Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Today, I suck at life....

I was ready for today to be a cool day. A super-cool day even.

My star seems to be in ascension. A couple days ago I got a super cool review on NPR. As if that wasn't cool enough, superhero librarian Nancy Pearl is the one doing the reviewing and recommending.

If you don't know who Nancy Pearl is, you should. Any you know that any librarian with her own action figure is a force to be reckoned with...

If that weren't enough, I also recently got wind of a review in Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine. Michelle West wrote such a flattering, descriptive, spoiler free review discussion of the book that I realize I will probably never have much luck being a reviewer myself. I don't think I have the knack.

Anyway, my point is that things were looking pretty rosy moving into today. Two embarrassingly good reviews, my student's tests were graded, and my amazon rank was ridiculously high (#240). I was half convinced that the local woodland creatures were going to wake me up, sing me a song, and help me get dressed for school -- Cinderella style.

Because they didn't show, I had to find my own socks and consequently I was running a little late. So I drove onto campus and found a spot right in front of the building. It even had 20 free minutes on the meter. Better and better.

Then I end up having a disagreement with the local photocopier. I want to make copies of the grading rubric for my class. The machine wants to take a big old shit on my day.

Ultimately the machine wins. It even manages the trifecta by denying me my copies, devouring the one and only copy of the rubric, and making me five minutes late to my own class.

Everything went downhill from there. The class was a trainwreck. Because dealing with the photocopier took all of my class prep time, I looked disorganized and clueless. I wrote all over the dry-erase board with a big bright red non-dry erase marker. (Not my fault, someone left it there.) I looked like an idiot several times and some of the students actually were talking to each other and laughing at me.

Lastly, toward the end of the class I said something in response to a student's comment that was meant to be a general statement for the class, but I think was interpreted as me being bitchy at that student. *sigh* I don't know.

It's strange how quickly your day can turn to shit. In some ways it's even worse because everything else was really good before that. If you spend the day picking up dogshit it's not going to be a great time, but at least you know what you're in for. You're braced for it. It's different if you're just having a picnic and someone hits you in the face with a turd.

And with that lovely image, I will leave you. Hope your day is going better than mine.



P.S. 204. That helps a bit.

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posted by Pat at


Blogger Hob Gammidge said...

Awww...poor Pat. *huggles* Don't let one bad day ruin a whole slew of good ones honey, then you're letting the bad days win. We can't have that. You've gotta get with making the funny.

Students are resilient, trust me, it won't phase them any for you to have a bad day, you're human too and you're allowed to be bitchy, just like they are. If they don't like it, they can bend over and take it up the tailpipe. A pox on the unfeeling assholes of the world!

November 13, 2007 8:48 PM  
Blogger TK42ONE said...

And to think, I've been bitching about my professor being an ass. I guess it all evens out.

No, I take that back. I doesn't. You do a far better job of writing and speaking. My professor doesn't even know the simple concept of grammar. You know, how words go together to form a sentence?

And thanks for the wonderful imagery. Makes me want to fling some poo.

November 13, 2007 8:57 PM  
Blogger Parrish said...

I sympathize with you! But hey, as a student, there is nothing I like more than seeing one of my teachers being crazy, as it makes them much more approachable and relateable (I just created a word!). So don't worry about one class - chances are, no one will even remember it that much! If you are really worried about that comment at the end of class, just say a clarifying statement at the beginning of the next class (I realize that I may have seemed a little abrupt last class...etc) - I'm sure it'll work out.

I'm also loving the resistentialism brought about by the copier - just another great story about worshiping the god of technology!

Other than that, congrats on being 204! That should help more than just a little - your book is amazing and people are loving it - yay!!!

So for the rest of the night, curl up with an amazing book and enjoy - everything will sort itself out.

November 13, 2007 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Blake...Kelvrin said...

Sorry your day went like that man. At least you know that there is something good to look forward to. Book 2 has to come out eventually, and then you'll have all of us here to tell you what a god you are. :D

November 14, 2007 12:11 AM  
Anonymous Geddy said...

So that whole part about the copier just reminded me of the movie Office Space. Man I love that movie.

Anyway, keep your head up, Pat. You've got countless people all around the world who look up to you, many people who have included you in their list of favorite authors, from just one book. Don't let a few rotten college kids ruin your day.

November 14, 2007 12:17 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

I have those days too. Without days such as these, we could not really enjoy or even recognize the really cool days. Your SUPER COOL days will be many to come. Call it a “gut” feel...

I look forward to meeting you in Room 25 on Saturday. Until then, I wish you inspiration, endurance, and complete clarity toward your goals.

