Sometimes you just have to write…
So here I am in New York City, on the trip I’ve been planning and looking forward to for months. We arrived at midday, got through customs and immigration with suprisingly little trouble — and without a ridiculously long wait time as I’d been led to expect — took a shuttle service to the hotel, and all went our separate ways.
I spent a couple of hours walking. For some reason I felt drawn to the part of the city where I lived from 1987 to 1988. So first I walked up from our hotel on West 79th Street to Columbia Prep School on West 93rd Street, where I worked while I did the coursework I needed to get a teaching credential.
Columbia Prep is a very upscale, exclusive, expensive school. When I worked there I was paid very poorly, less than teachers in the New York City public schools were making at the time, and, most likely, less than some of the children received in pocket money.
Today I struck up a conversation with a doorman just a few buildings down from the school, who informed me that the cost of Columbia Prep is now something like $40,000 a year. Not really surprising.
Next I walked up to where I lived in those days: West 108th Street. At the time it was mostly Dominicans in that neighborhood. I think it may still be, as there is still a lot of Spanish in evidence. I heard people speaking it, and many of the signs are in Spanish.
And then I walked back downtown, or at least until I spotted a subway station. My feet hurt and I decided it was time to stop.
My problem now is that I’ve had enough and want to sleep. It’s after midnight Dutch time, but here it’s just 6:40 in the afternoon. I’m having trouble focusing on what I’m writing: sitting at arms length from the keyboard, yet the writing on the screen is still blurry.
I suspect that none of my students will have much trouble with this. I know that I didn’t used to suffer much from jet lag. I just stayed up until a normal time, and woke up in the morning adjusted to the new time schedule. At worst, I would wake up a couple of times during the night.
At my age now, though, I’m just not as flexible as I used to be. This may be a tough adjustment. If I sleep now, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall asleep again. I need to stay up until at least 9:00, I figure, to be able to shift to local time as quickly as possible. But it’s hard; my eyes keep drooping, my train of thought is hard to follow, and I just want to sleep.
I. Must. Not. Sleep. I. Must. Not. Sleep. I. Must.Not. Sleep.