1. Every time I teach this course on the personal essay, I get this feeling about half-way through that I'm doing everything wrong, that I'm not teaching them anything they don't already know, that I'm asking too much of them, that it's just too hard for them to write the personal essay because it sounds too much like personal "narrative." Not the same thing. But I gotta get over myself because so far, these things have worked themselves out and students go on to write fantastic stuff.
2. I never thought these words would come from my hands: I'm ready to kill Mulder. The beagle. The one S. has been complaining about since I met him and for years before that. About 8 years, I think. Mulder is 14 years old. Which probably makes you go, awwwwwww, how could a 14-year-old beagle make you want to kill her? Before I moved in here, I was always sticking up for Mulder when S. would moan and groan about her. Now I get it. She is absolutely, unwaveringly, disgustingly ravenous at all times, which results in her following my every move with the hopes that maybe, just maybe, I'll drop a crumb. I've stopped allowing her in the kitchen when I'm preparing food because she makes me nuts.
3. After about 6 weeks of living with S. and a bit of a mini-breakdown earlier this week, I came to a sad and scary insight. I knew coming into this that I didn't really know how to live with someone, and part of that not knowing is likely a result of this not-so-self-evident truth that came out of my mouth last night: I've never lived with someone I didn't distrust. This isn't to say that there aren't people in my life I've trusted. Not at all. There are many. None have ever shared the same roof with me for more than a few nights at a time. So when I convince myself somehow that S. is horrible (he's not), it's because I'm trying to make him into someone I can distrust. Hi, need therapy anyone?
4. Perhaps #3 explains why I so strongly identify with the Seymour Krim line, "I have never learned how to live. I improvise--and fuck up anyway."