November 14, 2007 1:26 AM  
Blogger Sirisha said...

Copiers are popular vehicles of irate sprites who have nothing better to do that make life unpleasant.

Cheer up, perhaps today was less than awesome because you already had such a good day, or better yet, a much better day is soon to come. It is all about balance, yeah?

November 14, 2007 3:07 AM  
Anonymous Sahdu Babba said...

Yesterday, I had to layoff a perfectly good employee. She is a hard worker, sweet person and a joy to work with. Through no fault of her own she had to be let go.

Please take this in the loving spirit that it is meant

Quit your bitchin. Some days just suck.


November 14, 2007 6:25 AM  
Blogger Cory said...

I hope your day is going better today Pat. An old friend gave me a wonderful quote for day like this. "Make today another great adventure..."
Some days the road may be jagged and rocky, but may just lead you to a beautiful scenic vista in the end.

Careful of the flying turds though... :D

Don't fret about the student. Most of us in college are half asleep and incomprehensive anyway. :)

November 14, 2007 6:41 AM  
Anonymous creepygirl said...

I did that on the dry erase board once myself. I really really wish people wouldn't leave non-dry-erase markers near dry erase boards. The students got a kick out of it though.

Just think, today is bound to be better...and you still have the awesome reviews!

November 14, 2007 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Ryan K. said...

Awww, poor Pat! Oh, woe to the world! Alas, he cannot bear this horrible existence! Please someone, tear off his arms and beat him to death with them so he doesn't have to endure another moment!

Seriously, sucky days are what writers write about. This point is proven by your latest post. If every day involved flowers and bunnies and free, disease-free hookers, you'd have nothing to put into your book. Qvothe would be the altar boy who never got to be molested by the priest. He'd be the player who always put on a--yawn--flawless performance. The dancer who never stepped on his partner's foot. The poker player with a winning hand every time. The princeling who never knew the streets. BORING!

If a day is good, how do you know it's good unless you have some bad days with which to compare it? Good needs evil. Tall needs short. Dark needs light. Otherwise, it's all just gray, neutral, meaningless.

So set this bad day next to your good days and say, "Dang, those other days were REALLY freakin' good!" Keep yourself grounded. And quit whining about the damn photocopier. Everyone knows those things break down all the time.

Have a better day!

November 14, 2007 8:20 AM  
Blogger KYDS3K said...

okay, how did i miss that review by Nancy Pearl? i was listening to that segment and made SURE that i heard the whole thing to hear if she mentioned NOTW! :-(

i know how the days can shit on you just when you got your wings. ohhhh do i know . . .

November 14, 2007 8:54 AM  
Blogger Mary J. said...

As a pseudo-librarian, I understand the coolness of a Nancy Pearl review. I got a shout out from the brass here for "discovering" you first. :-)
So, that made my day. I must have intercepted your good karma.
Poor Pat. You should totally vent here, btw. Who loves you more than your loyal minions?
On a side note, I adore a man that makes references to Cinderella.

November 14, 2007 8:55 AM  
Blogger Haplo Peart said...

Quick tip.

To remove permanent marker from a dry erase board, color over the permanent ink marks with a dry erase marker. Allow a couple minutes to dry. Erase, might take 2-3 applications, but the permanent marks will come off.

November 14, 2007 8:56 AM  
Anonymous chris pierson said...

When I was a freshman at university, the head of our faculty spent an entire lecture writing on an overhead acetate with what he thought was an erasable marker.

Only it wasn't erasable.

Also, there was no acetate.

He'd been writing the whole time on the actual glass of the projector with a permanent marker. It was a magical moment, but we didn't lose any actual respect for him. You'll recover too, Pat.

November 14, 2007 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Gehennaheretic said...

Bad day? Really, weigh those things out. You looked silly in front of what, thirty people? Think of how cool you'll look to the tens and hundreds of thousands who will hear the NPR review by the respected Super-Librarian, see your extremely high Amazon ranking, and envy your fantastic parking space as they circle the lot for an hour waiting for a spot. Honestly, the star is on the rise, and jealous copy machines and smirking students won't impact that a bit.

Here's a neat procrastination site that lets you show off your vocabulary and feed the hungry at the same time: www.freerice.com

It's fun and a good deed, too. Should make you feel better. (especially when you can compare scores with others and feel smug about it.)

November 14, 2007 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Rhona Westbrook said...


I HATE days like that, but we all have em and reading about yours, makes mine not seem so bad. Misery loves company and that's sad, but true.

I really dig your honesty Pat.


