Advice

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Part of me knew after my initial kneejerk reaction to the news of my friend’s tenure denial was probably closer to what Dr. Crazy had to say in her comments on the last post than what I perceived was going on.

And after I calmed down, I figured there might have been some misrepresentation of ze’s work on hir part, which I don’t fault ze for–I tend to think I’m more productive than I actually am in my bubble until I see what others really are doing.

Though fair to say that some who knew better were shocked still.

And my kneejerk reaction to the message was not unnoticed by another person who did not necessarily say anything bad about my reaction but took my response to mean, in addition to another junior faculty member voicing concerns about the process, that we needed clarification on the matter. So I asked the higher up if I had shot myself in the foot already with my initial vocal support and then if I looked shady like I was back peddling in explaining that my WTF moment was a non-thinking emotional response and after I thought about it I figured that I just didn’t have all the information and why should I have that information and that everything the administrator said was pretty much exactly what I had expected to be told. And there were concerns about me because of the three newbies, I was the closest to hir–which I think they were trying to say and basically said–we really like you and we want someone like you to stay–here’s ze’s history and we like the fact that you seem to be friends with everyone, so here’s the deal. And I get it. After my initial response, I wasn’t running down the halls talking about it, lodging a protest. And I think what saved me was my follow up comment on the feed that rather than tear the halls down I just cried, which I think indicated that I was sad at losing my friend and not saying anything bad about the university. But the general feel was that it was a willy nilly budget thing and I think the administration was rightly concerned that we were concerned that what we were doing was wrong.

So I expressed, many times that my first reaction was a kneejerk “OMG” reaction and that after I sat and thought about it and was over what was shock and sadness that my friend was leaving that I realized that things probably weren’t as they seemed, and I think indicating that my response was an emotional one actually helped me in this case because it was read as “she’s concerned for her friend–look, she’s already made friends here!” rather than, “oh shit, we have to do some serious damage control now” because the conversation about this was not initiated with regards to me. And I was explicitly told that no one, absolutely no one was concerned about my response nor that my freaking out has or would affect me negatively. Because after I calmed down, I got it. At which point I expressed numerous times that I was indeed extremely happy here and that I had no intention of going anywhere else, and that I did, actually after my, let me express, emotional kneejerk response, figure, again, that there was more to it than the one side.

The person who was concerned the most about me, do you think I should go talk to said person? Or should I let it be? Should I tell said person that my response was a kneejerk reaction and that after I was over the shock that I knew it probably wasn’t what I thought and thank the person for initiating a conversation with the administrator? Or should I just let sleeping dogs lie? Because I do want to stay here, and there is a possibility that five years from now said person could be on a tenure committee?

I was told, too, though that even if I were a complete jackass but did what I was supposed to do and had the pubs I needed that I’d still be fine. Should I just take that as an indication that my “wtf? do they want a quart of blood and your first born” reaction was considered  just that a reaction and that no one cares unless I develop a pattern of jackassery?

I still have to put my plan in place though for what I need to/want to accomplish. If I can shake these headaches (stupid pollen) and lethargy (stupid lingering stomach virus and stupid pollen).

Completely Disheartened

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I just found out that my dear friend here, my best friend here, has been denied tenure. Ze more than had the required publications and conferences, had the student evaluations ze needed, and service out the wazoo. Ze was given no explanation, no “you’re tenure was denied due to budget cuts, etc.,” just a form letter stating that the university has decided against ze’s tenure application. Which now the school is going to need to spend money to replace hir, so we are all a bit stunned and confused.

This has me questioning my move here then. If someone who has met and in some places exceeded the tenure requirements is denied tenure, then what does that mean for the two of us who were just hired for this year? I already have 2/3 of my page requirements for tenure. By the end of the summer I’ll have almost all of the new page requirements. I still have yet to find out what my teaching evals look like though, but there seems to be positive buzz in the hallways about me. And no one has complained…yet. I won’t hold my breath.

I’m beside myself with grief over this.  I mean, I don’t want to make this about me, but I’m full of doubt now about what I’m doing here, and how I’m going to be able to make tenure. In many ways I’m much happier with my job here although I I feel like my timeline for what I need to accomplish just got moved up.

I feel like what I’m looking at here, then, is that in order for me to be able to put in a successful tenure bid, I’m going to have to not only exceed the requirements, but I’m going to have to double them. I mean, I had always planned on not doing just the minimum because I wanted a safety net, but it seems the safety net isn’t even good enough here. Granted, things can really change in the next five years here, but given the state I’m in, it could also change for the worse because our governor isn’t really a huge education supporter, at least not when it comes to forking out money for it.

