Philosophy During PD Week
Walden, Economic Injustice, and the Commercialization of American Society

"Summer Vacation?" Whatever!!!

            Saying good-bye to “summer vacation” hurts, and it’s ever more painful when your precious time and money has been stolen by a greedy and selfish landlord, who is by nature a sniveling coward. The expense and time spent moving wiped out an entire month of our “summer” life, and now we are in a better house, under the dominion of a normal landlord, but the inconvenience and the pain continues.

            Saturday morning was spent on the phone negotiating with ATT, because they have such an ineffective and unprofessional customer service department that the left hand is literally in the dark about what the right hand is doing. If you move service, then God help you! Expect double charges, charges for service you didn’t receive, and expect to sit on hold with your telephone—pack a sandwich, because you will spend hours explaining when you moved, how you moved, when your service began, and the details of your original deal. You will be expected to know dates, times, when your installation crew arrived, what issues they faced, and how much time they spent at the “box” untangling wires. Get ready, because even though the customer service person will make promises, your problem is not solved. When your bill comes, with its accompanying overcharges, you’re back on hold, waiting for another round of frustrating nonsense, screaming into the phone at the stupidest electronic secretary in all of the digital kingdom.

            Rather than feeling rested after this summer experience, I am just plain, old exhausted. Last week I completed 30 hours of training for my district, and tomorrow I head back to work. I’m not hosting any students for two more weeks, but I’m still required to attend meeting after meeting. On top of that, my grad studies continue in a rapid rotation of payments, books, papers, and lectures. Today I finish working with Walden, and last month it was 18th century thinkers, and before that it was composition and twentieth century novelists, but, sadly, my electronic bibliography manager still occupies an unused computer tab because I haven’t had the time to complete the 50-page tutorial. Meanwhile, the lonely hours spent doing research are wasted in a sea of expensive, printed journal articles that are almost impossible to organize; a growing stack of obscure books are now occupying precious shelf space, spaces that require constant dusting. And while moving to please the greedy money muncher, much of the best stuff accidentally marched off into the recycling bin.

            This is my summer, a summer that should be toasted with a bitter brew, after a long period of mourning.



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