Thursday, September 1, 1983
7 PM. I just turned off the TV news. The world seems more of a mess than usual.
The Soviets shot down a Korean Airlines jet going from New York to Seoul, which apparently strayed over their territory.
After two Marines in our Lebanon peacekeeping force were killed, Reagan ordered another 2,000 soldiers to Beirut.
Menachem Begin was finally done in by his own policy: the invasion of Lebanon and its many casualties. I disliked Begin, but I feel sorry for him now. Like Nixon, he resigned, proving he wasn’t a total fascist.
On campus at 3 PM yesterday, I found my new mailbox by the comp department, where I talked with Fidel. I find him cute, in a way, but I’m sure he’ll never know I’m alive.
Going up to my office, I was hailed by Jeffrey Knapp, who’s grown a bushy beard and has just returned from a summer in New York.
He and another teaching assistant and I sat in his office for a while. They kept telling me how much work teaching one course can be: it all sounded very ludicrous to me.
Once again, I caused raised eyebrows as I said things which indicated I don’t take the University of Miami English Ph.D. program very seriously.
Jeffrey is now in his third year, and he still hasn’t finished his M.A., though he’s done with the coursework. Apparently he loves being a grad student and plans to stay at UM as long as he can.
Me, I prefer the real world. I don’t want to fit in at UM any more than I wanted to fit in at Broward Community College.
Does that make me a misfit? I hope so, for that means I’ll have to change the shape of things to find a place for myself.
Don’t get me wrong: I like Jeffrey a lot, and I don’t mean to sound pompous or superior. It’s just that I can’t take UM’s graduate program very seriously.
However, I was certainly glad to hear the department folk are good people who let you do what you want in class.
I taught my class my own way, discussing with them how they feel about writing, why it seems so difficult, and whether it’s a necessary skill for them to learn. They seem like an okay bunch.
Prof. Guttenberg’s lecture on Victorianism, the modernist reaction to it, and the Southern literary tradition was interesting.
Of course, I’d heard it all before and was surprised he didn’t think his students would be familiar with Dada, Spengler, or the Fugitive writers. I interrupted him several times with comments and questions – and I was the only one who did so.
Still, coming home last evening I felt good. Looking at downtown Miami as I passed it on I-95, I felt that maybe this year won’t be so terrible after all. At least it’s a new experience.
I spent the evening on the phone, catching up with friends.
First, I called Susan Ludvigson in Charlotte – and I was lucky I got her because she’s leaving for Europe this weekend.
Almost everything at home has been taken care of, though she found only one person who’d take over her apartment, and he’s paying a lot less that she wanted.
Susan’s summer at the University of South Carolina was awful: the French class was too advanced for her, and Columbia tended to have the record high temperatures in the USA, with 106° fairly common.
I told Susan not to worry and that I was sure good things would come of her Guggenheim year in Europe.
Next I called Susan Mernit, who’s about to start the adjunct shuffle for the fall. She’ll be teaching nine credits at Poly Tech and she’s got her Forest Hills nursing home workshop and one day at Teachers and Writers; for her other classes, she’ll have to choose between Brooklyn and Empire State.
She’d just come back from a week in the country with Rochelle, who has grown quite fat with unhappiness.
Both Susans asked me what response I had to the NYTBR review, and I didn’t have much to tell them – but I felt very glad they cared.
Kevin phoned next, wanting to know what story from Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog he should nominate for a new volume of Morty Sklar’s Editor’s Choice small press anthology.
None, I said, because it won’t matter anyway: Sklar’s taste in fiction is terrible and he wouldn’t have the sense (any more than the Pushcart Prize people do) to take a story I wrote.
Kevin, too, is preparing to teach again, but although he’ll have six courses this fall, Kevin’s got a good three-day schedule, and with no more White Ewe Press work, he’ll have more free time.
Like Susan Mernit, Kevin knew what I was talking about when I told him the UM TA’s are either lazy, overly dedicated or naïve when they think they’ve got a lot of work teaching one or two classes.
Up early this morning, I collected my mail – letters from Tom, Rick and Miriam and more bills (though I should be free of them for a while) – and then drove to Davie, where I watched Reds in my parents’ empty house.
After a workout with the Nautilus, I came back, showered, ate lunch and drove home in a terrible thunderstorm.
