Category Archives: Uncategorized

Alternatives?

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Hi folks! I’m moving, sorta. Rather, I may occupy two spaces, at least until I figure out where I want to be. It seems a bit overkill, perhaps, but there it is.

You will find me here.

Hope to see you at the new digs!

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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).

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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!

 

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.

Spring Break Part II–Things Done and Not Done and the Quarter Ahead

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I had hopes for getting a class proposal done and getting an article written. Those things will just have to be worked out in the next couple of weeks.

I have one syllabus done. The one for the MWF lit class. What I need to work on today is that freshman comp syllabus. There’s not a whole lot I want to change from the fall, but there are a few things that I want to change. In part to make my life easier this quarter and in part to make the class better. It’s my weak point, and I don’t want to obsess over it too much, but I want it to be done and not be still working on it through the quarter like I did in the fall. But I think I might keep it mostly the same. We’ll see. It would be easier for me to keep it the same as I did in the fall because the prompts are already written. The readings already assigned. So, yeah, we’ll see.

And today’s workout. That will happen, too.

And I did apply for a summer ESL teaching job this week, too. That took more time to do than I had thought, but it’s done.

I think one of the things that I need to keep doing that I started to do in February, is to get the week’s readings done on Saturday mornings. Yeah, it’s a sort of crappy way to spend a Saturday morning; however, there are distinct advantages for me. Getting the reading and the prep done for the lit class on Saturday mornings opens up the entire week for me.

  1. It ensures that I have time during the week to get my workouts done.
  2. It means I’m not spending the mornings last minute prepping.
  3. It means that when the grading for the classes comes in, my office hours are free to grade so that I do less grading at home, and less grading on the weekend. I’d rather read on the weekends than grade.
  4. It also means, in theory, that I have the week open to work on the research and stuff that I want to work on.

This works most of the time for the lit class since most of the stuff on my syllabus is stuff that I’ve taught at least once. There may only be one or two new things on there, but it’s mostly stuff I’ve done. That makes it easier. And the power points are all done except the first one, so I’ll work on that Wednesday during my office hours.

The plan for the freshman class is to at least get Monday’s readings done Sunday morning. Since we go to the grandparents’ on most Sundays, the first priority is to make sure that the workouts happen before we go over there. No exceptions. And the freshman readings, for the most part, are short. Few of them are longer than 5 pages. And if I keep it close to the fall, then I’ll have half the prep done for that. And the plan for Monday’s office hours then are to read and prep for the remainder of the week for the freshman.

At least, that’s the basic plan. Until the grading comes in, I’ll be able to get some prep done during my office hours. But, I think I may use that time to do some of my work so that way I have the schedule and the pattern for the Saturday reading already in place. Because I tell you what. Doing that this last month really made an amazing difference in my stress level for the week, and I LOVED that it opened up my afternoons so that I had time to work out. It’s totally worth the sacrifice of working all of a Saturday morning if need be. Even though it means that Saturdays are usually eaten up by class prep and workouts, what I love about it is that rather than one day of lounging around, it opens up FIVE whole afternoons of being able to accomplish things other than course prep.

And I think I will continue to make weekly calendars with the to do list for the days on them mapped out for the whole week. That really worked, too. Even if I didn’t follow everything the way I had planned, I think the benefit was more in seeing everything that needed to be done for the week and seeing it broken up (rather than just one huge overwhelming to do list) worked for me.

Now I need to add in research to the equation and see how we do.

And I guess without further ado, while I wait for my running clothes to dry, I’m going work on the freshman syllabus.

Spring Break

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Well, my fears about how I was going to handle a week on vacay–the food/exercise “challenges” has been a relatively moot point. I feel bad because I’ve had to avoid certain outings/phone calls making time to see everyone here because most of the people I know in Home City hate to cook and prefer restaurant food to home cooking, so that’s been tough. Plus I spent a bunch of money at the grocery so I’d have food here and not eat out, and thank goodness we have a cooler here because some of that food is coming back. I forgot the husband was going to be gone for four days and that the roommate doesn’t like homecooking unless he’s cooking eggs, beans, or rice or pork–I’ll write a whole other post on how the Roommate and I go back and forth on nutrition. It’s so frustrating sometimes. Anyway, the one thing I’ve consumed a lot more of this week than I have in a while is alcohol. Good lord. Five drinks Wednesday night. Some beer Friday night. Two and a half beers and one glass of wine last night. This is the problem with Home City. Something about Home City makes me want to just indulge in alcohol. Perhaps it’s because when we’re here it’s “vacation” and I associate “vacation” with alcohol and fun. Which is how I get into trouble with maintaining weight loss/health when I’m here.

It’s not so much the alcohol consumption per se, not the calories that does me in. It’s how I feel the next day. I mean, obviously that’s a big “DUH!” but I’m not talking about the hangover issue. As my metabolism has increased, the hangover has decreased, so I mean that’s a good sign as far as my metabolism goes and increase in health and fitness and stuff. And I know, intellectually, that indeed alcohol is a depressant. And I know from all my elementary school drug awareness classes, my science classes, and my undergraduate psychology classes the effects of depressants on the brain and body, etc. Maybe it’s from the working out and eating right that I have more of an awareness of what goes on with my body, but I’ve begun to notice how so very sad I am the day after drinking. And when I’m sad, I don’t want to work out, and that is the biggest issue. But I get really truly depressed the day after. My confidence is shot. My self-esteem plummets because I feel so down. I always thought that was part of the hangover–a general blahness–but maybe because I have more awareness of myself, my body, my mental and physical health that I really notice and am paying attention to what is going on with my body and how I feel.

