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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Well, fuck

The evil voice inside my head that tells me how lazy and undisciplined and useless I am is having a field day right now. I didn't get up early this morning; instead, I stayed up late last night, doing the reading for the SF class today--and I'd completely forgotten that we were going to watch the end of Blade Runner, which used up most of the period, so I probably didn't need to do the reading anyway. And I spent a lot of the morning marking assignments to return to that class--and forgot to return them. I hadn't quite finished reading The Big Sleep for M&D, but I was hoping P&B would end early--so of course it ran late, and I was trying to teach the class without remembering the details of the end of the book. I tried to read the last few pages, but the guy from AV services came in to see if the computer had been turned off from the previous class--and then, since I wasn't actively talking with students, he figured he could just chat with me about the equipment... Fuck fuck fuck.

So, I came back to the office, all set to get some more of the water weeds cleared out: write a memo to a full-time faculty member about whom we have serious concerns and whom we've decided we need to observe--and I'll be one of the people observing her; answer a stack of e-mails about seminar hours stuff; I can't even remember what all--but Paul was here, and he and I haven't talked in forever, so of course we got talking....

I'd sworn to myself that I'd either be out of here early--like by 7--or I'd be working on getting the papers for 101 graded so at least that much would be done before I come in tomorrow, but now it's after 8 and I'm too fucking tired to grade a single thing and I haven't graded any more of the 101 papers and the stack of shit I have to grade is enormous--and I haven't even added to it all the stuff I collected today, not to mention what I'm going to collect tomorrow.

I'm at the stage when I really feel like this whole taking two days off and taking a trip for my birthday was a desperately bad idea, that it's causing a great deal more stress than could possibly be balanced by any pleasure it could produce. I feel like I need to take work up there with me, which makes me feel sick to my stomach and wonder why even go, if this wretched mess is going to cling to me all the way up there and contaminate that scene.

As I said: fuck. Just, well, fuck.

I have no idea--absolutely zero--what I'll manage to do tomorrow. I don't know if I'll be able to get myself wound down and into bed early enough to get up at 6--and even that doesn't feel early enough--or if I'll be able to stay late enough to leave here without dragging an enormous weight of work with me or feeling like I'll be facing unmitigated hell when I get back (neither of which is conducive to an enjoyable weekend). I also have to pack.

Really: why did I think this trip was a good idea? Or why didn't I look more carefully at the schedule and make sure the papers were going to come in on different weeks? Part of the problem, of course, is that I'm not used to having such huge lit electives: I still have 30 students in each one--even though I don't necessarily have papers from everyone. I keep looking over at my desk, and the huge, chaotic stacks of work to be done just make me want to shrivel up. I can't think of any way to reframe this to make the day feel OK. That's the point of the blog, usually: it's my way of shifting my focus onto something that is positive. The only positive I can come up with is that Paul and I really, truly, deeply understand education, and what's at stake, and where the problems lie--and even have some ideas about how to fix them, if anyone in power would pay any attention.

God, I'm just depressing myself more. I'm going home. Maybe a miracle will occur tomorrow. They do, sometimes. Minor miracle, but they do occur. Here's hoping (which is a variation on "We'll see").

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