What I did on my summer vacation

I’m taking a week of vacation this week. So far I haven’t done much, except get started with my second summer grad school class, about which more anon.

[Isn’t “anon” a wonderful word? Evocative, useful, and likely to get you punched in the face if you ever speak it in real life.]

Anyway, the City of Robbinsdale made a point of messing with my schedule. Last week I got notice that they were going to turn the water off in my neighborhood from 9:00 to 4:00 on Monday, weather permitting, to work on infrastructure, whatever that is. So I planned for the shut-off, and then it rained all day. Thus the great California Emulation was moved to today.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m reluctant to spend seven hours in a place without a working toilet. So I determined to go somewhere where clean and sober transients are welcome, and toilets are plentiful – America’s most pointless tourist attraction, the Mall of America.

I haven’t used my cane in weeks, but I brought it with me today, knowing I’d be walking more than I have for more than a year. I hobbled around and rested at intervals, and made it through OK.

I hadn’t been to the Mall in years. I was surprised at how boring I found it. Perhaps it’s old age, and being out of touch with the times, but I saw little that didn’t look to me like fashion-driven, disposable gimcrackery. I suppose I felt some kind of Puritan snobbery, a judgmentalism that comes from a place less than virtuous. But I didn’t see the point.

Parts of the place were being remodeled. I think some part is always being remodeled. “It’s like the human body,” a booster might enthuse. “Always renewing itself!” Yes, but when your body rebuilds its throat, you don’t have to drink through your ear for two months. So it’s not exactly like the human body, you know. Just saying.

I sat for long periods on the benches (they come in various styles, according to the area of the mall where you are at the moment, most of them purposely uncomfortable) and read a book on my Kindle Fire. Eventually the battery ran low, so I decided to go home, though hours remained before the drought was to end. So I went back to Blithering Heights, picked up my spare Kindle, which still had a 70% charge, synched it to get my current reading, and then drove to the public library. There I sat and enjoyed the air conditioning my tax dollars pay for, surrounded by school children with Nothing to Do In This Jerkwater Burg.

I’m midway through the summer in terms of my classes. Just finished a class on Online Research, and now I’m studying for an Indexing class, for which one of my textbooks – the one I need this week, of course – hasn’t yet arrived.

I wonder about these summer classes. There seems to be a mercenary fatalism to them. I don’t think the instructors really care much. They know they’re squalling through the material so quickly most of the students really don’t get much out of them, but it must be done. The instructor for the Research class never bothered to post the week’s assignments, scheduled for Monday morning, until Tuesday night. And a couple times he didn’t come through with them until Wednesday night. Yet somehow it didn’t seem to make much difference. I expect to get a good grade.

Ah well, what do I care? I’m just in it for the big bucks and the partying.

7 thoughts on “What I did on my summer vacation”

  1. It’s hard to imagine you didn’t have The Time of Your Life (r) at the Mall of America. Do they have Minneapolis-St. Paul t-shirts? Isn’t there a fun park in the middle of it?

  2. Did you visit the Swiss Army Knife store and get a customized knife? They’ll build one with the blades and gadgets you specify.

  3. Sounds depressing and sad. I think I would’ve just filled some buckets with water to make it through, and gone outside with my dog instead. Dogs always are happy, and following them around, you can rediscover the wonder of life again. That doesn’t happen in a mall.

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