Midnight with My Diary and My Water Bottle

Midnight with My Diary and My Water Bottle
Taken at Goodale Park, June 2010, during Comfest, by Scott Robinson (1963-2013)

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For entries prior to April 2010, please go to and read there. Nothing has changed about this blog except its hosting site.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Only Been Back From Florida About a Month...

So that means that posting a blog entry is seriously overdue.  I have a long list of excuses (some of them truthful) to justify my not having written, but it would be a waste of my flagging energy for me to include them here.

The autumnal equinox looms in another week.  I experienced the first indications of it this morning as I was leaving for work.  I stepped out the front door onto the porch, felt the chill in the air, and went back inside for a sweatshirt.  Susie still hadn't stirred, since she didn't have to leave to catch the bus to school for another hour, but I still felt like I could have used another hour or two of sleep.

I only dread two things at work: being inundated with work, or not having enough to do.  Today was the latter.  Orders trickled in, and I managed to create enough tasks for myself to keep from total boredom.  When I experience boredom, it is a very short journey to depression.

When the work day ended at 5 p.m., I was thankful that my next destination would be home, and not the Columbus State bookstore.  Susie and I returned from Florida on a Sunday (August 19), and that Tuesday I began my start-of-quarter -semester job on the second floor of the bookstore.  My tasks are twofold: shelve returned books (and new books as soon as the managers receive them), and provide assistance to the students coming in to buy textbooks for the new semester.  As you may have gleaned from reading my previous posts, I happily sail through an evening of restocking, especially when I have a cart full of returns with as many different books and subjects as possible.  It is my favorite task.  Conversely, assisting customers brings out my inner Dr. Gregory House.  (When I was a teenager, a mentor--a man wiser than I'll ever be--once told me my greatest virtue was that I didn't suffer fools gladly.  But he went on to say that my greatest fault was that I took it as a given everyone was a fool.)

The bookstore experience was a nightmare this time around.  All state universities in Ohio went from quarters to semesters this fall, and Columbus State did not handle the transition, despite having a year to prepare for it.  There was only a week of down time between the end of summer quarter and the start of fall semester.  Professors dragged their feet in telling us which books to order.  Many students registered very late, which meant the bookstore did not have enough textbooks ready for sale.  Classes started August 29, and as of my last day of work (last Saturday), we were still telling people that books for their classes were not available.  We had shipments arriving from the time the bookstore opened at 8 a.m., and at almost any hour, my fellow book drones and I were slicing open boxes, and taking books directly to the shelves.  This story in yesterday's Dispatch outlines the problems that related to the new financial aid system, where $500 of financial aid is set aside for class-related bookstore purchases.

Since Columbus State was starting afresh with semesters, most of the professors decided to start over with entirely new textbooks as well.  This meant that the bookstore would not buy back textbooks from summer, since no classes would use them.  It further meant there were very few used textbooks available.

Susie became a sophomore at The Graham School the day after Labor Day.  She had time to transition from Florida back to Ohio life, and I felt a little bad that my welcome home to her was leaving her alone several evenings a week while I was working these insane 13-hour days.  She is good at entertaining herself, which is an indispensable trait for an only child, especially one being raised by a single parent.

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