God is to be praised. From the man on the bus who began reading aloud scriptures related to parents and children to the simple searching of my luggage to navigating a new bus connection that dropped me within a parking lot of the hotel to receiving the hotel room at the old price in the new year – favor – the Lord is greatly to be praised.

Among other things, I am a professor of English, a born-again Christian and doctoral student. Once a month I fly to Phoenix, ride the bus to the hotel and devote myself and my weekend to academic achievement and the research and people skills that entails. It’s an interesting life. Today I sat next to a man who arrived from Texas just over a week ago and re-read most of my team’s chapter despite awareness of the youths who boarded while extinguishing a blunt and the conversation they were having about a 30-second high.

When I’m not reading, I focus on hair: who combs, who doesn’t. I fall in between. I have consistently groomed locks and the opportunity to pay to have someone else do them. So, technically, I don’t comb my hair. Many on the bus appear unable to even afford a comb or the memory of its use. I leave that world and enter this.

The rooms contain a full-sized refrigerator, microwave with free Orville Reddenbacher’s, a kitchenette, with coffee and maker, a bedroom, bathroom and sitting/living room. Both sections have large television sets, nicely appointed furniture and walls and telephones. For the fee, I get a great night’s sleep, free internet access and hot breakfast.

On the way, after my seatmates disembarked, I placed calls to colleagues and the Help Desk. Something told me to check the computerized classroom I’d be teaching in come Tuesday evening and lo and behold, it does not have the system I’m familiar with. As Vartouhi suggested, I’ve called for a Help Tech to meet me an hour before class to walk me through the system. Despite the fact that she uses the Cornerstone textbook and I use Becoming a Master Student, Linda agreed to send me her ALS syllabus, course outline and courage, and shared some ice-breakers she uses on the first day of class. She reassured me that I know and do all that needs to happen: teach students how to succeed. She also reassured me that somehow, I’d be able to remember that.


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