Again, I know that I have made this about me–it’s just seems that ze’s tenure denial means that the rest of us are on much shakier ground than we were a week ago. While I know that my stress now is nothing compared to the stress and uncertainty of my friend’s situation now, it means that I must really map out my research goals and plans here and quit dicking around in the mornings.

It means that I have to make good on my plan to get the smaller article done–I must now do it by the end of this month. Less than 2 weeks to do that. At which point I’ll then have to figure out a research plan that allows me to use the stuff I’m need for the conference paper for the larger article that now must be completed by the end of summer. At the very least, the rough draft of the article needs to be finished by the time classes begin in September. This also means that if I am indeed going to write this book that I want to, I will need to have a proposal written by the end of Winter quarter 2013 and at least a chapter ready by the end of next Spring. Those of you who have written books, is that a reasonable timeline? I need to secure the page requirements for tenure before I start trying to work on this thing. I’ve got to at least have a solid article to send out to something well-placed. I know the possibility of rejection is high, so I need plenty of time to work on revisions and the like.

Or is this a bad plan?

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So I continue to contemplate moving over to blogger. And I’m contemplating having a blog that is not for academics although this blog hardly addresses issues of an academic nature. And maybe that’s the problem? I think too that I’ve been missing Maude a lot lately as well, that “Nola” seems like something that I’ve “accomplished,” since my goal was always to return home. I’m not exactly “home,” but I’m close enough. Maybe what I need is a blog that is personal, where I discuss the crap in my life and one where I work through the academic stuff. I have academic things planned. I have research goals. Maybe I just feel centered on that right now, like since I’m still in the early stages I don’t have much strife with these projects so I don’t have much to write about? Maybe I’m just not that into all the ins and outs of academia in the larger picture beyond what concerns me in my little corner and that I wish I were.

Maybe it’s just that time of the month. I usually feel like I’m having some kind of identity crisis about once a month I feel like.

Maybe it’s just still trying to feel like I’m back on track after spring break.

Actually, maybe I *am* having a crisis about my research. The ideas are there. I just don’t know where to start. How I’m going to reign this all in. And I need to get back to the theoretical part of it. And I need to really focus my MWF mornings on research. This means that I’ve got to do what I did in the beginning of February–when I want chocolate, I bake apples. I know sugar is sugar, but apples don’t keep me up at night.

I’m going to toodle around on blogger for a while. If I move or add anything, I’ll let you know.

HOpe you all are well!

 

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I’m up early this morning. I should have slept in. But I had trouble sleeping last night. I was totally wired after the Walking Dead season finale. Plus, the J made a zombie cheesecake (I’ll have to post pictures)–awesome, and of course, even though I’m trying to cut back on the dairy and gluten, I had to have some of that, but the sugar… oh boy.

But I decided to call the g’parents and not go to their place yesterday. I didn’t get the week’s worth of reading I had planned done, so I’ve got to readjust my schedule here. I’ll work through that in a minute. But I did get my bathroom thoroughly cleaned and the bedroom. Holy mess batman. I did about three loads of laundry. I vacuumed and steamed cleaned the floors in the bedroom and dusted the furniture. And I got ALL of the crap up off the floor. Even when the Red Rocket walked in the room last night he looked around with a “where did all the stuff that was by my bed go” expression. And I washed the dogs’ beds. Then I took a nap. Then I worked out for about 90 minutes. It was a hard workout, but it felt great. I so needed it. Then I made almost 2 dozen hamburgers for our Walking Dead party last night. My standard “Black and Blue” burger and what I now call “The Shane” (it’s stuffed with andouille–so it’s very meaty). We rewatched some episodes and I cried again over some deaths, and I’m totally pumped and stunned by the finale, and it’s going to be a long road to October now.

While I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped I would, I’m glad that I got my bathroom and the bedroom done. That was a huge task in and of itself. Now I have to keep plugging away at the laundry and work on the office space here. And at some point this week we’ve got to shave the dog. He’s a miserable boy right now with all that fur. But at least a lot of that fur is off the bed and off the floor in the bedroom.

So hmmmm, this morning. I either read some stuff for the rest of the week and do some prep or I get a jump start on some grading here, but I do have all of the freshman class period on Wednesday to sit and grade while they write. And I think I am taking this afternoon off from my workout. Thankfully we have a bunch of leftover hamburgers so dinner for tonight and tomorrow is set. All I have to make is a veg or two, so that will be easy. Or I can go back to bed and take a nap here before I have to get ready. Or sit and blog. Or do some research, which is what I should be doing on MWF mornings.

