Friday, October 9, 2009

Nine Realizations

Baby Anora holds her papa's finger

The dust is settling after the mad rush of moving, followed by having Swine Flu (!) and trying to balance that with fulfilling all my obligations. And I have come to some important realizations.

#1: H1N1 is something to be reckoned with.

Swine Flu is virulent. It knocked me and my legendary immune system right down. I was very sick from Sunday to Saturday, and I still have a gravelly voice like Demi Moore.

I even went to the health center at the university in case I was getting a secondary infection; this flu operates in little waves during which you think you're better so you do something then have a horrible relapse. Happily, I learned I don't have bronchitis or anything, and I am on the mend.

I'd felt as if I were fighting it for three weeks or more. Every Saturday, when I might have had a chance to go see my little granddaughter, I felt as if I were coming down with something. Knowing Swine Flu was on campus, I dared not bring it to new little Anora, who hasn't developed antibodies yet.

#2: My children need me.

Not seeing the kids has been my heartache, because I want to be a part of my son's growing family; I want to see how they're adjusting, to share this experience with them; and most importantly, to help out where I can, to ease their burden somehow.

I get to see them tomorrow!! I promise to take pictures.

#3: I love student conferences.

It's been a crazy week, working every moment on student conferences, in addition to my usual workload.

My students are required to have a 15 minute conference with me about their first essay; it's a mandatory conference. It's also my chance to model the kind of feedback I want them to give to one another.

It was a heck of a lot of work. It takes a long time to read and respond to each essay, just to prepare myself for the conference. Then there is a very focused 15 minutes, sitting across the table from each one of these interesting young adults and helping them develop their ideas.

Work-intensive though this is, I do believe it's my favorite part of my job.

#4: Teaching is exciting.

Teaching class last night was a very different experience, standing in front of 25 people I know, teaching to them as a group of individuals.

The sort of discussion that took place in my classroom yesterday was worthy of a grad school classroom. This is exciting to experience with people who are only on their seventh week of college ever.

#5: My life is very busy.

Today was not a day off, but I only had to work half a day, attending a meeting of composition teachers from 8 to noon. So the afternoon was available for taking care of neglected chores and obligations.

#6: Laundromats let you knock out in 2 hours what used to take half the day.

To this meeting and all these subsequent errands, I had to wear an outfit consisting of my least favorite clothes. So I spent part of my afternoon at the laundromat, which will now be a regular part of my life since the new apartment doesn't have hookups.

I dealt with this chore handily, quickly and in an organized fashion (not always my modus operandus).

I went to the laundromat in Arcata by the Coffee Break, so there was a delicious iced chai in the deal, and I could check my email while the clothes washed.

And while they dried, I cleaned out my jumbly messy car which was looking as if perhaps I lived in it.

#7: Something's gotta give.

I had time to think during all this, and I came to some important realizations, most notably, I am doing too much and something has to give. So far, it has been my personal and social life, but apparently even that sacrifice is not enough.

It's not going to be teaching, because I'm committed.

It's not going to be working, because I have to survive.

It's not going to be parenting, because my children need me.

What's left are my two grad school commitments: my literature class and my master's project.

I can complete the lit class requirements, but the master's project is more than I can do right now.

#8: I won't graduate until May anyway.

The December deadline is oppressive and shadowing all my present experiences.

What I need are deadlines I can live with, so I am going to ask my adviser about a revised schedule in which I finish in May, when my commencement ceremony is scheduled.

#9: A manageable life is worth living.

Once I made this decision, the rightness of it literally made me cry.

I can actually do. This I might actually succeed at. This makes my life seem manageable and worth living again.

Now let's hope my adviser will agree.


Angela said...

I'm so glad. I hope everything works out.

Indie said...

Thanks, sweetie. And thanks for reading all that!

Kym said...

Here's hoping your adviser agrees!