Category Archives: stuff

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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!

To Do Better

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Well, I already did my new year’s resolutions like 2 months ago which was ridiculous because I have to reevaluate stuff.

There were good things and bad things that happened last year. There were good things and bad things that happened last week even (the week before Christmas sucked!)

The big good things–I seriously beat the odds and successfully moved from a SLAC to a mid-tier research university. Not an R1, but it’s on it’s way. This is HUGE for me because throughout most of my grad career I had been told that *I* should not expect anything better than a 4/4 at a place like the one I was at (THis is not to say that my colleagues at Fancy Town are less than at all! Don’t misinterpret that!). I was also told that I got that job out of luck and charm, not skill or intelligence, and that the chances of my moving out of a job like the one I had were nil. That really, I had a better chance of becoming God him/herself than successfully landing not only another t-t job, but in moving up to a better school. And I did! And I did it on my own! I had help of course, but I had help writing a kick ass letter, had an apparently kick ass interview, and I know that clearly I kicked ass at the campus visit. And during a crappy crappy crappy job search year, still with a large applicant pool. And it was a job I thought for sure I didn’t get, but I did. So that was a great thing.

I also wrote two articles. Two small ones, but two articles. One of which is in press right now. The other I think is in limbo somewhere, but still. More than I thought I’d have done at this time last year.

We no longer live in a tiny apartment. And we are both in the same place.

The dogs are still very healthy, including the Divine Miss T, who is nearing 100 in dog years.

Bad things: left my friends for a new job, two cars were totally smashed up and the J was injured during one smash up. The J is still unemployed, and we are very broke. This time last year, we had a fat sum of money in savings. This year we have hardly anything in savings. And the move here sucked ass, too.

I am heavier right now than I was at this time last year. Actually, it’s the heaviest I’ve been in about three years, and I’ve been gaining and losing the same 15 pounds all year. So that kind of sucks. Actually, that really really sucks.

In general though, I am happier than I was last year. So one out of three isn’t horrible. It’s better than none out of three.

While I will detail my own specific plans for myself, I don’t want to sound like a broken record here. But here’s the goals/resolutions: To Do Better, in all aspects of my life, this year.

  • While I have another small article in the works, I’d like to write a big article, one for a mid-tier journal in my field. (not that I’m ungrateful for the small ones!) But one good solidly placed article, in addition to the two smaller ones I have will secure my scholarship for my tenure application. Anything on top of that will go toward promotion. And that’s the goal.
  • I need to make up my mind to commit to my health and fitness goals. I’m staring down the barrel of 40. I’ve got to get some fitness and some health rockin’ here.
  • Do better with money and savings.
  • Do better at organization and cleaning.
  • Just do better.

So that’s it. I hope I do better this year because for next year I’d like the goals to be “keep doing what you’re doing.”

Happy New Year Folks!

I know the light is at the end of the tunnel; I just can’t see it.

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On Monday I felt like the week was impossibly long.

On Tuesday I thought, “woo hoo! It’s Thursday, thank god!” Oops.

Today I woke up feeling like it was Friday and smiled briefly until I realized that it was still only Wednesday which means that I have to teach students stuff today and tomorrow and I have a whole large stack of research essays (some of which were just started on yesterday! the horror awaits!) to come in tomorrow and another stack of essays on Friday. Now I want to just cry.

I should be doing everything but blogging right now, but my brain is not functioning yet. Last week was a great and productive week! This week, sigh, not so much. I’m utterly exhausted. I would say it’s from the miles I’ve been logging for my runs, but it’s not a physical exhaustion that I feel.That I can deal with. I could take a nap, go to bed early, wrap up in my snuggie on the couch and read until I pass out fall asleep. No. This is full on mental exhaustion. Naps don’t help. I have gotten two nights this week of solid 8 hour uninterrupted sleep, good restorative sleep, but I wake up feeling beat down and exhausted. Yesterday I was barely functioning. I haven’t read anything for this article due in two weeks since Monday, and that is really really slow going. I really don’t know why I thought I could do this in six weeks. I’ll be happy that I did when I finish it, but damn, no, right now I am not happy in the least that I agreed to such a short deadline, but want to redeem myself for missing the last one. (same journal, and as a result, there were no feature articles so because of myself and another person, there were no features and the journal was delayed–it’s a small small venue, but an important one). So yeah.

