Category Archives: Personal

Unique by Corby Jaye Roberson

While I was moving things, I found one of my most prized possessions, a poem I wrote when I was in seventh grade. I’m posting it here for the simple fact that if I lose the written copy, I’ll still have this cyber copy. I love how much and how little I’ve changed in 27 years.

Here is the title page:

by: Corby Jaye

Hartford City Junior High
7th grade
April 8th, 1987

Here is the poem:

The world looks down on people like me,
The ones that want to do or be different.
I don’t think that just because I’m different,
That I should be looked down upon, lower
Than people that do the same old thing day after day.

But I don’t really care if the people do look down on me,
Because if I’m what I want to be,
That’s my choice not the world’s.

If everybody did or was the same,
The world would be very dull and boring,
And maybe then people would want to do or be different,
Not the same!

So I’ll just me, because that’s all I can be,
And I don’t care what the world thinks.

Here is the story behind this poem: I totally forgot that it was the last day to submit anything for Young Author’s, so I faked sick during P.E. and went to the nurse’s office. Then I laid on the cot and wrote the poem you have before you. I made the cover during lunch and then turned it in to Mrs. Warner, my English teacher, just after last period. I was as shocked as anyone else when I won the competition at our school and had my poem submitted for the Indiana Young Author’s Anthology, which I never received. I was pretty proud of this poem, and I wasn’t the least embarrassed that I wrote it at the last minute, because it had been rolling around inside of me, since about, oh, kindergarten. Growing up I always felt a bit out of step with everyone else, and I didn’t really care about how out of step I was until the next year, during the same month, when I had a life-altering event happen to me. I don’t really want to divulge that here, now, but I will say that I spent a good portion of the next 25 years trying to get back in step with everyone else. And, well, now I am done with that. So there.

It’s Tuesday, and My Wife Lives in MN

I haven’t really written anything (okay I’ve written things, but they are for my eyes only right now), since my beautiful wife moved to Minnesota to find a house and start a new job. I’m pleased to say that she loves her new job, and that the house she found up there is beautiful and super cool. Here’s a link to the listing. The coolest part about the house is the attic, which is finished, and which is the exact right size for a drawing and writing studio. I couldn’t be more pleased about the prospect of getting up in the night to climb a few stairs to go draw or paint. Now I need to somehow find a job or jobs to help pay my share of things. Anyone know of any good jobs in the Twin Cities that don’t require much intellectual thought or grading?

I’m going to spare you, the reader, of my past few months of darkness, though I mask it well, don’t you think? And, I’m just going to start afresh, like I have chosen to do, yet again, in my life. I’ve shared the questions, the doubts, the difficulties, and the pain with a few close friends, family, and my wife, so I think that’s enough wallowing in it. And, I’m just going to start afresh, like I have chosen to do, yet again, in my life.

Since last July 13, my weight has increased by 35 pounds, back up to 230 pounds on my 5’2″ frame. Yay, fun with fat! I checked my blood pressure the other day and it was 151/98 and my pulse was 65. For the past two months, I have been drinking at least two-three beers a night and smoking 4-5 cigarettes a day. I have consumed at least 32 ounces of caffeinated coffee each day, sometimes with extra shots of espresso in them. And, I haven’t run, swam, or biked pretty much at all. I feel like crap and I look like crap (and not because I’m fat; I’ve been fat my whole life, so I really don’t care about all that). I look blah and have dark circles under my eyes from eating things that I have intolerances for: wheat, corn, soy, and some dairy.

That being said, I ran two miles yesterday morning, and yesterday was the first day in a long time that I didn’t smoke, drink alcohol or caffeine, or eat those things I shouldn’t. I know. Big whoop. First day. But every day is the first day of the rest of your life, right? And, as they say in AA: “One day at a time, man, one day at a time.”

So, today, for the second day, I’m trying to stay the path of abstinence, movement, and clean eating. I walked the dogs for a mile this morning, took it easy and had a decaf cappuccino, then came to school. I ate good food for breakfast, and I have good food for lunch. I’m hoping to run a mile right after school, then walk the dogs for another mile before finishing up my portfolio for class.

Ah! What a life. Grace. Always grace. It’s how I even exist.

Things I Am Afraid Of or My Phobias

The title of this post sounds a bit like an essay that I would never assign to any of my critical writing classes, but it is one that I would assign every semester to any creative writing class I might teach. I think this is a fascinating topic for many reason. One: I think our phobias say a lot about who we are. Two: By writing about our phobias, we get to explore not only what we are afraid of, but also why we are afraid of it. Three: Who doesn’t love delving a little bit deeper into her own psyche just to find out that the irrational fears she faces everyday are possibly very rational. Here are my phobias that I would like to one day write about:

