Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Paper Weight

I had my college rugby reunion this past weekend and this year marked several distinct changes. For starters, we commissioned the Hall of Fame on campus, which was a truly remarkable endeavor and to celebrate it, we had a fancy, expensive banquet. These were rugby players in suit jackets and ties and high heels. No joke.

The tickets for the gala cost $90, and that was only because my friend Rosie arranged for us to buy them in bulk so we saved 10%. Ours was the only table of "young people" for whom $90 was still a pretty big chunk of change, and we did our best to fully capitalize on the cost by gorging on appetizers and Coronas. Just like at a wedding, the tables were decorated and included a favor for each guest: a glass paper weight. This made us laugh, or at least it made me laugh, for a few hours. A $90 paper weight. It all just seemed so silly.

Who the heck even needs a paper weight anymore?

Me! That's who.

It's been unseasonably cool this August with a ruffling breeze almost every day. I love it. When I am in my home office, the wind gusts through the window opposite my desk and hurls my papers up into my face. I realized that the paper weight was actually pretty essential for me so I don't lose things to the recycle pile near my work area. Before I had the paper weight, I'd come upstairs every evening to see a total mess made of my notes and expense receipts. Now I have an answer to this problem.

Then I went to my classroom, where it smelled like mold and poop until I threw open all the windows in the room. The temperature dropped in there, the air smelled fresher, but all the neat little stacks of syllabi and Writing Center handouts blew into the air like a funnel of garbage. I had to weigh everything down with other things in my bag, like books and sunglasses.

It occurred to me that a paper weight is not such a shoddy party favor after all. I have decided to take it with me into class tomorrow (because I have a stack of student papers to put on my desk) and to tell the students never to mock gifts.

1 comment:

Em said...

This guy makes the coolest paperweights (and marbles) ever. Here's some of his stuff (and those aren't even the coolest, by far).