Saturday, September 09, 2006

Why I Hate GSA Parties

Went to mr. delagar's graduate student party last night. This is an annual party which welcomes all the new graduate students into the graduate student program, that party, with bad food, and piped in music, and big round tables, at a rented room in downtown Fayetteville, off the Square. And mr. delagar always goes, and makes me go.

Boy, do I hate parties like this. OTOH, I always make him go to my departmental parties, so it ain't like I have grounds to set my heels. I go.

The kid went with us, in her party dress. Acting out. Well, acting eight. She was hungry. She was bored. The party, organized by graduate students, got a late start. I took her for a walk around Fayetteville's Town Square. She was enchanted. It was just dusk and the sun was going down over the Boston Mountains, which can be seen from the Square. "I love Times Square!" she cried.

"Um," I said. "Well, you will love Times Square. Bu this is Fayetteville's Town Square. It's a bit different."

"What's Time Square?"

I explained. She asked if I had ever been there. I said I had. I told her about New York, the museums and the bookstores and the subways, and especially the part about how things are open all night long (all the stores on Fayetteville's Square were closed, of course, at seven o'clock in the evening) and how if you want a sandwich at three o'clock in the morning the guy in the bodega will make one for you, which was my favorite bit. Now she wants to go live in New York. Hah, I think to myself. My work is done.

We had to go back in and hang with the graduate students, who were bemoaning their unwritten dissertations and discussing Fredrick Jameson and the superstructure and the guy in someone's office who changes his clothes right there in the office and what they would do now that their assistantship are running out and why, why, why wasn't there a class in writing dissertations, and I would have liked all this much more, maybe, if I hadn't had an eight-year-old melting down at my elbow, because the food was nothing she wanted to eat, a kind of pasta thick with onions and olives and half-cooked tomatoes, also gummy fake whole-grain bread. She wouldn't go near either. There was some cheap wine. I did consider telling her that was Kool-Aid.

Then, to make things perfect, some of my old professors showed up. (I was in this same program, 15 years ago -- it's where I got my doctorate.) One of them remembered me, one of them didn't. On the whole, I have decided I prefer not being remembered.

Plus, I couldn't even drink heavily, since if I drank heavily I would certainly act out. ("Oh, cut me a fucking break -- just write your dissertation, will you? It's NOT THAT FUCKING HARD!") So I had to endure four hours of graduate students I did not know, ex-professors, a bored eight year old, bad food, bad decor, and bad music on nothing but DIET COKE.

Oh, feel for me, people, please.


Unknown said...

I assume this is the English department? I used to run that party--as president of the GSA. Only we just went to a pizza joint, with lots of beer. It was actullay pretty fun. Wonder when they started doing the fancy thing.

delagar said...

I wish you were still president. It would be fun then.

To be fair, other people were having fun, I think. People who had friends to hang with. I have a few friends among mr. delagar's grad student buds, but none of them were there, and the kid was too cranky for me to mingle well.

zelda1 said...

Oh man, I won't tell you about my rock hunting excursion. It was way better than sticky pasta and cheap wine. I found, hold on, I found an ancient tool, and a rock with petrified wood in it, or roots, I'm sure it is roots. Man oh man, it is so cool. Plus, it has some scratchings like maybe some small animal may have been digging around the roots or maybe a cave man. It is so heavy Mr. Zelda had to carry it for me. Oh, and I did get a real arrow head too. Okay, so maybe you were around smarter people than I and maybe you didn't get to sit on a sand bar surrounded by the white river and dig for arrow heads in perfectly white sand, but you did get to go to the GSA thingy. I'm sorry, couldn't resist. We are going to have to go look for rose rock, the woman said come on over.