  1. Haphephobia: A fear of being touched—I don’t liked to be touched for pretty much any reason. I don’t like to hug people or to have them walk up next to me and put their arms around me. So, if you have ever received a hug from me, consider your self lucky.
  2. Vaccinophobia: A fear of vaccinations—I think vaccinations are a ridiculous waste of time and money. We have diseases for natural population control, and we have vaccinations so large pharmaceutical companies can make money. Plain as that.
  3. Scatophobia: A fear of fecal matter—I don’t mind my own poop, but yours better not come near me. Also, I have a dog who I think is scatophobic because he literally runs away from his poop every morning.
  4. Pnigophobia or Pnigerophobia: Fear of choking of being smothered—This actually also extends out into a fear of drowning. Really I am afraid of not being able to breathe: drowning, choking, asthma, suffocation, or strangling.
  5. Nyctohylophobia: Fear of dark wooded areas or of forests at night—This actually has more to do with a fear I used to have when I had my Jeep. Whenever I would have all the windows and doors off, I was always afraid a deer would jump in when I was driving past a cornfield. It would then proceed to bite me in the next or hoof me to death. Since I love to camp, I think my fear has more to do with the deer.
  6. Gephyrophobia or Gephydrophobia or Gephysrophobia: Fear of crossing bridges—This only applies to really high bridges in interstates: The Chicago Skyway, a bridge in Milwaukee, the bridge to South Padre, one in Corpus Christi, and one in Dayton.
  7. Emetophobia- Fear of vomiting—Seriously, I will bargain with God to keep from throwing up. Ew.
  8. And, probably my most serious fear whose name I cannot locate: falling through the upstairs  floor into the level below—When I lived in an apartment on any floor but the first, sometimes I would have difficulty falling to sleep at night because I would worry about my bed (with me in it) falling through the floor into the apartment below. I would imagine myself waking up in the first floor apartment with its inhabitants staring at me. Now, since our bedroom is just above the dining room table, I think that the bed might fall through and land on the table and then the whole lot of us will end up in the basement with the cat litter pans. Ugh.

So goes my list of irrational fears.


I am thankful for people who understand my idiosyncrasies.

Food: I ate everything in sight. It happens on the first day of, and the few days leading up to, your period. Sue me.

Exercise: See above sentence. I was too lethargic to exercise. Tomorrow, though, I am going to kick the heck out of five miles.

A Weekend Full of Grading

This weekend is ridiculous. Here are the things I am doing in no particular order.

  • Grade Burris presentations.
  • Grade BSU presentations.
  • Bake cookies.
  • Go to parents for dinner.
  • Write Burris final.
  • Work on dissertation proposal.
  • Go grocery shopping.
  • Visit Santa with Iz.

I had to purchase a new phone today. Yippee. My old one finally took a shit on me after six years. It really isn’t his fault that his battery is faltering. At least he was a worthy compatriot for that long. I ordered an LG enV Touch. Whatever that means. Here’s a review. And a photo.I hope I don’t lose this one the day after I get it, like I did the last one. Augh.


I am thankful for delicious stir fry, Mint M&Ms, and Christmas Nougats.

Exercise: walked the dogs 2 miles, walked from Burris to RB

Food: banana, blueberry scone, decaf white mocha, Clif bar, two clementines, cream soda, stir fry with whole wheat pasta, Christmas Nougats, mint M&Ms

Mama Day in the Student Center Redux

Today I am sitting here, waiting to have lunch with Abs, in the the newly improved student center. This new renovation reminds of when they redid the Tally when I was an undergrad. We were so stoked to have a Taco Bell, a Wendy’s, and a couple of other restaurants to choose from. In fact, some of my best memories from college come from the times I spent sitting in the Tally during the Humpday Cafe; they couldn’t just leave Wednesday alone, so they provided the students who had to eat at the Student Center with open mic entertainment. All of us rascals from the HC would sit together at a table and make fun of the bad performers and applaud the good ones; we did much more of the former than the latter. But, it was such a good time of bonding over food. Any bonding done over food is good. 😉

The experience was only made better by the fact that, for a brief moment, Taco Bell brought back the enchirito, the most amazing menu item from our childhoods. It was like a little bean burrito, nestled in a silver tin, covered in red sauce and cheese, and topped with two or three olive slices. Essentially, the enchirito was heaven in a miniature pie plate. I think everyone at the table loved the enchirito, since each of us ate one everyday. It was a toss up between that and the big beef burrito. Ew.

Anyway, the group was such a strange mix of people: Julie, Angie, Tommy, Mike, Amanda, Allen, me, and some others I am sure I am missing. I know there was a whole gaggle of us, and it was a blast. I don’t remember ever leaving without pains in my sides from laughing so hard. One of our chief objectives every day was to make a huge sculpture with all of our trash and then to heckle the person who was chosen to try to carry it—without spilling any of it—to the trash. Those were some of those magically immature times where we had one foot in adulthood and the other one squarely planted in childhood. I mean, how fun is it to watch one of your friends drop everyone’s trash all over the floor and have to pick it up and possibly even have to go get the mop to clean up a drink spill?!? That’s funny.

The student center now houses Taco Bell, dining services, The Chef’s Corner, and Starbucks. The Tally has been opened up and redone with new furniture and a vaulted ceiling. And, the hotel has received a face-lift, as well. It’s actually quite beautiful, but I wax nostalgic for those earlier days that seemed so simple.


Today’s weather makes me want to sit in the coffee shop all day, reading and writing. I wish sometimes I could cancel classes in order to take advantage of these moods as they strike. I feel like I could write this whole damned proposal today. Or better yet, I could write my way into the sunset like an old-school Marlboro Man and squint my eyes into my own brightness, wondering if I will ever stop shining. Realistically, though, I will teach at Burris, then walk to the other end of campus to teach my college students. Then, when I finish teaching, Drew is in town so he is taking Bec and I out for dinner. It should be good times. I know Drew really appreciates Bec’s ability to accept him for who he is and be nonjudgmental. She’s kind of sweet like that.

Alas, no writing will ensue, though some reading will. Actually, I have already gotten a good start on Mama Day. This dissertation thing may come together after all.


I am thankful for my new (mostly waterproof) coat and its hood. I love Carhartt. Here is my coat, only mine’s purple, of course.

Exercise: walked the dogs 1.5 miles, ran 2 miles, walked from Burris to Lafollette

Food: banana, juice, chocolate milk, oatmeal, 7-layer burrito, Enchirito (oh, yes, they have them still), Puerto for dinner (veggie quesadilla, chips and salsa)