Simple Little Bookworm

There’s a question I hate and it’s been asked a lot. I’ve mentioned this before. At lunch, I settled down to the stir fry. Made it the night before for lunch in hopes that my bank account will thank me later. So after reheating it, I sit at the table. My copy of M. R. Carey’s The Girl with All the Gifts is left to just the side. Meaning to read it as I eat, of course. Though, I’ve never been able to read at eat. Watch TV? Sure. Play a video game? Yup. Work? Why not? But not read.

Most civilized societies know what certain social cues mean. An open book or wearing headphones/ear buds means the person is not open for a conversation. A closed book, on the other hand, means you’re about to get asked some personal questions. Questions that you’ve managed to dodge for a while now.

“So Guillermo,” the unwanted conversation starts, “are you in school?”

“No,” I respond.

“Why not?”

“Graduated already.”

The conversation veers a bit, but it’s back on track soon after. Why aren’t I looking into a graduate program? She thinks I would enjoy the library science program. It looks like it would suit me. “Have you thought about going into computers?” “Yeah, I thought about code before,” I say. It’s a half-truth. I did look into it and felt unbelievably bored looking at all the nonsense. Sure, it’s important nonsense; it’s just not the sort of nonsense I’m into.

“You’ll regret it when you reach my age,” she half concludes. How much older are you than me, lady? “Did you ever think about going back to college?”

“Sure. I thought about pursuing my MFA in creative writing. But I stopped writing a while ago.” Again, not entirely a lie.

“If I were you, I would have published a book by now.” Yes, because it’s that easy.

I finished my lunch. I grabbed my book. I left the lounge. It wasn’t abruptly. I’m not that rude. I hid in the supply room and read my book.

Work has been pulling on my nerves. Yesterday, I had a small lecture about a text sent after seeing nothing was set up the day because some oaf didn’t pick up after himself after Saturday’s event. The text was misconstrued as angry. I have to remember that this isn’t the team from the past. They’re not used to my nuances. They’re not too sensitive, and I can see how I was in the wrong. Suddenly feel like others are seeing me as the loaded gun with a hair trigger. It’s utter nonsense, I’m sure.

No matter, though. No matter how bad my day goes, our text message conversations eases it. We talk nonsense. We talk about work. We talk about whatever comes to our minds, whatever our imaginations give birth to.

And that’s something to look forward to.


Thoughts on Shaun Starting Pre-K

Shaun started school a couple of days ago. He’s getting older, and that scares me. Puts it in perspective, don’t it? How the time has just slipped through my fingers. Watching him grow without realizing it. And still, I find myself in complete awe of the fact that he’s mine. He’s this extension of me. And when he sleeps in my bed on those weekend nights he stays over, I still find myself waking up in the middle of the night. I study him for seconds, sometimes minutes. Making sure his heart beats. Making sure he’s still breathing. Does this ever go away? I hope not. I hope there is never a time when I wake up and he’s just routine. Just a fixture in my life. And while it’s inevitable that he’ll grow distant from me. He’ll no longer see me as this grand person, this super hero, this protector. I beg never to stop feeling this way.


Clearing My Head

I’ve been thinking about going back to school these last few months. [Redacted] just feels like a dead end these days, and even if I were up to getting my MLS, that is the last place I want to use it for. I’m not even sure if the fools in charge are aware of running an art department along with a library (because, let’s face it, [redacted] is less and less a library these days).

I guess I’m bitter. With all the reports and memos and complaints filed at HR, nothing is changing. And while it’d be a dream to just up and quit, there are several responsibilities that need to be taken care of. School seems like a pipe dream. Besides, I’ve been out of the education system for so long. How will I adapt to going back? How much of my “knowledge” has been forgotten? These days I find it hard just to find the right word.

Nothing inspires me. A mixture of apathy and ennui, I am foggy headed.

Looking into MOOCs, I found a nifty one called Future Learn. I joined some courses and am getting back into the habit of having student responsibilities. Joining discussions. Taking notes. That sort of thing. None of these courses are worth a damn outside of knowing a little more on certain topics. They’re fun. Educational. Time consuming, but I’m working at my own pace. Which is something that going back to school wouldn’t allow me. Baby steps, right?


“Wild card, got it…Whatever you need me to be, I’m that thing. That is so me.”

Author of A Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, Christopher Healy speaks to students at the International Book Discussion
Author of The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle, Christopher Healy speaks to students at the International Book Discussion

Technology is great, isn’t it? Today, I watched Christopher Healy address sixty students (students from St. Matthews and Oxford Reynosa) via Skype. The students gathered today to discuss his debut novel, The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. I take responsibility for that, by the way. After reading the book in November, I forced my coworkers to read it. That led my supervisor to ask if I recommended; I said yes, and today was the effect.

I learned a bit today, and not just about Mr. Healy’s writing process or what books he’s reading (The Two Towers and Deadweather and Sunrise), or the name of one of his favorite authors (A.A. Milne). Today I learned that the average Mexican reads one book in his life. One. Not one hundred, or one thousand. One. And I learned that in the midst of all that violence and corruption stands the beacon to a better future for Mexico’s youth–Oxford Reynosa. All the work they’ve done for their community and the doors of opportunity they opened for students, it nearly brought a tear to my eye. That’s the sort of thing I can get behind. And if I had the opportunity to work there, I’d run across the border in a heartbeat. Damn the risks.

So here’s what I want you to do, readers. I want you to watch the video embedded below. I want you to post it on your Facebook, your Tumblr, your WordPress. I want you to tweet it. Link it in a mass e-mail. If any video needs to go viral, it’s this video. It ends here. Stop reading.