I had a rejection from The Guardian yesterday. Why advertise my failures? Because (perhaps misguidedly), I genuinely think this is an improvement. It’s the first time they’ve actually responded to one of my queries. So first they ignored me, then they rejected me–surely the fact that they’re paying me any attention at all is a good sign. Eventually, if things continue on this trajectory, they’ll have to accept something for publication.
Please don’t burst my bubble here. I’m being charmingly optimistic–let’s leave it at that.
I’m writing this at work (I know, shame on me), and just had one of those incredibly awkward interactions with a pair of students that make me think, wow, I should just quit my job right now. I was utterly, utterly unhelpful to them. At one point, I simply sat staring at them, my mouth hanging open, making confused little “um” noises.
It occurs to me that I get like this when someone asks me, say, where the Philosophy class is meeting today or where students can go if they want to play hockey, because I am in no way an authority on these things. More crucially, I don’t actually give a damn about them. This isn’t an especially grand statement–I’m not an authority on most things, frankly, and lots of people don’t give a damn about their job–but it is an important one. If they were to ask me to discuss last night’s speech, or ask for an obsessively anotated bibliography of Oxford literature, I’d be happy–thrilled, in fact–to oblige. But I ought, for today at least, to resign myself to the fact that they’re highly unlikely to ask me any of these things, and focus instead on class timetables and hockey pitches.