November 14, 2007 12:00 PM  
Blogger Bubble_toes said...

photocopiers always think they know best. actually, technology happens to have a specific allergy of me. Pc's hate me as well.
You know the occasional:
'hey lets pop up some porn the minut mom walks in'
'Oe i feel like shutting myself down, say what? Doing an important paper that might save your scholar life? oh well piewww'

Long live unsharp pens, non allergic ink and edgeless paper!

November 14, 2007 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are #4 at Amazon if you just include SF/F titles. Also, now that you have the best reviewed book of the year why not become a full time writer?

November 14, 2007 4:23 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Bad days leave you cranky for much longer than happy days leave you content. It's sad, but true.

But look on the bright side... YOU'RE FUCKING AWESOME.

November 14, 2007 4:43 PM  
Blogger d8/d12 said...

Patrick Rothfuss and the terrible, no good, very bad day.
Everyone has the right to be a bit of an ass when they are having a bad day. As long as it does not happen all the time people will forgive you. The will probably feel you are a little more human and unless you are going for a flawless unassailable professor persona that will be ok.

November 14, 2007 8:12 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

I love how you tagged 'turd.' That's definite style.


Everyone has sucky teaching days, right? I mean, I'm just a snot-nosed English major undergrad myself, but I've heard horror stories.. At least you don't teach kindergarten. There was this one story my friend's mother told that involved a kid running out of the bathroom with his pants around his ankles in time to vomit on her shoes.

At least they didn't vomit on your shoes.

Also, next time that happens, tell them Ali at USF would murder any single one of them for their spot in one of your classes. For serious.

November 14, 2007 11:39 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Also, I have a crappy-quality printout of the cover of NOTW taped to my dorm room door. Right next to Joss Whedon, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Rufus Wainwright.

November 14, 2007 11:52 PM  
Blogger CL said...

Expect your day to be shitty. That way, you'll never be disappointed.

November 15, 2007 3:58 AM  
Blogger Ken Swails said...

Is it really a bad day if you enlighten those around you? Isn't that the point of life? So, by sharing your pain on this blog, you have actually turned a bad event into a happy occassion.

Sure, we are all amusing ourselves at your expense. Sure, your pain equals our entertainment. Sure, we're a bunch of parasites.

But really... all of us are now smiling, if only on the inside. Sharing your bad day has managed to make many people smile for a minute. And if you make people smile, then that equates to a good day in my book.


Now get back out there and experience more awkward, frustrating moments you can share with the world. :)

November 15, 2007 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Gareth said...

Hi Pat, If its any help, we in the UK can enjoy the Conchordes on BBC Four (Digital channels) every Wednesday. So thats a cheerful factor now.

Other than that, perhaps now that youre a "rich" author, you might want to buy your own personal photocopier to use at home. LOL

November 15, 2007 12:20 PM  
Blogger King Sheep said...

Kudos for taking the brunt of the blame on your soft and hairy shoulders. A lesser man may have blamed life for sucking rather than themselves for sucking at it.

November 15, 2007 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Oran Velcyter said...

This is because you haven't been gaming. The powers that be are displeased with you.

November 15, 2007 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should follow my code and you'll never have a bad day:

I expect everyday to be shitso when i only a slightly shitty day its considered a happy day.

November 15, 2007 5:28 PM  
Blogger EvolSum said...

You got 2 embarassingly good reviews, your book is selling well, a legion of devoted fans anxiously waiting your next book with baited breath, and you still have your good health. Those sound like things worth remembering.

November 16, 2007 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Krighton said...

if you really want to launch up to the top of the Amazon ladder, make friends with Oprah and become one of her Book of the Month toadies. Oh, and if she ever invites you on her show to apologize for anything, don't show up.

November 25, 2007 5:03 PM  
Anonymous symathyfromthecrowd said...

Pat, Terrible days only pave a path for better ones. Being a student in this class that has seemed to cause you such frustration on this particular day; and even more specifically, this student who you feel that you may have offended... NO FEAR! This may come as a surprise but I feel that the comment that you made may have actually woken up the 89.9% of grade mooching bitches in there! (And I took no offense, actually laughed about it later with my group) And by the way, the whole marker scenario was hilarious. It's nice to see your teacher fuck up and have a bad day and a brutal story to tell about a grueling battle with a copy machine (at least you didn't lose any limbs). We're all human, good day or bad.

November 28, 2007 10:20 AM  
Blogger Al said...

My landlady bought the Nancy Pearl action figure for me for Christmas this past year. It's absolutely hysterical.

February 2, 2010 10:48 PM  

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