An Illicit Post

I had a rejection from The Guardian yesterday. Why advertise my failures? Because (perhaps misguidedly), I genuinely think this is an improvement. It's the first time they've actually responded to one of my queries. So first they ignored me, then they rejected me--surely the fact that they're paying me any attention at all is a good sign. Eventually, if things continue on this trajectory, they'll have to accept something for publication.

Please don't burst my bubble here. I'm being charmingly optimistic--let's leave it at that.

I'm writing this at work (I know, shame on me), and just had one of those incredibly awkward interactions with a pair of students that make me think, wow, I should just quit my job right now. I was utterly, utterly unhelpful to them. At one point, I simply sat staring at them, my mouth hanging open, making confused little "um" noises.

It occurs to me that I get like this when someone asks me, say, where the Philosophy class is meeting today or where students can go if they want to play hockey, because I am in no way an authority on these things. More crucially, I don't actually give a damn about them. This isn't an especially grand statement--I'm not an authority on most things, frankly, and lots of people don't give a damn about their job--but it is an important one. If they were to ask me to discuss last night's speech, or ask for an obsessively anotated bibliography of Oxford literature, I'd be happy--thrilled, in fact--to oblige. But I ought, for today at least, to resign myself to the fact that they're highly unlikely to ask me any of these things, and focus instead on class timetables and hockey pitches.