It’s hard to get back to that research mode after an entire quarter of not doing so. I think I need to try a mid-morning teaching schedule for the fall and see how that works see if that gives me time to not get up at the crack of dawn, time to get reading in and time to work out before class. I’ve been toying with this for  a bit here.

Well, anyway, I’m babbling now. I should go read. and make a to do list.

I should add too that one of my classes this quarter is a lot of fun so far. They’re really engaged, and even if they’re not keeping up with the reading, they’re engaged and paying attention during class discussion. Or they appear to be. It’s a good vibe. The freshman class is a bit more difficult. It’s a little like pulling teeth. They don’t want to talk, although a couple of them are really trying. It’s just a bit exhausting. And the TR lit class is o.k. The 8 am lit class is usually just o.k. It’s just such a long class.

All right, I’m going to figure something out now.

Oh, p.s. I’ve tried commenting on lots of your blogs out there–I’m having trouble, still, with blogger letting me comment even logged into my wordpress account. So I’m not anti-social or wrapped up in myself (okay, I am but that has nothing to do with the issue here) that I can’t be bothered to comment. I keep trying. So I think I may have to sit and figure this out or switch to blogger or do something. Just wanted to let you all know.

Feeling Guilty

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I’m still tinkering with returning to blogger. I think I’m just having one of those moments where I’m feeling antsy in my space. I think it’s indicative of my life in general.

I have a dilemma this morning though–I haven’t seen the g’parents in about a three weeks. They were sick last week and we were out of town for the time before that. And I feel guilty because I think I’m going to call and cancel on them today, which then I have to, come hell or high water, make sure that if they are not sick next weekend, we get over there.

Here’s the issue–I’m behind. Sorta. I can get tomorrow’s stuff read and done and still work out before we go over there this morning because that stuff did not get done yesterday (which is part of my dilemma). If we go over there this morning, then all of the housework does not get done today, and this place is bad right now. I haven’t cleaned “cleaned” since before spring break. The winter clothes are scattered everywhere and need to be vacuum sealed and stored. The summer (yes folks, we’re already in summer. It’s glorious! It’s been in the 80s for the last week and a half and it’s not like there’s a chance for some late spring snow here or a late spring freeze or anything like that in these parts–we’re out of the cold season) stuff needs to be folded and put away. Good will stuff needs to be organized and delivered. The kitchen table needs to be cleaned off. Old bills need to be shredded, and I’ve got to make about 2 dozen hamburgers for tonight.

Why did the important stuff not get done yesterday? I didn’t feel good yesterday morning and slept in a bit, so in lieu of reading while not feeling well, what I felt like doing was running some errands before the stores got crowded. And then we went to the grocery. And by the time we got home, it was now or never for the workout. I’m glad I did. I finally felt human again after working out. Made dinner, vegged with the husband, and called it a night. That means that everything that didn’t get done yesterday needs to be done today.

If we do visit the g’parents, that means that I will be behind for the next two weeks–literally. I have two classes’ lit responses that need to be graded next week–I’m going to try to do as many as possible during my office hours, but I also have freshman freaking out over their drafts, too, so I already have meetings with them next week which eats into the grading time (which is fine–my office hours are for them; I don’t mean to sound callous. I told at least three of them that we *needed* to discuss these drafts before they are due Friday). And next Saturday morning is lost to me because I have to do some exam proctoring that’s part of my service. And I tried to get up earlier this morning, I really did.

I just feel guilty yesterday for doing things that I wanted to do rather than working so that I could go to the g’parents’ house today. But we go this week, we won’t be going next week, that’s for sure. But if we go today, I have a hellacious week ahead of me, and I don’t want that. And I just did not have the energy or the strength last week to work like I had been. I was exhausted, fully and completely by Thursday. Usually I can make it to Friday before I just fizz out. But my classes Friday, including the one I subbed for, were not great. I was stuttering and stammering. I seemed like I was completely unprepared when in fact I actually wasn’t. I woke up with a sick belly just about every morning.

