Friday, April 18, 2014

I just need this semester to be over. (Plus 100 Happy Days #13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)

And then maybe I can post something here that I care about.

My to-do list just grows and grows and grows, and I'm ready to rip out all of my hair because I'm working with:
  • Two new syllabi (with four brand new lessons that I've never TAUGHT before let alone ever learned myself in ten years of schooling).
  • Two new text books (one of which I didn't choose because for some bizarre reason I wasn't allowed to pick out the book from which I had to teach which is unheard of at the college level BUT HEY. WHATEVER.  The author--who shall go unnamed--did a CRAP job on his Augustine Chapter.  Crap crap crap. You know what? Here I go: YOU DID A REALLY CRAP JOB ON YOUR AUGUSTINE CHAPTER. WOULD IT KILL YOU--KILL YOU???!!!--TO INCLUDE PRIMARY FRICKIN SOURCES IN YOUR BOOK?  OR DO YOU THINK PEOPLE LIKE ME ARE TOO DUMB TO UNDERSTAND THEM AND TEACH THEM TO TWENTY YEAR OLDS EVEN THOUGH I HAVE SEVERAL DEGREES THAT SAY OTHERWISE??? AND NO! I AM NOT TAKING THIS PERSONALLY!!!  [sarcasm])
  • 74 students, about half of whom are competent and have good habits while the other half is not incompetent--they're just unsure of themselves and in need of greater attention/encouragement, and for some reason they don't believe me when I tell them that they're smart and "trust me, you can handle this."  Not cool.  It's exhausting to try convincing people of their abilities.
  • One plagiarizer who is convinced that I (ie, me) am TOTALLY OUT OF LINE and how dare I turn in he/she for plagiarizing when he/she doesn't even KNOW what plagiarism IS--come on, you psycho-idiot professor!!! How dare you defend the published work of people who we've never even MET??!!
  • One past student who is devastated to be rejected from every med school to which he applied and please can you write me one more letter so that maybe I can get into this program that will increase my odds for next year?  Oh, and can you give me the letter, like, ... now?
  • One student sobbing after our night class because she studied her ass off for the last exam and how is it possible that she got D??  Like total meltdown sobbing, almost can't breathe sobbing, eye liner running down her face sobbing, with her best friend standing next to her going, "Oh, don't cry! We have a long weekend. We're going home right after this. It's ok!" which just makes her cry harder.  I'm standing there thinking, This is the first time I've had a crier who's not telling me about a death in her immediate family. And the WORST part is that this student is a good egg and I truly, truly feel awful for her. But, what can I do? If you don't answer the question completely, I can't give you credit for what's not there.  And lots of people DID answer the questions completely.  What can I do?  Her face will be burned into my memory forever.  Oh God, it was awful.
  • Then there's all the stuff that hasn't happened yet and technically does not exist: Tuesday will bring me 24 eight-page papers.  Wednesday will bring me the final day of the Augustine lecture (x2), which I bombed last week.  I GET Augustine all up in my head, but I'll be damned if I can get the words out of my mouth in a way that makes sense. Then I have to create an exam for the Augustine material.  Then I have to give said exam to fifty students the week AFTER next, grade all of them, and then JOY! the same people who just gave me their eight-pagers? Here they come with a three-pager (x24). And then, HOLD UP, I need to create an exam FOR THEM, and then give them the exam, and then grade them.  That takes me out to May 8.
  • Can you imagine if I wanted or already had tenure? CAN YOU IMAGINE??? Because then there would be like ten more bullet points that go like this: "Write a book on [x portion of your dissertation]"; "Write a book on [y part of your dissertation] ... as it relates to [x-part]"; "Write ten 20-page articles that come out of your aforementioned books and get them published in ten different journals"; "Go to 10 different domestic/foreign conferences (within the next two years) to present ten different papers to people who are too tired to give a crap"; "Take on twenty additional 'services to the profession' and 'services to your university' because that's what tenured people do."
  • Yeah, ok. Sure.
Meanwhile, here is some stuff that I would like to write posts for:
  • How to pick out/care for houseplants which is going to be long and involved NOT because it's hard but because I make things long and involved
  • Ellie and Anna's first birthday party which took place IN JANUARY
  • The painting class that I took with my friends a MONTH AGO in March
  • The birthday gifts that I made for Reese and Marshall
  • The coconut crunch cake that I made for my dad's birthday but OH WAIT no pictures of it because the idea of walking thirty steps to go get my camera was too much to handle (also *hint* don't make the frickin chocolate sauce: BUY IT IN A JAR.)
  • The one-year-birthday pictures that I just took of Marshall 
  • Ron gave me a gorgeous terrarium for Valentine's Day, and not only was it never mentioned here but I need to plan out what I want to put in it.  That's interesting, right?
  • My blog turned 3 and I said nothing about it
  • I'm know there's other stuff and I honest to God can't think of it
And also meanwhile, I can't even commit to One Hundred Happy Days NOT because I haven't been happy (despite all of this, I've actually been doing pretty well), but because the idea of searching for/reaching for my cell phone to take a picture of things that catch my eye is such a huge pain in my ass that it ultimately ruins whatever it is that I SHOULD be enjoying in the moment without distraction or the need to record it. 