Friday, September 2, 1983
9 PM. When I got to school this afternoon, I found a note in my box; it was from Dr. Russo, who wanted to see me as soon as possible.
While at lunch, I fantasized that he’d heard about my work and teaching experience and was going to offer me a full-time job.
But back at my mailbox, I discovered another note I hadn’t noticed before. This was from Steve Mailloux, and it said I was assigned to be Dr. Russo’s research assistant.
Puzzled, I asked some other TA’s about this. They told me that because I’m teaching only one course, I’ve been assigned to be some professor’s RA for ten hours a week (UM figures that each course has you working ten hours a week).
I learned that Russo is a particularly hard taskmaster, assigning hours of going to the library to research and xerox articles.
He also expects his RA to sit in for him at boring meetings to take notes. And one TA told me he often expects sexual favors from male RA’s. Not from this one, he doesn’t!
The woman who told me this is so stupid that when I mentioned that I was gay, she replied, “Oh, then you shouldn’t mind at all.” Is everyone at UM crazy?
I couldn’t see him, as he wasn’t in all day, but I became very upset. Just when I had adjusted myself to being at UM and telling myself it wasn’t so bad, academia does another number on me.
At 32, I am not going to be anybody’s lackey, errand boy, go-fer or prostitute. I would feel demeaned to do some professor’s xeroxing.
And I’m told he likes to make sure you’re teaching “his” way. Just how many comp courses do you suppose he’s taught? I bet I’ve taught more, and I’m sure I know just as much, and probably more, than Russo does about teaching comp.
Upset, I taught my class as best I could, and then came home in a rush hour traffic jam.
I called my parents. Thank God they are there when I need to go to them for advice. Actually, all I wanted was to talk it out and find out if I was being rational or not. Maybe I’m just too big for my britches and expect the world to drop dead over me because I’ve published some books.
After dinner, calmer, I called Steve Mailloux, who admitted I should have been told about this sooner. He said the department would actually prefer that I teach another course: the research assistantship was designed to make it easier for new TA’s, most of whom have never taught.
When I told him that I didn’t want to be anyone’s research assistant, he didn’t say I was being unreasonable. Steve said he’d see if they could find another class for me to teach – but that seems unlikely this late.
So I may be ending my career at UM.
Josh, God bless him, spoke with me for an hour and advised me not to quit but to go about my classes and teaching and let them decide what to do with me. If they decide to kick me out, Josh said I should sue them.
Saturday, September 3, 1983
7 PM. I was very upset last night, so much so that I stayed awake until after 5 AM. I kept worrying about my financial straits and my career problems.
Perhaps more disturbing than the worrying were the very hostile fantasy acts of aggression I conjured up. I feel angry rather than accepting of my fate, and that in itself is probably a good sign.
But I’m scared by my fantasies of murder, revenge and antisocial behavior: could I actually carry them out? At least the anger is blocking my fear.
Of course, I also feel deep despair: that my life has come to nothing, that I’ll never write a novel or much else again, that I’ve wasted years trying to knock on the door of the mansion called Academia only to be shown repeatedly to the servants’ entrance.
Misery loves company, so I felt better when Alice called this morning and told me how depressed she was. I haven’t been able to get hold of her for a month and I figured that now that she’s an important editor-in-chief, she’s too busy for our friendship.
What I didn’t know was the extent to which Alice’s job is making her miserable – so much so that she, after a long talk with Peter, has decided to see a therapist.
Alice said she isn’t cut out to be an administrator and doesn’t like being the boss of so many people. She’d love to get back to simple editing, and while she’s applied for lower-level jobs at other magazines, she hasn’t had any luck.
Alice admitted it will be tough to give up the perks of a high salary, a sumptuous office and not having to answer to other editors, but she seems willing to make the trade-off.
She’s having insomnia for the first time in her life, and “every night is like Sunday night.” I remember how unhappy Alice was when she was teaching at P.S. 197, and she says she’s almost at that point again.
We confessed to each other our suicidal thoughts that come when it seems as though “there’s no way out.” Alice is also unhappy in her apartment: she’s been on a rent strike for several months because of lack of services, and she’s worried about eviction even if she does hate the place.
Her third problem is her weight – though I passed on Josh’s remark that Alice looked better “filled out.” I guess it’s more of a problem for her because of the magazine she runs.
