So classes started this week. Since I’m typing this beforehand, I’m not sure what insanity will happen. What I DO know is that the week before classes start, I have a load of meetings. Meetings with the whole campus, meetings with the whole division, meetings with the department, meetings with my area. Meetings with the staff. I hate meetings. But what I hate even more are the required “flex” activities.
You see, professors are supposed to keep up on their training. I have to, simply by the nature of my discipline. But many professors do not have research that fits into a 9-5 schedule that is easily tallied and approved. So we have required hours of training, and at the beginning of each semester they have tons of topics that might or might not be relevant to you at all. Even though I’ve got of my own training under my belt for the next decade, I’m required to check a box saying on those specific days I’ve done training. *lame* So I rolled up my sleeves and did a few of their flex activities after hours and hours of meetings.
First, I learned CPR. Not a bad skill to learn, right? I learned that cpr rules changed. No need to lock lips with an unconscious grandma with bile in her mouth. Nope, they don’t want you to breathe for em at all. Just pump that heart 100 times a minute. That’s a lot of beating. I think when the ambulance does arrive, they should give you a latte or a wheatgrass shot. Jeez.
The next one had a vague title, so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but it covered the other 2 hours I needed for my flex attendance for the day. Turns out, it was a lecture by a funeral director. Yowza! Now half the meetings I’d been at, I’d slouched in my seat with a glazed look. I was required to be there–I wasn’t required to be happy about it and I made sure they knew it. I’d been channeling my inner sullen-teenager all day. But at this topic, I sit up a little. This, at least, is interesting. He asks us three questions:
- What song do you want for your funeral?
- How do you want to be disposed of?
- What kind of service do you want?
He asked us all to list our songs. “Highway to Hell” was the first thing that popped into my head. Lets say it was at odds with a lot of Bette Midler and gospel songs other people listed. Later, I asked my hubby his first gut reaction, and he said “Cherry Pie” by Warrant. Seriously. We are a match made in heaven. Or hell. But I told him that wouldn’t be allowed unless it was a video that had me in it. Because his funeral should be about me, of course.
(For all of you young ‘uns out there, you should know that this is one of the most obnoxious hairband videos out there. It is a classic, and you should watch it. And one of the most blatant metaphors for sex on this planet.)
The next day I heard Simple Mind’s 80’s song “Don’t You Forget About Me” and decided that was a contender as well, simply because it tells you what to do. No metaphor required. Or, I could use “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” It would be perfect because it’s also explicit, but also something that would make you groan with irritation and sing with nostalgia at the same time. And end up humming it for days after. Mess with people one last time? Yeah. I’d do that.
Near the end of the flex, most people were ready to leave, but my morbid little heart was determined to enjoy the day as much as possible, which meant twisting the knife a bit. I made the other people at the meeting stay in disturbed silence as I asked other questions. Like, did you know that you can be turned into soylent green after you die? I’m not kidding. They can turn you into sludge. Look it up. Or did you know that you can be turned into precious stones?
People squirmed, but learning the cost of a cardboard coffin (2700 bucks) was a welcome distraction for me. I’d been forced to go to meetings about future meetings, people. At that point, death was a gift. I made him describe the disposal options in detail. By the time it was over, I had faculty running for the door. I figure it was their own fault, for boring me with meetings all day about how to fill out a form in triplicate or other bureaucratic yawnfests.