It’s already the second week of January?

When you get right down to it, Arthur Dent was right about Thursdays. They really are impossible to get a hang of.

Beyond my mild shock that the work week is almost over, there’s not a whole lot to report. Last night, right before bed, I read a short story by Dan Chaon called “The Bees.” I seem to think I’d read it once before, but it’s a masterful piece of work and an incredibly disquieting ghost story. Which, you know, maybe isn’t the best thing to read late at night.
It’s collected, among other places, in the Peter Straub-edited Poe’s Children: The New Horror, if you’re interested in tempting nightmares yourself.

I somehow managed to get a pretty good night’s sleep, despite that, and I caught the earlier train into Manhattan this morning. On my walk from Penn Station, I started listening to this This American Life show about the problems with alcohol at Penn State. It’s hard not to feel a little sad for the place I went to school, and where I worked for several years, and it’s hard not see the fraternities as a big part of the problem. The amount of alcohol a lot of these college kids consider “not a big deal” and a common, every-night occurrence, is maybe more than I’ve ever had to drink in my entire life. Honestly, three drinks over several hours is about as crazy as I ever get, and I was 21 long before I had anything more than a sip of alcohol.

Meanwhile, one of my co-workers was being shadowed all day by a student from his own alma mater who’s interested in publishing, and I spoke with her for a few minutes about what I do as a developmental editor. I always worry, when I explain my job to fresh-faced hopefuls like this, that I’m making it sound boring. But it’s always nice to discover that I do in fact genuinely like what I do. It really is satisfying to take a good book and, with the author, make it better.

And hey, we got word about our end-of-2009 bonuses and (small but still appreciated) raises today, so that’s something, right?!

3 thoughts on “It’s already the second week of January?

  1. The fraternities are a problem, but what really struck me about that story was how intergenerational and cultural that kind of drinking seemed. Other places if you drink that much and often you’re irresponsible; there it sounds like parents, strangers, and alumni participate and encourage. Baffling.

  2. I lived there the better part of a decade and I’m baffled by it. Without instituting University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s all-out-war tactics, though, I’m not sure what the University can do differently.

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