Going to a shrink may not help some of her practical problems, I said, but it will help her cope with her feelings about them; the only drawback is the $200 a month it will cost.
But Peter said he can’t handle her problems. “We had almost the exact same conversation a year ago, but with roles reversed,” Alice said.
Thank God Alice’s relationship with Peter is still as strong as ever; she said it’s the best part of her life. Someday I’d like to experience a relationship like that.
Josh, too, is lonely and depressed; we spoke for an hour last night. He said he sometimes stays in all weekend now unless someone drags him out of the house.
Josh wants a girlfriend desperately, but the only women who are attracted to him (so he says) are nutjobs – like a maniacally mercenary Buddhist he had dinner with the other night. (She believes that if you want money, you have to chant for it.)
And staring in front of a VDT screen all day at work doesn’t exactly cheer Josh up.
Look: lots of people are unhappy. Both Ronna and Stacy are unemployed and not sure what they want; Teresa’s miserable at work and can’t find a decent guy to love her.
Unhappiness is a part of being human, it seems.
I took Alice’s advice and forced myself to go to the health club this morning. I felt sad when Josh told me that he stopped going to the St. George and that all his muscles have disappeared.
Although I felt exhausted after my hard workout, exhaustion is better than despair any day.
I almost think I’ve gotten used to not having any air-conditioning in the car. The temperatures remain in the high 90°s, with violent thunderstorms like the one last night or the one I experienced this afternoon while I was at Mom’s.
Jonathan called Mom after she and Marc got home from a “terrible” day at the flea market. Jonathan’s boss needs to cut down on his employees’ hours, and Jonathan was one of those to be cut back two hours.
Very upset, Jonathan called Sam, his boss, who said, “But I was going to give you a raise.”
“Forget the raise,” Jonathan told him. “It’s the principle of the thing. I just want to feel that I’m not just any $4-an-hour employee, that I do a lot for this store.”
Sam agreed and he restored Jonathan’s hours.
I understand totally how Jonathan felt – it’s exactly how I feel about UM.
On the good news side, Jean Trebbi sent me all the particulars for Thursday’s taping and Bobby Frauenglas said that the New York State Council on the Arts has the proposal for Where the Glacier Stopped (my title for the Brooklyn stories). If it’s published, I’ll get a $500 advance.
And Josh reported that Barry read an interview with President Volpe in the Staten Island Advance which mentioned my books.
Thanks to Sandy Thompson, I’ll have my photo and book reviewed in the St. Petersburg Times tomorrow. Peter Meinke and Sterling Watson will see it, and I pray that Sean will see it too – and think of me. I still miss Sean a lot.
Sunday, September 4, 1983
10 PM. I feel quite exhilarated. I’ve spent the past three hours writing and polishing a six-page outline of my novel. I can’t believe it’s come together so easily.
But it hasn’t been easy: I’ve been struggling with this for six months, and each of these pages comes out of days of thought and agonizing.
Whether I can actually write the novel is another question. But at least I’ve got the outline for the novel, the direction and theme and scope of it.
Oh, What A Relief It Is! may never see print, but I’m ecstatic to have gotten this far. I think that my conception for the novel works, and while I’ll be interested in Prof. Goran’s comments, if he is completely negative, I intend to ignore him.
It’s a real novel with no narrative tricks: it’s just a plain old-fashioned story about the generation of the Baby Boom – me, Josh, Teresa, Avis, Alice, Marc, Sean – at a particular moment (the summer of 1980). I feel very relieved I have not lost it. Yay!
Ahem. Last night I began Faulkner’s Flags in the Dust (the uncut version of Sartoris) and fell asleep about 10 PM.
I had the most restful night, dreaming deliciously of snow in Staten Island, the old Eighth Street Bookshop, planes flying back and forth between New York and Florida. I really caught up on my sleep and didn’t get up till 10 AM today.
I spent the late morning and early afternoon reading newspapers, writing letters to Rick and Tom, and calling Patrick, who said he finds South Campus at BCC so disorganized he almost preferred the rigidity of Central.
At 5 PM, I went to Corky’s for a burger, then shopped at Jefferson Ward and Publix, and came home to watch the news. Not a bad day after all.
Suddenly I feel optimistic, that everything will work out.