My brain feels like oatmeal. I think if I didn’t have this deadline looming, I’d feel better. I could function enough to give the quarter a strong finish, but it’s not happening. And the next couple of weeks will be one long family visit. Although it’s nice to have people coming to see me rather than the other way around. I’ll say that much.

I will say this though about this place–even though I’m exhausted and my brain feels like mush and I don’t really want to have to interact with anybody anymore and I just want to stay in my house alone for a week uninterrupted and read and run–while I feel this way, the one thing I don’t feel is demoralized and beat down. I just feel tired. WHile I could totally use a five week Christmas break and will miss that about my old job, I don’t feel like I *need* it just to keep from killing myself after the semester ends. I don’t think 13 days is really going to be enough time for me to get everything done that I need to before the start of the winter quarter; however I do think it will be adequate time to recharge my batteries so to speak. And I don’t feel like I need five weeks to hide and get the fuck out of dodge. So that’s something, right?

So, on that note, I’m going to give today’s reading a quick skim just in case they want to discuss it (it’s short–like 4 pages, if that long), because I’m going to give them the option of working on their essays due Friday or discussing the text that way I can answer questions about the papers and won’t have to meet with them outside of my office hours. And it will give me a bit more time to grade and not teach.I am lazy and tired.

Also, the J has been out of town for a week. It is actually a significant help to have him around to deal with the dogs in the morning. I mean, it really does give me like an extra 30 minutes. I’m able to eat breakfast when he’s around to help. This last week during the week? Not so much. That’s probably part of the problem. But he’s supposed to be home tomorrow night, for good for real this time. And seriously, that day can’t come soon enough.

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Well, so I’m mostly over myself and my embarrassment I guess. I got some good ribbing last night for my drunkenness last week, so that actually made me feel a little bit better because I’m tired of being embarrassed for that and feeling bad about myself but I’m sensitive, so, you know.

And I took down my whiney part of my post yesterday. Seriously, I feel like a tool. I still don’t think the person actually likes me, but I will not hold it against this person at all.

I feel better today because I got a good night’s sleep last night. Of course,naturally, the morning that I don’t have to get up and teach and the Red Rocket decides that’s the night he’s going to sleep in his bed the entire night. Rotten mutt. But that’s okay. It’s important to get a good night’s sleep on a Friday night so that the weekend can go well. And maybe I slept well last night because I actually ran yesterday. Nine days ago I felt confident about the beginning of the marathon training. Yesterday that confidence was very low.

I am actually still quite down on myself. And I did even go for a run yesterday. But the run wasn’t a good run. And my leg hurt because I hadn’t run in 8 days. So what did I expect. I suspect though that after a few days of consisten exercise I’ll be feeling better. It’s actually really hard to describe how I feel right now. I’m not sure I’d describe it as depressed. That doesn’t feel like the right term. Even though I am feeling down, it’s still not the same as feeling depressed, or at least not so for me. And maybe I actually am suffering a bit of a bought of depression. Maybe that’s why my whole body aches right now, even though I’m over the hip issue and I’m over the hangover. It is possible that’s why I’ve had a stomach ache the last couple of days. Maybe I’m not recognizing it for what it is at this moment. But I don’t *feel* depressed like how I felt in the past. So perhaps I actually am but in a different way? I mean, I didn’t get any work done at all yesterday in my office because I just wanted to sit there and cry. and I couldn’t focus. ¬†And the run didn’t have the immediate uplifting effect it normally does. I feel left out and unloved. Left out of what? I don’t know. Unloved by whom? I don’t know.

And now that I’m thinking about it, I’m sorta down again. Perhaps because it’s a bit rainy and chilly outside. Perhaps it *is* because I haven’t worked out and have been eating like crap all week. I know there’s a whole connection there among mind, body, and spirit. So maybe I’m just really out of balance. And it’s going to take more than a day or two to restore that balance, so I guess I need to just hang in there.

