Approaching the Gravestones

Jake Stewart, Columnist

I’ve got Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger” playing off in the background. I need all the help I can get to start this damned piece. Pouring myself a stiff drink has crossed my mind, but with it being a bright Tuesday morning, I figured that wouldn’t be the best play.

No, not so much. Afterall, I have to maintain some form of respectability. So, I decided to guzzle down a couple cans of liquid speed, let the rush carry me through. Ugly times, readers, but it’s a necessity in a crunch such as this.

We’re approaching the end. Dead Week will be here in the blink of an eye. Campus will be overrun by laudanum drunks—students and professors alike. It’ll be quite a sight to behold as we all stagger and stumble, all fighting to cross the finish line before our knees buckle and souls collapse.

We’re in a collective survival trip, all of using moving toward the same goal. It’s moments like this that provide some faith we call this thing known as humanity. We can exist without bullets and bombs, avoid the ever-present threat of the nuclear holocaust, and perhaps even learn a thing or two along the way. Of course, there are still battles to be fought.

Indeed. I’m looking over at a mountain of papers that need to be graded, stories that need edits and revisions, and another semester to plan for.

In a situation such as this, one has to embrace the chaos. Yes, accept the insanity, that is the only way to survive in this modern age of Canvas modules and the pandemic, still looming over us like a fever dream. If nothing else, the work has kept me moving forward, and the students have helped me retain what is left of my sanity. So, there’s a bit of optimism. A rare thing for this Old Con.

Yes, but how long can we maintain? We’re heading into winter, and sure; the weather is fine here on this last day in November, but it can’t last forever. That’s what I’ve been trying to remind myself about the classes I’ve taught this semester—all good things must come to an end, remember thou art mortal—all the mantras to remind myself that reality exists beyond my lectures of insanity.

It’s going to be tough, this time around. A challenge to say those fond farewells, but we can’t avoid it now. Soon it will be Dead Week, and then Finals right around the corner. So, to any of my students finding themselves this far down the rabbit hole, know this—you make this career worthwhile. I don’t think you all hear that enough, and you should, because without all of you, I’d just be the loon talking to an empty classroom, and where is the fun in that?

The speed is wearing off now. The neurons are growing dim. This is the crash and burn, readers. Brace for impact, and don’t look down. It’s been one hell of a ride.