Today is three months since my terrific birthday – from the balloons in the morning to working out with Josh in Brooklyn to coming home to the Upper West Side to buy an early copy of the Sunday Times and Zabar’s croissants and key lime sorbet. Yes, the last three months have been good. I feel very satisfied with my life.
Monday, September 5, 1983
3 PM. The euphoria I felt last night has faded, and I’m nervous about the choices I have to make.
For the first time in years, I may be facing unemployment, no income and a huge pile of bills. What will I do? Get a job, I suppose. Doing what? I wish I knew. Lots of people will look at me and tell me I’m overqualified.
Perhaps I should just not tell people about my publications and degrees, but I hate to do that. I don’t want to be treated like a lackey; otherwise, being Russo’s research assistant wouldn’t bother me.
Hey, look, I’ll manage even if I have to sell my books on the street the way Crad does. I actually went out to try it today, but I scouted around Miami and couldn’t find people anywhere because of the Labor Day holiday.
It’s not as easy here to sell on the streets because most shopping is done in malls, which are private property. And downtown Miami is overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking.
What I’d really like to do is shame the powers that be into giving me some kind of job. Maybe I overrate my importance, but I’m certain some people would think it shocking that I can’t get a teaching job for which I’m qualified.
I do intend to say something about it on the cable TV show on Thursday and let the few people that watch it know how difficult it is for young writers and academics.
Lisa invited me over to her parents for dinner, but I didn’t have the energy to go all the way up to Boca.
Tomorrow I have to go to Broward for a haircut and to the gym; Wednesday I’ve got to be at Unemployment in Fort Lauderdale at 1:30 PM and from there go to Coral Gables for my classes. Thursday morning is the interview.
Prof. Mailloux will probably call tomorrow, so this may be a week of decision for me. What I can’t do is allow despair and desperation to take over.
Lisa is unhappy being out of academia but slowly she realizes how much better she’s being treated at her job at BBYO. She got an early paycheck and was pleasantly shocked to learn that every time she has to use her car between her house and any other place but her office, B’nai B’rith will compensate her 28 cents a mile.
I may, one day, be asked to teach at a college, but right now I definitely feel my future lies elsewhere. But where?
7 PM. I keep having to give myself pep talks: “Yes, Richie, you can make it. . . When the going gets tough, tough guys like you get going. . . You can lick the world if you have to. . .”
But it all sounds rather hollow. Still, there are nearly as many opportunities as dangers out there.
What’s the worst thing facing you now?
That I won’t get a job this entire year. (Forget about unpredictable tragedies like health problems or accidents.)
Can I survive? Yes – at least till the end of the year. I’ll borrow all the money I can if I have to. I’ll do odd jobs. I’ll scrape by. I may even make the ultimate sacrifice and start eating my own cooking.
Remember how terrible 1980 was? But those hard times strengthened you. This will, too. Come on, admit it: you almost enjoy being on the bottom because there’s nowhere to go but up.
(So what if you can go nowhere too? Don’t think like that!)
Look what people have had to face through the ages: poverty, oppression, disease, etc. I would hardly call your situation a tragedy. It’s just a minor inconvenience simply making you more uncomfortable than anything else.
Tuesday, September 6, 1983
8 PM. I just finished an article in American Demographics on the future of higher education, and while the picture painted is not total gloom and doom, it certainly isn’t rosy.
Prof. Russo phoned me last night in that sissy-pedantic voice of his. What an asshole! He wants me to see him on Wednesday and assured me that “many people find being a research assistant highly rewarding.”
When Teresa met Mikey at the beach yesterday, she said, “I don’t think Richie’s gonna get through this Ph.D. program.”
Mikey replied, “We’re too old for this shit.”
He’s right, of course – and I’m convinced that most of our problems are caused by being in the largest and best-educated cohort in history.
Our generation, starting about 1973, the year I graduated college, has had it rougher than our parents did (though not rougher than our grandparents), and I’m certain those born after 1964 will have smoother sailing than we did.
But then we had the luck to grow up in the ’50s and early ’60s, periods of unprecedented prosperity, with our childhood as the best time of our lives.
Speaking of demographics, your humble correspondent was chosen – or rather, his apartment was – by the U.S. Census Bureau to be the study of an hour-long interview a census writer did with me this afternoon. When the lady asked me, “How many stories are in this house?” at first I thought she meant my fiction.
