Monday, December 10, 2007

A Worthy Profession

So, I'm done with finals. So far, I've gotten a 91% on my Microeconomics exam and a 89% on my Statistics exam. That's before the curve, people.

I'll pause for the cheering to die down.

Props go to my friends, who argue amongst themselves while I wander around the apartment like some kind of caged animal, listening to them and gaining understanding.

I'm an auditory learner.

So, anyway, while we were studying at Jennie's house, we all distracted ourselves playing with her new kitten by shining a laser pointer in front of it and then moving the laser pointer around so the kitten would stalk and pounce on it. Zissou never caught on that the little red pinpoint couldn't be caught (although he did refrain from the pounce when the light fell on the much larger adult cat, Sherman) and we never lost interest in the game, either.

The evening after our last final, Jennie had left Mike's apartment to take the bus up to her house to pick up her luggage, get on the train and fly out to Hawaii. She called me when she stopped in the middle leg of the journey to tell me the following story:

She was sitting on the bus watching two young teenagers who were sitting on benches facing one another. They were friends but one of them had some sort of hand-held game that he was focused on. The other one amused himself by shining a laser pointer all over the gamer without the gamer ever noticing. Apparently, this cracked his shit up. It also cracked Jennie's shit up. She could barely get her description of his obvious delight that his friend never noticed being painted with red light. I loved the story and in an attempt to elongate the joy of hearing the story and knowing a little bit about teenagers, I asked, "And did this go on for like 10 minutes?"

"Twenty! All the way home!"


Jennie knew I'd love this story because earlier that morning, I had told her my own public transportation story. While riding the train downtown to get to our study session, I stood facing a woman in her early twenties sitting on the bench facing the aisle. In the bench behind hers facing forward was a man in his early twenties. He seemed particularly perky for 7:30 in the morning. Pleased with himself, even. As the trip progressed, in was clear that they knew each other. She would lean into him and whisper something. His energetic response would elicit eye rolls yet she continued to lean into him. It became clear that staying over at her house and riding into the Loop on the El together was a new thing that pleased him to no end. Nothing else would explain his total lack of sullenness. As we neared my stop, he caught my eye. Keeping my headphones one, I smiled and looked. He was holding her hand and playing with her verylong nails that had a variety of designs painted all over them. He pointed to one of her nails and when I looked at it, the word, "Steve" was written on it in yellow paint. He then pointed at himself with a giant look of enthusiasm on his face, mouthing the words in an exaggerated way, "That's me!" He then pumped his fists in triumph.

I looked him in the eyes, laughed heartily and got off the train. He laughed more and she rolled her eyes in such a way that belied her own delight at getting to spend time with him.

As Jennie was getting off the bus, the kid accidentally hit her with the laser pointer and apologized profusely. She smiled and said, "Do you do this all day to your teachers?"


I'm not sure why I left teaching in order to end up going back to school.

Regardless, my test seem to indicate that the effort has been worth it.

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