Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #216

October 29, 2013: Splat, splat, splat, splat, splitty, splat, splat, Splat

It’s going on two days now, of constant, ongoing rain. Not a drizzle, not an intermittent rain, but a constant downpour. Yesterday afternoon, I summoned up my flagging energy and took the dogs for a run. They did not initially want to go along. But being good sports, they summoned up their flagging energy and accompanied me on a 1 ½ hour slog up a somewhat slippery hill, and down an extremely slippery hill. Of course, they ran in the brush while I attempted to follow the trashed main trail. We all got soaked. They stayed upright, on all fours, while I fell several times, onto all fours. So I was coated with mud and crud by the time I got home. It was so slippery that I repeatedly hit the ground, got up, and kept going. I didn’t get hurt. I did curse several times. As has often been said, the air was blue by the time I was through.

After, I commended myself for having braved the elements. My self-congrats were short-lived because today I knew I’d have to do this again. This time I could not sum up my flagging energy. It just wasn’t there. Neither could the dogs. I went to feed the horses, and then I went to gather up the dogs. Rainbow was hunkered down in the doorway of the outhouse, Jenna was inside, on her dog bed, and Ryder, well Ryder was someplace, checking out something. Dogs. You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them.

So I instead spent the better part of my day (and it was the better part of my day) working on a job application for Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. (This is the place where they grow the Walla Walla Sweet onions). Now I know that I don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting this job. I don’t know what applicability the cliché has to my chances, but I picture water hitting sizzling coals. Rain, it comes in all forms, right? I don’t stand a chance because I haven’t taught in ten years.

I am making progress in writing up the requisite documents, although at first it was slow going. I am out of practice doing this kind of thing. As a graduate student, I was able to crank such letters out in large numbers. Not anymore. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I am, this time around, pinning my hopes on this one job. If I got it, I’d be teaching in my area of specialization – creative nonfiction writing – and I’d be living in a place that would be to my liking. Heck, this would be far better than an actual alternative – teaching 18th century British Literature in Ho Hum Alabama.

I am also faced now with a near-insurmountable problem. Two of my three mentors are now dead. I have old letters from them on hand, but I need more recent letters. The adage over my dead body isn’t going to work.

In the meantime, I am fortunate to be able to have the time to envision how I might fit into a place where the student body is (supposedly) high achieving, down to earth, and culturally diverse. Walla Walla is also reputed to be sunny and warm. Ironically, it’s too cold and wet here to do anything else besides envision what otherwise might come to be.

Next: 217: 10/30/13: Living the Good Life