Indolence: An Apology to All the Seniors I’ve Taught

. . others in Elysian valleys dwell,
Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel 

A lovely word, with its three vowel-laden syllables, indolence: the Latin word for grieving – dolor – sandwiched between a negative prefix and a noun suffix.

It originally denoted a state of not grieving, of avoiding trouble, but lapsed in time to mean laziness, what Ozzie and Harriet would call not giving a “hoot,” what the Bellamy Brothers would call not giving a “rip,” what Johnny Depp would call not giving a “shit.”

In other words, high school seniors after spring break.

The path to graduation leads through fields of poppies past the prom into the prison block of final exams.

Meanwhile, they sit with their heads on their desks, their glazed eyes like marbles staring vacantly as a boring old baldheaded shuffling jackass reads out loud lines of poetry

That young men, tossing on their beds,
Rhymed out in love’s despair
To flatter beauty’s ignorant ear.

3 thoughts on “Indolence: An Apology to All the Seniors I’ve Taught

  1. Props to a heroic Latino from the Dominic Republic, Faiden Santana for doing the right thing N. Charleston. Everyone is now watching what doing the right thing even when no one is watching looks like. Since you’re at the College of Charleston, I figured I’d go to the source of tragedy, to try and feel healed in some way… Now I have a new Latin word my repetua and can finally feel like it’s ok to put my laptop/ msnbc 24 hr.news cycle down for the night while the rest of the media scrambles for a mugshot of Walter Scott (according to the ObamaDiary twitter feed)

  2. Props to a heroic Latino from the Dominic Republic, Faiden Santana for doing the right thing N. Charleston. Everyone is now watching what doing the right thing even when no one is watching looks like. Since you’re at the College of Charleston, I figured I’d go to the source of tragedy, to try and feel healed in some way… Now I have a new Latin word my repetua and can finally feel like it’s ok to put my laptop / msnbc “post 9/11” 24 hr.news cycle down for the night while the rest of the media scrambles for a mugshot of Walter Scott ( to quote @TheObamaDiary twitter feed )

  3. Oh, yeah… and my version of A Painted House written by John Grisham I picked up out of a mailbox library bc A Time To Kill is still embedded into my memory from childhood and it is still “The McConaissance Era” to me.

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