Today was weird. First, there was an earthquake drill when I was in the Writing Center today. As Lou knows, that was deeply disturbing. It was a busy day, very busy. One student after another shoved papers under my nose, impatiently, jostling each other, and listening in to the discussions I was having with their friends. Then the canned voice I last heard when the campus was closed down during the fires a couple of years ago began bellowing words I didn't understand that turned out to be "duck and cover." So I did. The student I was working with and I went under the table and sat there. I didn't continue talking about his paper while I was there. It felt kind of like being 5 years old again, crawling around the feet of relatives at the family seder.
Then, later in the afternoon, I picked up student papers and a quiz from each section and let them out a little early so I could go to the reading at UCI this afternoon. Two fiction writers, young women who had gone to the fiction program at UCI 10 years ago or so, were reading from their work. They were both very good. The pieces they read were short, but the introductions, particularly the first one, were longer than the readings themselves. They were almost funny for that reason. It was hard not to laugh as the graduate student tried to outdo himself with praise for this writer and her stories. I guess he felt that he wasn't going to get a chance anytime soon to read his work the way she was, but he could at least let it be known what people were missing with his introduction.
On the way home, R and I wanted to stop for a fish dinner at the California Fish Grill, but there was the worst traffic jam I have ever seen on Culver. I got caught in the middle of an intersection near the freeway and prayed no cops would turn up to ticket me. It lasted all the way up to the restaurant and turned out to be a traffic light outage a block from the restaurant.
It blocked things up for miles in both directions.
I think I'm going to sleep better tonight than last night!