The Mad Aardvark

Critical commentary on culture…

Archive for the ‘summer jobs’ Category

Light Summer Reading

Posted by madaardvark on June 24, 2010

June 16 came and went, and I spent most of the day at work.  This year I made it through the Telemachus chapters of Ulysses and through the first Bloom chapter before Bloomsday was over.  Bloomsday is never the raucous event that I always pretend it’s going to be.  But I kept the day in my heart and made my students listen to the Dubliners while I lectured.  There were a few complaints.

Meanwhile, my daughter poked me in the eye during finals week last semester and I had an eyepatch for a few days.  It was acting up again, so I went to the eye doctor.  She told me that they don’t use eyepatches anymore because they can cause infections.  So much for my Joycean portrait.

I’m on to Hemingway, now, and have been for a little over a week.  Papa makes me feel better about where I am in my struggles and inspires me to move forward despite adversity.  A student came into the Writing Center looking for help with his research paper yesterday, which happened to be on Hemingway.  I don’t believe in destiny or fate, but I do keep my eyes open for synchronicity.  I don’t know how much I actually helped him, but I did open his eyes to Hemingway a little more.  He left with the insight that there is more to Papa than drinking and fishing.

I’ll be teaching Women’s Lit next month, which will be an odd and welcome contrast to the Hemingway I’m reading now.  My sister doubts my qualifications to teach it based on my dislike for Jane Austin, which is strange since I tend to be in the anti-Austin pro-Feminism camp in my analysis.

Here are a few of the women writers I do like:  Mary Wolstonecraft, Mary Shelly, the Bronte sisters, George Elliot, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Willa Cather, Gwendolyn Brooks, Zora Neale Hurston, Louise Erdrich, Charlotte Smith, Gertrude Stein, Emily Dickinson sometimes, Maya Angelou occasionally, and Virginia Woolf always.  That’s not a complete list.  It’s going to be an interesting class.


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Ka-chunk! Ka-chunk! Hey, man, take a vacation!

Posted by madaardvark on July 24, 2008

So the other day at this craptastic Summer job I have, someone stuck their hand into one of the machines.  The factory makes cheap plastic containers for all kinds of things, like cell phones and jello salad.  Anyway, they had to reach past two protective guards to do it, which are there to remind you not to stick your damned hand into the machine.  Well, some parts were jammed up, causing some problems on the machine, and instead of calling for one of the quality inspectors or technicians to come fix the problem, she reached in to pull the jamed parts out.  She went to the hospital, two fingers being split open to the bone at the knuckles.

On the one hand (ha!) I have no remorse for someone who’s going to squeeze past two layers of guard rails (marked in yellow with CAUTION written on them in red) and get injured.  On the other hand, the job is a tedious, mind-numbing one, and last week I had masochistic thoughts of shoving my hand into the thing.  Luckily, I’m a complete wuss, so I’m still accident free.

Today they put me on a machine that the technicians didn’t want to hook a part sorter up to.  It was moving too fast for three people to work on it (most machines have only two people, or one if it’s slow enough), so the sorter went on anyway.  The technician was so pissy that he didn’t put on the guard rail.  A day or two after a hand injury on the same machine.  Idiot.

And now, for your enjoyment, here’s the Kids in the Hall sketch that was running through my head all last week while I was packing cell phone charger packages.

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