Cancer Bitch Preening

I am licking my paws in self-satisfaction and lifting my nose in the air. I am quite proud of myself. This is the third year in a row that the grad students in my teaching seminar are holding a weekend of free creative writing classes for the public. I came up with the idea my very own Cancer Bitch self and it is a very nice thing for everyone involved. No one pays a thing. The students get the experience of creating and teaching 50-minute classes to strangers, and the strangers get the free classes. This year someone on staff did the messy work of taking registrations and putting the class lists on a spreadsheet, making much less work for me. I had to get up at the crack of dawn this morning (7 am) to get to school by 8:45 but I enjoyed the novelty of being up so early. I was surprised at all the cars on Lake Shore Drive. Where were they going at 8:30 am? Breakfast? Services? Of course I imagined they were all on the way to our program, The Apprentices.

I like very much being in the middle of everything. In the middle of the hallway of the university-owned mansion where the classes are held, sitting at a table and listening to the class going on and grading papers. The floor is hardwood and there's molding on the walls and fancy lighting fixtures hanging down and one room that's a sort of 19th-century parlor in greens and reds. Is it the bustle I like? The feeling of being in the middle of where things are happening? Is it all about control, that I like feeling: This is mine!? Do I like receiving appreciation from the day's students? I like being in the mansion, and being the person in charge. During the week when I happen to go to the mansion, it's filled with people doing their jobs and THERE IS NO DESK FOR CANCER BITCH. There is no place at school for me to display my etched crystal teaching award. I used to have a cubicle on the top floor but I hardly ever used it so it was snatched away from me. I have a cabinet in the back of the cubicle. Downstairs right now there's an empty room, partitioned in two, and I want to claim the back section. I want to sit in a desk back there and have the rest be a lounge for the grad students. The problem is the students come only at night, half of them to another campus, so the lounge wouldn't be populated. That is too bad.

In the mansion this time of year there's a little light-up Xmas village on a window sill. My friend T imagines an authentic Dickensian city, complete with prostitutes, pickpockets and paupers. As soon as someone can figure out how to market that version, I'm sure we'll see it in stores.