Today started off somewhat terrible. I was grumpy when I woke up because I dreamed last night that my house caught fire and the dogs were still inside, and then making my escape with others who were living there because we were trying to get out of the hands of pirates who wanted to sell us into slavery. So I spent the rest of my night running from them and then some people who turned us in to the police because we broke into a community pool house to hide from the pirates. And the police turned us over to the pirates even though we were adults, they returned us to our “rightful owners.” I screamed at some point during the night because I woke myself up with that, and then spooked the dog who never got comfortable or settled again. The other dog threw up this morning after whining to be taken out. We discussed in class this morning how today seemed crappy and a kid in the class told me that he rolled off his bed this morning and hit the floor and that’s what woke him up.
Then we took back Friday with a great discussion of feminism that began to set the stage for the gender and sexuality chapters in the theory class. We had a really wonderful discussion of Showalter and unicorns (believe it or not), that I believe has traumatized these students for life. I think a couple of them thought I was pushing the topic a bit too far and I could see the guys were becoming uncomfortable with my continuous use of the word vagina, but I see that as a positive thing. Now not a single person in the class will be able to view anything outside the lens of feminism. And the beauty of today is that it’s only going to get better over the next month. Now I’m in my comfort zone. Now I feel a little bit more confidence in what I’m doing in that class. Now I get to talk about things I actually know about. It was invigorating and fun–well, fun for me because I got to make people feel really uncomfortable in a challenging and non-threatening way. Two students did an illustration of Showalter which involved a dragon (the female student) and a knight fighting the dragon (the male student) but being dominated by the dragon, and I told them to bring it back because it would also be interesting to look at that picture during our discussion of psychoanalysis (it reveals some castration anxiety and fear of women which I found profoundly interesting given that it came out of a discussion on feminism), which made both students really blush and freak out a little bit. So that was fun, too. I bet his drawing of a knight will be dramatically different next time.
I met with students all morning which was exhausting, except the one from last semester who stopped by just to chat. She’s a great student and a great person. I do hope she decides to take my class next semester. I have one more student meeting today, and then I’m done. I have a shit ton of grading to do now, but I’m not freaking out about it yet. I’m more worried about this damn abstract that I just can’t make come together than I am anything else. It’s just killing me. I am only able to get halfway through it. I’ve written about four abstracts right now at this point. I’m so glad that I can articulate my idea. Maybe it’s because the idea sucks? Or because all I have to say about it is what’s in the abstract, that the abstract could be the entire paper?
I think I need more water, too. I’m tired and my head hurts. Maybe it’s the abstract or all the excitement about a great class this morning? I need a nap.