31 December 2001
Started off not so terrible. To be sure, there was a good deal of mess to be waded through, much of which remains even now, but I'd been an EdTech consultant at NYUSCPS's Office of Information and Technology since the previous June and was making more money than I'd ever done before -- even as a Y2K Warrior! All the bills were paid, I'd just broken in this new iBook, and was finally poised to make significant progress on my cyberchapbook Wyrmes Mete, after a lovely stint in Rob Kendall's Advanced Hypertext Poetry & Fiction class at the New School.
Got cocky, I guess.
My four-month contract with OIT was not renewed in Feb, and I was unemployed for the next 6 months, with only small savings, a moderate tax refund, and the huge generosity of friends and family to live on. Don't need no slide rule to calculate that trajectory: remember Neo's first time in the jump program? Sometimes hard to remember: "There is no spoon..."
Rescue materialized in the form of 2 community colleges in eastern PA, who needed staff for sections of required SpeechComm. The irony is just too delicious to suppress: this burnt-out old hack saved his butt by servicing stoodies in the only course he ever failed in college! (I was otherwise spared by hasty withdrawals and rolling incompletes.)
But that situation reaped an unexpected reward, and my long-standing cynicism about upper education neither poisoned relations with my lambs nor kept me from executing my deliverables, shabby as they were, on time. It wasn't pretty, but we all got our work done, and best of all, I could take it to the bank!
But Gawd, I wuz soh taiyid! My 3 schools (including my customary electronlit gig at Fordham in the Bronx) were separated by 100 miles, and my domiciles (house in SI, barracks in Allentown) by 90, so Mighty Haakon the WonderVolvo was required put on some serious miles -- and it ain't the years, it's the mileage, as Indiana Jones reminds us. Only once did he strand me -- most considerately, in a grocery store parking lot half a mile from the Barrax -- and even then it was only because the battery he was born with 11 years ago just couldn't cough up another start (the towtruck guy was astounded: "a terrific battery'll on'y give ya 3 to 5 years!")
[more when I can get to it...]
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