I think on the day’s agenda is to clean, straighten the office and the kitchen, grade, and try to do some of my own work today, or I prep for the week so that I can spend tomorrow working on my little article due in five weeks. It needs to be near perfect out of the gate this time around ¬†because there’s hardly any leeway or editing time, and I don’t want two fuck ups in a row for this editor, even though the last one was fixable. Total million dollar idea in a five cent box.

Have a great Saturday all!

 

 

 

Just Some Thoughts about Stuffs.

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I am a bit of a miserable heap this week. Yesterday I met with students all day. It was fine. It’s interesting to see how hard they are working for a little analysis that’s 5% of their grade. But to their credit, they want to “get it right” so they can do well on the next one and not have to revise.

It’s a weird thing here. I gave out a lot, I mean a lot of Ds and Fs on this assignment. Probably 25-30 out of about 70. And you know what the biggest difference thus far between here and Fancy Town U is with this? Not a single student emailed me or came into my office defensive or angry claiming that the grade was “unfair” or “bullshit” or that they deserved a better grade because they worked really really hard on it. Their attitudes were either a) how can I make this better because I understand what I did wrong now and I need help or b) I want to make this better but I don’t know what I did wrong. I got a couple “I need a B in this class” things, but no “it’s not fair/you’re not fair/this assignment isn’t fair/this is bullshit” or any other variation. I was cringing with agony after I posted the grades expecting my email to just explode, but a funny thing happened. It didn’t. And while there was a line outside of my office door to talk about the lit analyses, they all went really well except for one, and that one didn’t go badly because the student was aggressive or entitled or anything. It went poorly because Stu just doesn’t get it, and I can’t seem to make hir get it, and Stu won’t go to the writing center for additional help. But what? One crying Stu and an exhausting meeting out of about 30? That’s not bad at all.

Even though I’m now officially behind on grading and will have to grade like a motherfucker today, and while I fear I’m coming down with something, so I’m going to just have to let the workouts this week go away and not beat myself up about it, I noticed something else yesterday, too. About myself. While I don’t think I’m doing a great job in the comp class because I never feel like I’m doing a great job or a good job in the comp class, I feel like overall, I’m a better professor here because I have more confidence in myself here. Again, maybe it’s having been at Fancy Town U for two years, but I don’t have a chip on my shoulder. And the biggest thing is I don’t feel like the students don’t respect me. Maybe they actually don’t and I’m going to get slammed on my evals, but in the comp class I don’t feel like they feel it’s a waste of their time. I know they don’t want to be there, but I don’t feel like they feel that if they know me as a person that my authority in the classroom is gone. It’s weird. Again, it might come back to bite me, so we’ll see. Not that I’m like inappropriate by any means, but like the fact that I can laugh so hard at one of my own jokes that I have tears running down my face doesn’t derail the entire class. Does that make sense?

The survey class, well, I know that none of them really want to be there, except the lone English major. One lone English major out of 70 registered students. About 1/4 of them seem attentive. As I’ve never taught such a huge (35 stus per section) survey course before, I have to assume that 1/4 attentive students on any given day is a good thing. I’ve lost a few out of those 70 students, and a couple are going to out and out just fail miserably for various reasons. And like 4 have never shown up to class. And it’s a hard class. Almost 2 hours. I do a decent amount of lecturing, and the same 5 people participate regularly, and it’s no surprise that those same five people are the ones who did the best on the exam. And I’m trying to clue them into that, but oh well. But, none of them are crying foul either to me or my boss, so they either don’t care, don’t want to do anything about it, are afraid to complain, or realize that there’s nothing to complain about. I have one who doesn’t want to fail for absences, and I guess it’s understood at this point that I’ll forgive the absences (Stu should fail because zie has missed 5.5 days already) if Stu can do the work; however, I made it clear to Stu that while zie can certainly show up if zie wants to, the likelihood of even passing with a D is very very low. Because Stu doesn’t even have the book. For a literature class. I told Stu that perhaps it might be best to focus on the classes zie can pass because without the book? Seriously? And no intention of getting the book? Seriously? Clearly the internet is not working for you because the version of Franklin you read claimed that his son was mentally challenged. So I’m not sure what’s up with that. But, whatever. I told Stu zie should talk with hir advisor and perhaps consider going to the counselor if zie is struggling so much that the last four quarters have been D/F quarters. But, oh well. So really, 2 problem children who aren’t really problems out of 96? That’s not bad. I can deal with that.

