Tuesday, November 24, 2015

it's all too much

The first batch of my students' science fair papers, the research part, came in last Friday.  The dozen or so I've looked at so far are wretched, and I don't want to read any more, but there's nothing to be done for it.  I just need to get over my resentment and do it.  This year, however, I have resolved: no comments, just a  score.  They had an opportunity to get comments from me earlier in the year, so it's too late now.  Besides, the vast majority just don't care.

I'm so burned out. I always seem to have at least one commitment too many.  I dropped teaching RE and thought that would free me up enough, but no.  This year I'm only taking one grad class, but I'm also implementing my portfolio project, so it's more like one-and-a-half.  Then of course is the kicker: I'm teaching 197 students.  When I saw the enrollment numbers at the beginning of the year, I thought, "It will drop off."  But it didn't.  The district is giving us a "class size stipend" and it's not small, but at this point, I don't want the money.  I want the time!

If science fair were part of the regular curriculum it would be OK, I wouldn't mind grading the nearly 200 papers.  But it's in addition to the regular curriculum, and that's what's killing me.

Of course I'm still reeling from Mom's death, expected as it was.  Every day there's something that brings back the idea that she's gone.  I suppose it will get easier but it's still hard right now. I just feel like I haven't had any time to process, and God only knows when I'll get it.

Last weekend we went up to the DBG to see the Bruce Munroe exhibit, Sonoran Light.  It was spectacular, and a lovely break.  How I wish I could do that kind of thing more often!

Last but not least:

I just realized it has been 10 years since my last treatment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


I'm so thankful for this holiday.

I was so far behind in my grad school work that I despaired of ever catching up.   I started clearing the deck over the weekend when I put together my reference list, but it wasn't until last night when I hammered out my updates to my annotated bibliography that I finally felt "unstuck."

Sometimes, there's work to be done, but for whatever reason, I get hung up and can't do it.  This past month and a half, there have been a lot of reasons, some to do with my brain just giving up, some with the kids needing my time, some to do with absolutely necessary teaching work coming first.  I did despair from time to time that I wouldn't come unstuck in time to actually do the work, and then what?

But today, with the luxury of a day off, I completed two smaller assignments and one rather substantial one, a big chunk of my final paper.

It helped that I was able to work in pieces.  I brought my laptop with me to the kids' orthodontist appointment, and I even worked while we waited for our table for brunch at Snooze.  Then when we got home I put the beef stew on... and got back to work.

It really helped the writing that I had printed my articles and highlighted my quotes.  The thing that surprised me was how a narrative suggested itself more or less organically from the articles themselves.  I really like it, it felt easy to write. It makes sense to me, there's a progression to it.  I hope my professor agrees!

I have no expectations as to when she'll be able to grade all of these assignments of mine.  When you turn in stuff late, you're at the mercy of the instructor, so she'll get to it when she gets to it.  I can be patient.

In spite of having that weight lifted, I'm still struggling with my acid reflux, which I suspect is caused by a return of the mild gastroparesis I had several years ago.  I did a blog crawl and found my old posts and was surprised to read that treating my cervical radiculitis cleared it up -- specifically when I was taking a therapeutic dose of ibuprofen, but also doing my neck physical therapy.  I think it is not a coincidence that my stomach started acting up after about two weeks (maybe three) of slacking on my exercises, as in, not doing them at all.  My exercise set is not very long but it's enough to keep me limber, so I'm back to trying to be consistent with that.  And I'm back to doing my neck exercises at least twice a day, in case there's nerve impingement that's causing the problem.

We'll see how it goes.  I'll continue eating smaller meals and abstaining from alcohol until I'm back to 100%.  I hope I can fix this myself.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

up, down, up, down

More like a seesaw than a roller coaster, and for that, I'm grateful.

I'm still mostly better, except when I'm not, and it's difficult because I can't really tell when I'm going to be not-better.  Tiny things hit way harder than they should because I have no emotional resilience at all.

For example, I was inordinately happy to see that peppermint mochas are back at Starbucks, and had one today.  And I was really happy today through my first five periods even though 4th period was so rowdy I sent them out in the hall to settle themselves down before lecture.  (It worked.)  Mostly, things are working.  Then 6th period were their typical selves, and 7th period was herding squirrels, and in that space of about an hour and a half, I just felt myself sinking lower and lower.

Now I'm up late pulling together material for my lit review (it's supposed to be micro-sized but I've pulled like 7 articles so I don't know if that's going to be possible) for the first part of my final paper. I've got a narrative constructing itself in the back of my head, I just hope I have time to write it and make DD's birthday pie tomorrow.

I've thought about crying a few times today.  I'm sad because I wanted DS1 to stay for dinner last night but it was too late and DH took him back to his campus even though I specifically asked him to stay.  He was so mean about it! He agreed to stay but with such venom that I told him to go, there was no point in him staying if he was going to be angry.  I don't know what call he had to be so mean to me, and it was still stinging this morning.  Then this evening DH inexplicably made a phone call in the middle of a conversation -- I was mid-sentence as he began to dial, with nary a "Just a sec, I have to make this call," excuse.  I just felt like nothing.  

I told him he was rude and he apologized and gave me a hug.  He hadn't realized it had even happened, which tells me he wasn't even listening to what I was saying.  He admitted to being thoughtless, but that's not really helpful.  "Yes, I know you're talking so I'll just tune you out and do whatever..." I'm sure it happens all the time, just this time he forgot and made the phone call while he was ignoring me.

See, this is what I mean about emotional resilience.  I'm more or less looking for trouble and finding fault but these were two legit examples of me being trampled, and it hurts.

Up too late, exhausted tomorrow: not a good combination when you're as emotional as I am right now.  Ah, well -- onward.  It's not as if I have a choice.