Last night I called Teresa at the beach. She said that Labor Day weekend was okay but tiring, and she’s concerned because now guys don’t even call her for a second date. At least Teresa gets to go to Europe in two weeks.
I didn’t sleep much, but got up early anyway; I made an appointment for an interview on Friday with a Gulf Coast education magazine that needs writers.
I don’t know what I’ll do about UM, but I feel I’ve got all the leverage – as in “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
In one sense, they do need me more than I need them, if only because it would be annoying to have to replace me as a teacher. (Of course, we’re eminently replaceable, but it still would prove a nuisance.)
I just don’t care. I certainly don’t need a Ph.D., and one from UM can’t conceivably do me much good; more likely, it would harm me. Too bad my student loan hasn’t come through yet – though I wonder if things could get so fucked up that the Financial Aid Office wouldn’t know I’m not attending.
This is the Lowering My Sights Department.
A good day’s mail is now one in which I get no bills. John Pyros, whom Patrick says is an idiot, thanked me for joining the Florida Small Press Association, in a post card. He also mentioned seeing the review in Sunday’s St. Petersburg Times.
Little by little, Grayson . . .
The new NEA fellowship guidelines came in: it’s back to poets and fiction writers together, and the grant is now up to a healthy $20,000, but after being turned down three times, I don’t expect to get one. And since the money wouldn’t arrive till 1985, there ain’t much point in hoping.
The Federal Election Commission approved my latest political action committee, the Steering Committee of American Motorists.
This morning I went to the credit union, Bodyworks, and Mom’s. After lunch, I got a haircut (in our family we always say “take a haircut,” which others find a funny phrase), horsed around in the Northeast Dade library, and came home to sweat and answer the Census Bureau’s questions about my plumbing facilities and water bills.
Lisa said she thinks she can get me a gig at the Hollywood Jewish Community Center for Jewish Book Month. I need all the exposure I can get.
I won’t be able to finish reading the first Faulkner book on time, nor do I want to. Graduate school is archaic, an outmoded paradigm.
All I’ve got to do is hang on until the times catch up with me. I’m really sleepy right now, but I do feel cheerful – surprisingly cheerful, given the circumstances.
Wednesday, September 7, 1983
11:30 AM. Last night I was half-asleep when the phone rang; I knew it would be Prof. Russo. He told me he tried hard all day but couldn’t get a course for me.
I took what he said to mean he’d let me get by with one course, but this morning, I’m not certain. I have an appointment to see him at 3:30 PM.
This isn’t going to be an easy day, but in my view, the most important thing I have to do is get to Unemployment in Fort Lauderdale in two hours.
From there, I have to rush down to Coral Gables and see Russo, teach my class, and go to the Faulkner course – though I may use Rosh Hashanah as an excuse to stay away. It depends on how awful the day goes. (I realize that’s illiterate, but the 92° heat makes me write badly.)
6 PM. Rosh Hashanah 5744 will begin soon. I feel brutalized, both by the nearly unbearable heat and by the oppression I felt in academia.
But that’s over now, and I also feel clean.
I quit UM this afternoon in a scene that Clifford Odets or Arthur Miller couldn’t have improved on. I spoke with such eloquent dignity, the audiences would have left the theater crying. To the end, I remained dignified.
As I touched the doorknob to leave Prof. Russo’s office, I actually said, “Good day,” because that’s what they always say in the movies.
Frustration built up over the course of the day – and probably over the course of years – was resolved when I quit.
Right now, I feel elation; I’m sure, in a couple of hours, when the shock wears off, I’ll plummet into a deep depression.
But I have to get up to do the cable TV show in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow, and that’s a signal my life and career are not over.
All day I wanted to quit. The heat got to me, and when traffic jams made the trip from Fort Lauderdale to Coral Gables take 90 minutes, I entered UM ready to resign. But first I wanted to hear what Prof. Russo had to say.
I felt, and I looked so miserable that Prof. Guttenberg asked me if I felt all right because I probably appeared to be seriously ill.
When I finally saw Prof. Russo, I expressed my unhappiness and he seemed sympathetic.
“I understand you’re a writer,” he said.
“Where do you publish?”
“In books.” I showed him the Times review, he smiled at it and asked if I knew James Atlas, a student of his at Harvard.
I explained how I felt about academia and told him that I was at UM because it was the only way I was able to stay in higher education because I couldn’t get a full-time university teaching job.
