There’s nothing quite like watching two years of effort swirl down the drain. Yeah, yeah, I know, it was a half-assed effort at best, but if you put it on its side and let it all trickle together then it’s like one year of full-assed effort. Wait. That’s not right. Why do we say half-assed, yet never full-assed? Or even assed? Yet another quirk of the English language, like overwhelmed. There is no verb to whelm, to be whelmed, so how can you have an excess of something that doesn’t exist, in this case being whelmed? I did try saying underwhelmed once on a report card, thinking that since that Sloan song was so damn popular for so long that perhaps it had made it into the common lexicon, but the principal who proofread it informed me otherwise and also said that there were other more diplomatic ways to convey that particular feeling. Perhaps, I countered, but when did diplomacy ever really knock some sense into anyone? We use a few dozen hundred-dollar words to convey something that could have been said in four (ie suck it up buttercup or we all have deadlines or stop being so dramatic or STFU and its sister acronym, GTFU) and so make our meaning so vague you could drive a truck through it. She gave me that look that most people do while I’m ranting and waited until I wound down before telling me in a very diplomatic way that the report card comment was kind of half-assed and I’d need to start over; I rewrote the comment in a very diplomatic way to tell the student her work was kind of half-assed and she’d need to start over.
Which brings me back around to the fact that the universe is telling me (not very diplomatically at all) that the last two years’ efforts were kind of half-assed, and I need to start over.