And now it appears that I must sally forth and begin to get ready. I may go to campus early to try to finish grading because I do not want to grade here. And I need to reread three pages for the comp class today. I really feel like stomping my feet and throwing a tempertantrum crying out “I don’t wanna!” But alas I must. That’s why I get paid the small bucks.

I guess this is the official start of the quarter

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Oy, it’s early. I’m not sure why I’m up so early. Oh, yes, I have meetings today, but they did not require me to be up before dawn, but I am up. I need to start getting in this habit of early upness, especially if I intend to work out before teaching. I think, for the record, an 8:30 am meeting when ones husband is in town is entirely bogus. If he weren’t here, or if the quarter had started already, fine. But I guess technically I did start getting paid for work on Sept. 1, so I can’t complain. I mean, I *can* complain, but it’s stupid to, right? I mean, the semester *has* started.

I have gained weight folks. All my summer plans, down the tube and wrapped in a fatter ass. Sigh. Like Wile E. Coyote, back to the drawing board. And if I don’t get my shit together over the next 6-8 weeks, then I can kiss that March marathon goodbye! My knees cannot take another marathon (or half marathon) at this weight or within 20 pounds of this weight. Not even with the proper training. If I do, then I’m going to end up permanently injured and will have to kiss the running goodbye. And I don’t want that to happen, so here we go again. I’ll spare you the details.

The J was supposed to drive back to Home City today, but I talked him into staying another day. He got a flat tire on the way down here, and that needs to be taken care of before he can go home, and I don’t want him to have to run around all morning and then drive home. He mentioned the possibility of staying for another day, and I said “do it!” and he is.

This weekend was a great weekend. We bought a washer and dryer! Yay!! A great set that was on sale! So now I don’t have to do my laundry at my g’parents’ once a week or once every two weeks–I can do it at my leisure, nor do I have to worry about laundromats. Yay! I love washer and dryers. And they are nice, too. I mean, we didn’t go overboard–had there not been a sale, I’d still have to wait, but yay for sales and free delivery! And for being in a house with a w/d hookup!

We also got some new grips for my bike, a new bike chain, and a new helmet for me. I’m super excited about this helmet. Obnoxiously so. It’s a kids helmet because I have a small head. It’s charcoal grey with this giant fuchsia star on it. It looks more like a roller derby helmet, which I think is cooler than a bike helmet, but it’s approved for bikes as well. Anyway, I’m super stoked about being able to bike to campus. None of my dresses and skirts fit right now anyway, so I’ll be wearing pants. And from what I can tell, no one in our department wears suits or suit pants, but it’s more a khakis and blazers for the men, and the women seem to be about the same, or rather some of them, so dress chinos and a nice shirt works for biking to school, so yay! Although I bike in dresses and skirts anyway. I like biking to work, too, because I don’t have to fight for parking! Plus, the biking to and fro will help with the weight loss as years ago the weight gain started when I quit biking to campus and to the coffee house to grade and stuff. So I have my fingers crossed here.

The J also brought one of my desks from home city (but left half the shelves, ok…), but that means that I can now use the dining room table to eat at, so that’s good.

It also turns out that the J’s contract will not go past January 1, which is bad for our finances; however, if he gets into school for the winter quarter, then he’ll be here for good on December 1, and we don’t have to get another car, as much as I want another Soul, I’d rather just buy the J a nice bike, too. And it’s such a livable place that we don’t *need* two cars right now. And if we both have bikes… But I miss him. I really want him to come home. If we didn’t owe my parents so much money from the move, then I’d tell him to just stay here right now. But, we need to get out from under that first so we don’t have to keep borrowing money from them, and so we can have something in savings for emergencies and stuff. But anyway, that’s boring.

