make myself a sandwich n sum coffee n read lite stuff lack time magazine or the knoxvull journal or the beacon. at 2:30 i had to be at the black cultchural center, whar i did sum tutorin. i promiss to splain more bout how i cum to be a'doin that by n by.

then twuz time to git over to ritin lab n wurk 3:30 to 5 or 5:30. finely, i wood go back home, burn a bowl of theevil weed, listn to sum classicull musick or all thangs cunsidderd n make dinner, witch i wood time dinner fer 6:30 sos we culd watch the news while we wuz eatin, generly nbc. then we wood watch a rerun of the jeffersons. by then twuz time to go to bed.

tuesdys n thursdys wuz a lil differnt on a counta i had that elizabethan poetry class at 9 am. it lasted a hour n fifteen mints. i wood go home after to read n read n read. that seminar on the modern novel wuz at 1:45 n lasted till 3. i wood generly go home, do a lil grossry shoppin, git hi, play piano, talk with emily till 5 n all thangs cunsidderd, witch emily wuz always home early on tuesdys n thursdys n she luved to listn to that show.

but the big event of ever week tuck place on fridy evnins whenever the group wood git together to read. twuz on a counta everbidy thar wuz a'studyin literchur, but most of em wuz only doon it sos they could larn how to rite better. thang is, i larnt much more frum the group than i ever dun frum skool.

as i rite bout them daze, i gut to git out the door n go to wurk. twill be a long hard day with no literchur nor poetry in it. i member feelin stressd out by everthang i had to do back then, but frum this angle, it looks lack a purty good life i had. i jes dint know it then.

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