Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bureaucracy in your life.

      How big a role does bureaucracy play in your life?  That may very well depend on where you live or where you work.  When I lived in Spain, bureaucracy was always a factor to keep in mind.  How long would a simple transaction (bank, bills, offices, work permits, etc) take?  An hour or all day? Here is an essay account of renewing my work permit in Barcelona.  (The article needs Adobe to open it.)

      But this pales compared to working with the Board of Ed.  Here I inhabit an authentic Catch 22 universe. 
      Case in point 1.  I taught a night class in which I provided my own computer (nothing functioned in the building), my own texts and materials, and I even canvassed for students.  My reward for this was a written evaluation in which I was told I had to be more proactive.  You've got to be kidding was my response.

    Point 2.  Paperwork.  We have weekly attendance, lesson plans, and scan sheets to turn in which I never had any problems with.  There are apparently 2 people dedicated to full time monitoring like police officers.  Twice I've been called in to meet a particular person.  The first time was because I was off the day paperwork was due and I turned it in one day late.
      This week the office has lost my paperwork.  It was turned it on time correctly but since they are blameless I pay the consequences- letters on file, missed classes to attend the reprimand meeting. 
       What's you bureaucratic nightmare?

Back to the Spanish nostalgia- a poem from my first chapbook.

What I´ve Lost  

                          Leaving Europe                   


Paths lead

from town to

medieval town,

cathedral bones

stick out,

bells toll centuries.

The solemnity

of a saint´s day


We crowd to touch

the body of christ

while drums

pound out

God´s arrival. 


Ocean jet buzz

brings me across

to America,

empire of things,

following the white

highway line
                     into deep deep sleep.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Small things bring great pleasure

     What gives you a sense of accomplishment?  The adjective "accomplished" is so often accompanied with strong nouns like "pianist" or "writer".  Yet the feeling of accomplishment can come at unexpected moments. 
     A friend's eight- year-old daughter was in the backyard on a playhouse contraption with a slide but no ladder.  She urged me to climb up the slide, as persuasive as an adult saying, "You can do it."  Plopped down on my stomach I hauled myself up to the top of the slide and entered the playhouse.  And it felt good to do a thing so out of my usual activities.
   The other day I had 2 photos in an exhibit of Miksang photography.  Since I'm neither an artist or a photographer, going to the opening and seeing the photos brought me great pleasure.  I don't think I've had anything I've created exhibited since I was in high school or even, middle school.
   So life extends its endless possibilities.