Saturday, September 17, 2011

being a philosopher...

... I have a problem for every solution.

That's one of the quotes I heard -- the topic for an Impromptu speech -- at the speech & debate festival I attended with DS1 today. It was a long day, but very satisfying in many ways. I don't get too much intellectual stimulation during my normal routine. Today I remembered how I felt as a college freshman, surrounded by other people who weren't ashamed of the fact that they were smart, or beyond smart. When I got out of school and started working, it took a while for the expectation of brilliance to wear off. I ran into all sorts of problems, usually minor, because I wasn't taking into account the fact that not everyone thinks the way I do.

I still get hassled by my students when I throw some unusual (for them) vocabulary their way (I think everyone should know, for example, what wretched means). They don't see the point, and when I try to explain to them that limited vocabulary means a limited ability to think, the majority of them don't see that as a downside.

So all of this... intellectual stimulation is setting of a cycle of introspection regarding where I am now and whether or not it is the kind of place I really should be in. I am feeling very square-peg-in-a-round-hole after today, because at the festival, I felt as if I belonged. At my school, I belong only because I've carved out a space for myself and everyone else just has to accept the fact that I'm there. I acutely feel how different I am from everyone else, both faculty and staff.

Not that anything is changing. This is just me spinning my wheels again, finding the problems where they don't exist.

Speaking of: Mom's pace maker was implanted without any incidents, and she is back home again. Her case for valve replacement as part of the clinical trial goes before the review board this week, and her doctor is hoping to schedule her for the procedure before the end of the month. She sounds good but tired, and I have been distracted and disturbed all week by being so far away. Talking on the phone doesn't help that much, and even though I know she would tell me to stay home and take care of my family and my work, I still want to be there, with her.

My u/s report came back OK, I guess. The lymph nodes they saw on the left are gone, replaced by lymph nodes on the right. The catch in my throat when I swallow appears to be the result of scar tissue. I'll ask the ENT about that when I see him in a couple of weeks.

So, it's good. I have to stop thinking past the good to the potential bads lurking behind it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

today & tomorrow

It's the sixth week of school, and some days are heaven and some are... more like today. Today was one of those days when, in a less-than-ideal situation, you find yourself making less-than-ideal choices. And having started down that path, I found myself pushed along it, prevented from taking another by all of the other people around me. Specifically, in dealing with a particularly needy student, all of the other students piling in didn't help, and in those moments, the sense of everything slipping away was quite real.

The reality is, a student who won't work, won't hush, and won't leave the classroom when told to do so leaves me very few choices, and waiting for the dean of students to arrive to escort the student out still leaves my class ground to a halt. There has to be a better way, I just haven't figured it out yet.

Part of what made today difficult was waiting for news about my mom, who was scheduled for a pace maker. And then later un-scheduled, or re-scheduled, as the OR was booked for an emergency, or something. All of this is happening hundreds of miles and 3 times zones away. I feel like an amputee waiting for nerve sensations that literally can't happen.

Tomorrow I'm handing off one of my classes for an appointment with my endocrinologist to get the results of my September 1st ultrasound. I have been vaguely unsettled since then, probably for no good reason, but -- I've had a lot of these ultrasounds. I couldn't see the screen, so I have no idea what the tech was seeing. But I do know what the little tapping noises + beep means: measuring something,and taking an image. The tech measured a lot and took a lot of images. Of what, again, I don't know, but I do know that there was roughly twice as much measuring and beeping as last time. Maybe that's just a personal preference thing with the technicians (although I wouldn't think so.) I see what I'm doing here, which is making myself crazy, and I'm trying not to do that. There's no reason to think I have a recurrence.

I'm going to stick with that thought, at least until tomorrow morning when I find out that there is no recurrence, and that Mom's pace maker is in and she's fine, and we're all as all right as we can be.