Well, this week we played another round of that funnest of games, EarwormOpera is an Idiot. You see, there’s this, uh, musical event on Wednesday, January 23 in New York that I would really like to go to. I even have tickets! So, I was all psyched.
This is where the idiot part comes in. You know how I am a historian? Well, historians are supposed to be good with dates. We are supposed to be wicked good with dates. I am in general very good with dates. I remember them easily. They have, I don’t know, different flavors or feels or something that makes the concept of, say, 1598, qualitatively different from 1648 or 1702 or 1820. But anyway. I managed to misread a rather crucial date, in this instance: the date that spring term beings. It’s not Wednesday the 23rd. It’s Tuesday the 22nd. Which means that my first classes meet on Tuesday. I have two, a lecture class and a seminar, which I thought was on Thursday but as it turns out is on Tuesdays. (I am going to be spending most of January near New York to begin with, so I had had this little plan to be in New York, go to the concert, then fly home early Thursday morning and miss my first morning lecture class but make the first meeting of the afternoon seminar.)
When I first made this momentous discovery about when the term actually begins, I assumed that this meant I’d have to forego the concert, as missing two days of class is out of the question. I was a very sad little earworm for about twenty minutes, and I was reconciling myself to disappointment, until the obvious occurred to me. It is more traveling in a shorter amount of time than I am accustomed to doing, but I can come home from New York in time for the first day of classes on Tuesday, fly back to New York on Wednesday morning, see the concert, and come back on Thursday, thus missing only one class – specifically, the second meeting of the lecture class, which is in some ways better than the first. I will have a TA for that class, and I think that if I ask nicely and buy him/her lunch or dinner, the TA will be willing to either give them my lecture or write his or her own. Or, alternately, we can just have a little holiday the second day, because nothing ever gets done the first week of the term anyway because the students are all adding and dropping courses like little rabbits on meth.
I am aware that this is a slightly insane sort of plan, and something is bound to wreck it – a snowstorm, perhaps – but it seems to me that if I actually pull off this caper, it will be worth it. And I will very likely beat my previous personal best as far as “how often can I get airsick in the space of about four days” is concerned.
And it turns out I’m going to hear the Met’s Maria Stuarda in January. . . twice. I know two different people who wanted to go, but they wanted to go on different days, so I’m going twice. I think that this may end up being overkill. I mean, Mozart twice, or Strauss twice, or Bach or Handel or Haydn or Verdi twice, no problem. But I am not yet won over to the cause of Donizetti twice. However. Given that I live in a lovely little university town in the middle of utterly and absolutely nowhere (the drive to my house looks like the set for Guth’s Don Giovanni except minus the bus stop, because around here public transit is regarded as a socialist conspiracy) I think I’m allowed to go a little wild when I get out of town. Right?