Yes, I’m here. But writing gets incredibly hard when you volunteer – I volunteered, for crying out loud – to cover the student government meetings. I suspect it will be my most marketable skill, coming out of a college education into whatever nightmare of an employment market I’ll be trying to swim in.

We won’t talk about the summary of 120 pages of Art History that’s due tomorrow, which is why I’m really here, because I don’t think I can face even one more comparison of artichokes or whatever to Greek architecture. Or any mention of Greek architecture. I love Art History, but if I had known about all the Greek architecture, well, I don’t know, but something-

And then my small metals teacher says that I’m heading for a good solid “B,” but really he’s waiting for me to take what I’ve learned and fly! except he couched it in much nicer terms than that, the gist of which is that I’m supposed to be myself more if I really want that “A.” And if I knew how to be myself, I wouldn’t curse John Lennon with the frequency that I do now. (You’re on your own on that one. If you’d been paying attention to my lectures, you’d understand. Plus, I reserve the right to change the groundrules whenever I feel like it, and that whole bit about no wrong answers? You’re doing good if you’ve figured out there are no wrong answers as long as you come up with my answers.) ( On the other hand, the fact that I fixed ArtHist prof’s sewing machine today had better earn me a couple of extra points somewhere along the line.) ( And there’s that whole deal with about ten percent of the student population saying things like, “I am so done with this semester. I’m ready to move on,” or the ever-popular, “That whole advisement and gen-ed thing, and trying to get my classes in or get overrides, and do I really want to go to school for eight years just to teach kindergartners how to fingerpaint?”)

Plus, like I said, I’m allergic to chocolate, and really there are only so many Pearson’s salted nut rolls you can eat before you hit that vending machine for the hard stuff. There’s a Milky Way sitting here, just waiting for me to get through the first three pages of art history – no, I’d better make that four. By then, coffee and sugar should push me through.

And then there’s the weather. International Falls, the icebox of the nation (and inspiration for Frostbite Falls), had a record high temperature of 64 degrees yesterday. I think we hit 58 here in Superior today, but we have the moderating lake effect going on. I think there were more heating-degree days in June than there have been this month.

It’s just wrong, and everybody here knows it. The air today felt like it did the day before that weather bomb two weeks ago. I went to school with a light sweater on over a short-sleeved shirt, cotton socks and mesh-toed runners, and couldn’t shake the feeling of wrong.