So today I feel utterly down. I want to crawl into bed, not work out, order a pizza, go to McDonald’s, and not do any work at all. I don’t want to be social. I don’t want to do laundry. In short, I don’t want to do jack shit. But I won’t.

I had a good week last week. The numbers on the tape show it, even though right now I feel significantly less sassy than I did three days ago. And I think part of that is the person I went out with last night–she’s seriously like the epitome of a pixie in human form. Petite, adorably short hair, bright bright eyes–like seriously, that pick up line “where you parents thieves? Because someone stole the stars and put them in yours eyes” totally describes her eyes. And she’s super confident in herself with this quiet shyness. Next to her, I always feel like an oaf! Like I feel like when I stand next to her I look like Marla from A League of Their Own. Seriously. So there’s a lot of that going on, too. I feel very uncomfortable in my skin next to her. And she’s never done anything to make me feel that way. It’s just hard to be me around all that indie cuteness! Anyway, so I’m on shaky ground today as it is. And I think what it does is just highlight how much more work I have to do on myself.

I will say this though–because I recognize what’s going on with my body and my mind, I still force myself to work out. It might take hours for me to muster the strength to do so, but I know I’ll feel worse if I don’t, and I know that the results of this week will show up next week, and I don’t want vacation to sabotage the work that I’ve done, the good feelings that I’ve had. I mean, I lost another almost 3 inches again this week! Quarter inch here, quarter inch there really adds up. My hips and thighs still have a ways to go, but still. Baby steps.

So today I’m just sort of blah. Maybe too it’s because I know break will be over soon–we leave on Tuesday–and I’ve not gotten the work done that I needed to. Naturally, who ever does, and when do I ever. But on the positive side, that work that I wanted to get done has been replaced with relaxation time. I’ve taken a few mid-day naps. I’ve gone to bed a little bit earlier so I can lay in bed and read. I’ve gone shopping. I’ve spent time with friends. I have yet to get my mani/pedi, but I think I’ll be able to do that this afternoon if I get my stuff together soon enough. There’s something to be said for that–the relaxing. I feel like I’ve been working almost non-stop since the last week of January, so the naps have been nice. My body’s telling me to slow down and smell the roses a bit. And I need it I guess. I won’t get another break until Easter break, so I should enjoy this now while I can.

 

Woo-hoo! 2 more weeks, then five days off, then three days, then four days off then new quarter!

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Okay, that doesn’t sound as cool typed out as it did in my head.

All right, well, I have been working on a schedule for the next week.

I’ve already rearranged stuff. Go figure right?

This schedule also requires me trying to do my workout before class, because honestly, I keep coming back to that idea, so it’s something that must be important for me right? I think it’s because there’s a memory ping-ponging in my brain about how much less complicated and easier my life seemed when that workout in the morning was done. So that’s the goal that I keep working toward.

Honestly though, aside from that goal, I think what is the most important for me in doing this kind of mapping out of the schedule is that it shows me that I *do* actually have time to get things done with hours in between and hours at night to relax. What I’ve done right now is to try to figure out a way to get all of the reading for the last 2.5 weeks done, at least for the lit class, this weekend. Right now all of my scholarly work is on hold until next quarter.

My schedule yesterday got thrown a little out of whack because I a) forgot that I was teaching someone else’s class during my office hours and forgot to look for some poems to do, and b) forgot that I had that course release fellowship app to write. And I ended up spending more time on that than it probably needed, but it was worth it. And it’s storming right now, so today’s actually a good day to just sit and read for class all day, or most of the day. But I think having actual time blocked off, and seeing that time blocked off for what needs to be done (although I’ve failed miserably these two days) is what I need. I’ll let you know next Saturday how it goes.

We have also decided to scrap the marathon totally. We had considered dropping down to the half marathon, but at this point it’s not so much a matter of training, but a matter of money. Even if we were able to keep the cost of the trip down to like $150, that’s still a lot of money when you think about how much we don’t have for the summer bills yet–that’s the gas, electric, and water bill right there (and sewer and trash) or 2-2.5 weeks of groceries. There are all kinds of things that that money can go toward. Sure, we are out the registration fee for the marathon, which wasn’t cheap, but it’s better to be out of $200 that we haven’t missed than to be out more money that we need right now. Running the marathon and making the trip isn’t getting us our money back. And I think had the J been employed all this time, we might have actually trained harder for it, but I think I, myself, didn’t train like I should have because I knew we couldn’t afford it, or that we might not be able to make the trip, and I would have been really disappointed had I been prepared for the marathon and done all that work just to have to cancel the trip. Although perhaps had I trained harder, I might have made a better effort with our money, but it’s neither here nor there. There are other ones. And when the J has a job, we can plan things better.

I hate financial stress. I hate the idea of money. I hate unemployment and job searches. Of course, we could scale back on things–we could get rid of the cable, phone, and internet. We could be in an apartment instead of a house. We could have not bought the car and kept it to one car and tried to get by better wit that. Which means the insurance would be lower–both if we had an apartment and one car. And though it sounds totally counterintuitive and just poor financial sense, I think if we were to massively scale back, we’d be totally and completely depressed. And we were able to cut the phone, internet, and cable bills in half, actually. And to cancel now means we’d be out more money over the summer than we would have, so it wouldn’t help us with the immediate need. I guess there are lots of things I could have done, but I just have to go with where I am now. At this point, there’s not much more I can do than to hope for the best. The J does have some drill weekends to make up. We’ve got tax returns coming in. The J will have his two week duty for the guard this summer, too. And maybe we can go to Home City during the break so he can make up some guard work before he starts school, which he should, soon.

That’s an idea, I guess. Oooh, that means winter clothes and stuff. Yikes.

On that note, I guess I’ll get to it!