But yesterday I think I figured out what was going on and why even though I’m tired and sore this morning why if I can stay home the day doesn’t seem so daunting–I think I may have a gluten sensitivity issue. I don’t think I’m intolerant. I don’t think I’m allergic. But the one thing that changed during spring break and since then was the amount of gluten in our diets from eating fried foods, processed foods, pizza out of laziness. Other things were bread is the main staple of the meal. I have noticed that my energy has plummeted. My recovery time from my big workouts is longer and more painful. I am, for the first time in six weeks, having trouble sleeping (No, I’m not pregnant–I can say that without a doubt). I’ve been stuttering. I’ve been having trouble focusing. In short, my overall health has been challenged. And that’s the only thing that has changed. But yesterday was a gluten free day and I had no trouble sleeping. I couldn’t get up as early as I wanted to, but I guess I’m recovering from poor sleep during the week, but I don’t feel like I’ve been hit by a truck, and my stomach didn’t hurt this morning. I’m looking forward to my workout today rather than feeling so tired that I want to blow it off. I don’t know if this is something new as a result of dramatically cutting back on things that contain gluten. I’m not affected if there are traces of it or if it’s an ingredient far down on the list–that’s why I don’t think I have an allergy to it. But, I would venture to say that since my diet has changed since spring break out of laziness and vacation eating habits, and that that is the only thing that has changed, I think there might be something to it. So I’ll be more conscious of what I’m eating this week and get back to my normal diet and see if there’s a difference by next week and then I feel like I’ll know what’s up.

That being said, I’m going to do another load of laundry and get to reading and then call the grandparents.

Thanks for listening folks. Sometimes I just have to work through my guilt and need some reassurance.

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I’m having a bit of a rebellious morning.

I have time; I could start looking at the first set of lit analyses. Here’s the problem with the rebellion–I should be prepping for the brief thing that I need to do in a colleague friend’s class today. However, I left my book on campus. I could have started reading for next week’s classes, but I left my books on campus. Since I’ve been reading on Saturday mornings and getting my prep work done, I’ve been leaving my books in my office so I don’t have to schlep them back and forth. This has been a great idea all week except this morning. So I guess I read some poems while C-F’s stus are watching the video I’m showing for the first 43 minutes of class.

Here’s the other problem. I got up early to work out because i thought we might have plans this afternoon, but I don’t think we do, so I’m up but postponing the work out because I don’t want to, and I’m tired because I took yesterday off and we ate poorly because I was exhausted from it only being a week of classes and I’ve already taken up freshman drafts, and I’m trying to set a good place for the class, and their final drafts are due next Friday and I did NOT want to get up early to grade this morning so I worked furiously yesterday to finish commenting on the drafts after I had only picked them up on Wednesday. It’s the first draft of the first essay which is the most exhausting because they need help. That was a horrific sentence. I took a nap and felt like I had run six miles after I woke up. So I put on my pj.s and commented on drafts. Because we ate like crap last night (which we try to limit to once a week although last week and spring break were anomalies in that new pattern), I slept for shit. Well, not really. The sleep was fairly restful; it just wasn’t very long.

So honestly, I’m just being kind of whiny. That’s what happens when I don’t get the endorphin rush of my workouts. I guess it’s better than meds which I am off again, I just realized that. I had started taking them again over Christmas because I was stressed and not handling our financial situation well which was really making a mess of things. LIke it had gotten to the point that if I didn’t take the meds, I’d have a panic attack about my ability to cope with the day. And then in February I started doing this,(a very scaled down version and on top of the other things I was doing already) and I just unconsciously stopped taking them. Like it really wasn’t a conscious decision at all. So much so that I didn’t even realize that I hadn’t taken them in six weeks until just this very moment.

I have a long two days ahead of me. After class this afternoon I have my workout. Then while dinner cooks, I need to deflate the air mattress in the guest room and clear a space so that I can finish going through my clothes tonight and tomorrow. I need to clear the pile of clothes out of the bedroom and put them in the laundry room so that they can be washed — they just haven’t made it from the laundry pile to the laundry. Argh. And I need to put away the clean laundry. Tomorrow I’ve not only got to read for next week’s stuff but I’ve got to get a week ahead because next Saturday I have to proctor some sort of exam for some high school students. I don’t know. So that Saturday morning will be gone. Work out. Then finish the cleaning. Tomorrow will be a spring cleaning day that will start tonight. I’ve got so much stuff I need to get rid of. I think a trip to Goodwill tomorrow afternoon is in order, too. And this has to be done by tomorrow because Sunday we’ll be at the g’parents’ and then it’s the season finale of The Walking Dead for which there is a party. It’s going to be intense. And I have to make some foods for it. Whew. I’m tired just thinking about it. But it’s cool. It’ll get done and I’ll sleep very well because of it.

 

Happy Friday all!