An “urgent” telephone call interrupted us, and when he got back to me, I felt, well, all right, I’d give it another go.
But then he got out a sheet of paper with a list of things he wanted me to do: bringing back books to the library, xeroxing articles.
“I don’t want to do that,” I interrupted him. “I find that demeaning.”
“Oh, I do things like this for other people all the time!”
“And I’d do it for you on the basis of friendship, too, but that’s not what’s going on here and I don’t want to see myself this way. . . Lookit, tomorrow morning I’m being interviewed for a cable TV show. Last Sunday my book was reviewed in the St. Petersburg Times. If I do that stuff for you, I won’t like the way I feel about myself. . .”
“Then what do you plan to do?”
He seemed uncomprehending. He explained that I had an obligation to the department, to my students.
“You can get another teacher. We’re a dime a dozen.”
“No, you’re not.”
“No, but we’re treated that way.”
“I think we’ve treated you very generously here. We’ve given you a wonderful fellowship and a chance to teach.”
“Dr. Russo, you know graduate assistantships are just another way of exploiting people and getting cheap labor.”
“Well, you still have an obligation to us, a contract.”
“I don’t care. My first obligation is to myself. You wouldn’t care about me. You don’t.”
“You can’t say that. You don’t know me.”
“But I’ve taught at colleges for eight and a half years and I’ve seen my friends and I get exploited, get treated like shit, have classes cancelled two weeks into the semester because a professor wanted to change his schedule. I’ve seen paychecks that came months late, paychecks that bounced, paychecks that were so small for so much work.”
With that, I got up and said, “I’m sorry. It’s not your fault,” and turned to the door.
“Richard, don’t be like that,” he said.
“Will you tell Prof. Mailloux?”
“No, you can do that,” I said, and walked out of his office.
He could see the elevator from his desk through the open door, but thank God it came as soon as I pressed the button so I didn’t have to stand there as he looked at me.
Then my walk to the parking lot took me maybe fifty feet from the outside classroom door where my students were beginning to congregate for class.
I waved to them – they were probably a little confused, not realizing it was a goodbye wave – and I got into my car and left the University of Miami campus for good.
Thursday, September 8, 1983
7 PM. Depression hasn’t set in yet, but I’ve kept myself moving all day. Last night, though, I didn’t sleep much due to worry.
Once I was awake, I got ready for the interview and was at the Selkirk studios early. Jean had just finished taping a program with Nancy Osborn, a writer on the occult and psychic phenomena, who stayed to watch our taping.
Before the show began taping, I told Jean I’d quit UM so she wouldn’t be caught flat-footed and ask me a question about grad school.
The half-hour seemed to go well, though Jean said I wasn’t funny enough. I guess I didn’t feel funny. I’ll see the results when I get my copy of the videotape.
Jean, Nancy and I had lunch at the Riverside Hotel, and I enjoyed being in the company of two “do-ers.” Nancy’s experiences with psychic stuff are really fascinating, and she manages to make a good living from her writing.
On the way back to the studio to drop us off, Jean showed us the new main library building, a magnificent eight-story glass wonder amid the hectic construction of a real downtown in Fort Lauderdale.
Since I was nearby, I decided to go to the State Employment Service, which I had to do before going back to Unemployment.
It took nearly an hour’s wait before my interview with a bureaucrat there, and when I called Mom from a pay phone by their restrooms, she said that reporters from the Clearwater Sun and USA Today were trying to get in touch with me.
When I tried out my story before the job consultant, she said that if I wanted to get into public relations, publishing, or advertising, “you should move to New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. What are you doing here? This is a resort area.”
That made up my mind for me: I’m going back to New York in the spring. Till then, I’ll support myself getting work here and there – and trying for stardom.
I loved being interviewed by the reporters later. The D.C.-based woman for USA Today thought I should take my act into comedy clubs and told me which gags were funny and which weren’t.
USA Today means national exposure, though of course my words will be pared down into two – probably not very funny – sentences.
What I really need to do is get on national TV – but I have nothing visual to offer since I’m just a “talking head.” Still, it felt wonderful to be interviewed for TV and the papers today.
What fun to be able to say anything I want! Imagine if I could be paid for that. Right now I feel free to have academia behind me.
What I need to do is keep busy and keep making plans.