Finally, I am so worried about falling behind on ALL of this and ruining a semester that I've worked so hard "to get right" (I don't even know what that means when I say it.  What the F does that even mean?) that I have had to adopt a one track mind at all times when I'm doing something.  ie, no multi-tasking because MULTI-TASKING DOESN'T WORK. It just leads to a whole-lotta half-assed tasks/work/products.  So when I lesson-plan, I lesson-plan. When I grade, I grade. When I watch TV, I WATCH TV rather than doing 1,000 things while watching TV (this has not gone as well). When I clean, I clean. When I eat a meal, I eat a meal (no TV, no talking, no cell phone, no magazines).  And the only thing I've learned from any of this is that 1) nearly everything that I have to do EVERY DAY is very solitary and lonely and can't be shared with others or finished while being with/talking with others ("hanging out" while lesson-planning? [insert hysterical laughter here]) and 2) I have severe ADHD and that no amount of serious meds can fix how whacked out my mind is.  Focusing on anything for more than fifteen minutes takes the same amount of energy as running marathon (not that I have enough focus to ever do that).

So there you go. Now you'll never ask me again, Why haven't you posted anything lately? It's a dirty, ugly picture, isn't it?  You can't unread the nonsense you just read above this.  Nope.

Meanwhile, 100 Happy Days? SURE! Why the hell not??!! I'll give YOU 100 Happy What-nots.  WHY NOT???

Catholic art is my fave.  Just more proof that I lived several past lives in Rome.  St. Theresa can be found in the psych wing at school.

And we mean NOBODY.  It's just embarrassing. Please stop.

Any house I ever live in will have full southern exposure. Period. No negotiating.  This will be discussed more fully in the yet-to-be-written houseplant post.  Also, there's the terrarium that I mentioned above.

My mom says it's a bunny.  I say it's a lamby.  Yes, my mom made it but since when does that make one an authority on their work?

Sovana for my dad's birthday dinner.  If I had ten extra minutes, I would've removed that ugly red EXIT sign at the bottom before posting it here.

I literally needed to have a moment after Post-Exam Cry Fest 2014 the other night.  I've never seen someone care about their grade THAT much in my classroom.  Or least, I've seen it before, but usually it's expressed in rageful/angry/borderline-inappropriate-harrassing-emails that I almost need to turn into the administration and not pathetic, defeated tears.  At least the sky was pretty.

Philter in Kennett Square.  This is a macchiato ("macchia" in italiano significa "stain"--la bevanda "macchiato" e' "un espresso con una macchia di latte"--an espresso with a stain of milk.)

This doesn't count since it's a repeat, I guess.

In her glory because it's warmer than 20 degrees (still not used to that).

Ok, that's it for now and I know you don't believe me, but I swear I'm not really upset, depressed, messed up, maniacal, psychotic ... ok, I am borderline rageful (but that's my natural set-point. Stuff just makes me angry. It's ok though) and I have severe anxiety, but I'm working on the anxiety part and maybe the rage will take care of itself in that case?  Really, it's all good and my sarcasm is a good sign, not a bad one. I swear!


You should x-out of this now before I keep going.  If I'm not back before May 8th, now you know why.  But I will TRY to be back before then, but I haven't been good at keeping promises lately--you have been warned.


Linda C said...

Holy moly! What does one say to this post?! I think a few prayers are needed - that your rage subsides (but not your sarcasm - it keeps me laughing), that devastated crying student feels better quickly, that sunny skies and warm temperatures are in your future, AND, that Ron makes all of us planters from tree limbs similar to the one on the table at Philter.

Jo Harper said...

I didn't even think to ask Ron for planters. Good idea! I'll put it on his list. Jess, you in? (Although I see you rolling your eyes and being like, "Yeah, but my plants DIE, so maybe not?")