I work daily with situations that could never be made up in the most extraordinary pieces of fiction. Quantum mechanics, science misconceptions, student interactions — these all open the door wide for a traveling circus of stories that I don’t even have words for. It’s usually not even explainable in a tale of the day’s happenings. At dinner it’s much more interesting to hear what happened in a second grade classroom, or what Miss Bennett said to one of Anna’s classmates. The stories I have to tell are fractured, just glimpses into insanity and wonder via snippets of conversation. Quotes like, “at least we’re not Estonia,” “but what if I drove to Washington D.C.?” and “my sperm count’s too low” are all among classics I’ve heard and look back on fondly. Alas, they make no sense if you weren’t there. And maybe not even if you were.
Today, though, provides a story that could be made into a short story, or at least just enough of an image to make me grin. I was just informed that the adjunct faculty retreat being planned for a Saturday in February had accidentally been double-booked with another event in our student union’s ballrooms. I wasn’t particularly surprised by this, but I was surprised and additionally delighted by the specific conflict: professional wrestling.
I’m left with a decision: Change the date for my event, which is probably just as well, though inconvenient. Or . . . yes . . . we could use alternate space in the same building. And perhaps there’s potential for “team building” exercises. Or unfortunate confusion. An underpaid composition instructor gets thrown into the ring and gets body slammed? Or, better yet, in these times of economic downturn, instructors battle it out for their teaching assignments. Just think of the potential battles, the outfits, the personas, the invented names. As it is, I’ve been wrestling myself with how to reform professional development. Who knew that this would play out so clearly, concretely, and physically in a planned event.