Welcome to the Dollhouse; Cancer Bitch Embarrasses Herself and Others

Today I passed by the dollhouse furniture store where I bought the lawn furniture (see photo below). I went in looking for accessories to put on the table, but the problem was they didn't have any more of the lawn furniture on sale so I had to guess at proportions. I had told the saleslady the other day that the furniture was for my head. This time I didn't mention it. This saleswoman seemed used to waiting on people who were specific and serious about what they wanted. Never did she say: Oh, why does it matter, it's just a dollhouse.

I guess if she felt that way she wouldn't work there. I almost bought a miniature pot with (fake) cactus in it and also a little tea set. It is amazing how detailed the little dishes and boxes and jars are. It is a completely different world. Dealing with these things can put you in a different place. I imagine it can be a form of meditation. I knew of someone who had "a nervous breakdown" (I've never been sure what that meant) and part of her recovery was working on dollhouses. But how can you not think of Ibsen?

In other news, tonight I received a teaching award from the continuing education division of WRU. First there was a reception, during which I had my second Very Hot Flash of the Day while standing near some hot hors d'oeuvres. Luckily I was had on Hot Flash Defensivewear (silk scarf around my hairline, tied in back) to catch some of the sweat. As I was standing around I saw a person come into the room with my exact hair do. I had to talk to her. I assumed she was a sister chemo-head and I felt immediate affinity. Even her salt to pepper ratio was very much like mine. I went up to her and said, I had to talk to you because your hair's like mine. She said, Is your haircut intentional? and I said no. And then I don't know what happened. Did someone else swoop in? I lost her. I felt immediately stupid. I felt that I had insulted her: No one would have hair like ours unless she couldn't help it. I didn't get a chance to finish talking to her, to say, It looks good on you, I don't think it looks good on me.

I had a class at Intellectual University at the same time as the WRU awards ceremony, so I had asked my class if we could meet later. The students had very nicely agreed. The ceremony was supposed to end at 7:30, and class was going to start at 7:45. I figured I had plenty of time for a half-mile cab ride between the campuses. Of course the talks by various WRU personnel took longer than scheduled. It was getting to be 7:10 and we were one speaker behind. I had shpilkes. L came for the ceremony and told me I should just leave. But I wanted to stay and hear nice things said about me. L called the IU office for me to leave a message but no one answered. Miraculously, several self-sacrificing personnel cut their talks short so that we got just about on schedule. First the distinguished teacher of undergraduates got his award. He was from Europe, with a thick accent, and had received a number of teaching commendations. Then it was my turn, and I came up to the front of the room, and looked down as I was being lauded, then shook the associate dean's hand and took my award in a blue box. The European had said a few thanks so I just said I wanted to repeat his thanks and invite everyone to the free workshops my students will be giving in December. Then I sat back down as the distinguished teacher of noncredit programs was named and praised As soon as he was applauded, we made our exit. He had started to give a little speech. I had a little, really little speech prepared in my head but I had thought enough is enough, I gotta git.

And I got to my classroom at IU by 7:42.

But I was addled. Why o why couldn't the people keep on schedule? I have to remember that when I teach. Usually I do end on time, but occasionally we go over. I read somewhere that when you steal someone's time, you're a thief. Corny as that sounds.

In the blue box was an engraved piece of crystal and on top of the blue box was an envelope with a check. Which was unexpected and very nice. Thank you, WRU administrators and students. The nice thing said about me was that I challenged students more than they had imagined. Or something like that. Students nominate faculty for the award, and then the deans look up your teaching evaluations and discuss you and decide who gets honored. I was pleased to get the award, even as I suspected it was a sympathy vote. My friend P said that students aren't sympathetic. I hope she's right. I have been teaching college for 21 (!) years and still I get insecure. And of course I still make mistakes. In class tonight at IU we went off on a tangent about which ethnic groups worry a lot and a student got lost in the muddle. I was leading the way on the tangent. In a distinguished manner, of course.