So I guess I’m off to get ready for meetings! Those of you starting today, have a great first day back! for the rest of you, hope your week goes well!

R(non)BOC

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Well, I have stuff I should do today. First I need to go to see about my cell phone. For someone with the lowest family plan and everything unlimited, my bill sure is high. Plus, I need to get the address and stuff switched from Fancy Town because I feel quite confident that the taxes are higher there, and I’d like not to have to continue paying those taxes. And I need to cancel the internet card and look into this even lower plan thing they’ve got going now.

I need to pick up my cousin’s kid’s backpack at the store here so I can bring it to them on Sunday when I visit the g’parents.

One of the J’s checks is supposed to be delivered today, and his orders are supposed to post this morning. Keep your fingers crossed that both things happen.

I have not been sleeping well. Better with the working out, but I think the beer or wine in the evenings right now is counteracting that. I seem to instinctively know when the Divine Miss T needs to take her middle of the night pee and I have been waking up moments before I hear her scratching at the pee pad (this is not the same time each night, mind you). Of course, I get up to straighten out the pee pad so she actually hits the pad, but the last few nights this has embarrassed her and she won’t pee on the pad, so I’ve been taking her out. This wouldn’t be a huge deal as I have a back door in my bedroom, but the light is out and even on a stool, I’m not tall enough to reach it to change it, so I have to wait until the J gets here so he can change it. Also my mom told me that Miss T’s inability to hold it for longer than 7 hours could be a hormone imbalance since she’s old because that solved my brother’s neighbor’s dog’s midnight peeing issue. Of course I neither have a vet her nor money, so she’ll have to wait a little bit longer. In any case, I have only been getting 4-6 hours of sleep at a time. That sucks.

We had a wicked crazy storm here yesterday. Like the wind picked up the trashcan and lifted it up. And there was hail! I’ve never actually seen hail as it fell, believe it or not, and it sounded like someone was hitting golf balls at the side of the house. The rain was so hard and so fierce that I couldn’t even see the car out of the window (and it’s about 25yrds away? and it’s bright yellow!). Nuts! It was short lived. the mutts were freaking out.

The storm did not cool anything down, so a storm in 100+ weather = outside sauna.

I overslept this morning because my phone battery died in the middle of the snooze cycle of my alarm, so that kind of threw my day off.

It’s a beautiful day today, but it’s hot as hell already. It’s fine. I’m not actually complaining because I have central air, and I wanted this heat in lieu of an actual winter, so I’ll take it, really, and surprisingly, my a/c does not run all day (though I am curious as to what the electricity bill is going to be), but it’s a more comfortable existence than Fancy Town summer, believe it or not.

My aunt, who was here for a week, is dying for me to come spend some time with her. I seriously think she wants me to spend a week there. I want to, but I don’t want to. I still am detoxing from the family time I’ve had this summer. Yes, I know, this is what I wanted, and I know once school starts, it will be some time before I make it over to her house again, but honestly, too, I don’t want to go for the same reason I won’t drive to Home City right now to visit the J–I’m afraid of making the drive. Granted, it’s only four hours, but still, I’m having some anxiety. And since I’m new to the neighborhood, I don’t want to be away from the house for too long. But I think if I stay for two nights, that should be fine. Plus, I don’t want it to interrupt my workout schedule. I know that sounds selfish, but I’m trying to establish patterns here, and I just don’t want to be traveling around. But I get it. And I’ll go. It also causes me anxiety because she calls every.single.day. Seriously.

I know I should work out now, but if I don’t go out and run my errands now, then I’m going to have to run them tomorrow, and I don’t want to spend my Saturday doing that. Plus, I’ve been working out in the afternoons anyway since I’m being a slouch as it is, so I should eat and get the errands run. Plus, I’d rather get to the cell phone store before the afternoon/afterwork or lunch crowd gets there to complain about their phone issues. Of course I’ve been putting this off all week because I don’t want to do it, but I need to just get it over with. Also, I have to get a couple of more groceries, too, so I may as well just go.