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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Still lost

The title of today's blog post could apply to me generally or simply to the book and file folder, which I still can't locate. I sent an e-mail to the English department, hoping maybe someone here has seen the wretched thing, but I checked the classroom I was in today, and if it's there, it's well hidden. I checked Bruce's office, the main office, the copy room, my office (again, for the umpteenth time)... Tomorrow I'll check the two classrooms where I teach on Mondays and Wednesdays. I'm running out of places to check. I'll go back to the room where I had the melt-down after the committee meeting on Thursday; that's a real long shot, as I can't think why I'd have had it in the bag I took to the meeting, and if for any reason I had it in that bag, I can't think of any reason I'd have taken it out of the bag. I also just alerted the folks in Advisement; I checked there yesterday, but I didn't dig through cabinets or drawers, so maybe...

What would be absolutely wonderful would be if I either suddenly am visited by a return of my memory--"Oh, of course! That's what I did with it!"--or look up from something and there it is, in a place I either was sure I'd already checked or somewhere completely obvious that I didn't think to check. Or if someone would respond to my e-mail saying, "I saw it in X..."

The fact that I still haven't found it is raising my anxiety levels on a daily basis. I don't know what bothers me more, the awareness that I may have to print out the documents and go get all the signatures again (and revisit with my DE mentor to get the stuff I'm supposed to include before I get the final approval from the VP)--or the concern about what's happening to my memory. I have always been somewhat addled and systemically disorganized (I only seem organized because I'm constantly fighting against my own internal chaos), but this is just nuts. I know there have been times when something--a sweater or cup or something--has gone AWOL for months in my apartment because I put it someplace weird, and it's easy to lose keys or even glasses, which are small enough that they can hide, but this...

Well, enough fretting about it. Fretting doesn't help me find it.

Paul and I had another round of immersion into our fears and rage over what is happening, or might happen, to the campus (not to mention the nation)--and together worked on a reframe. All my soothing words that I share with him are meant as much to soothe me as him. I need the reminders too: that I am not my career, that I am a person with something valuable to offer the world even when it seems the world can't see it or doesn't want it, that nothing is forever--neither joy nor pain--that I can only do what I can do as one human being, one flawed mortal... And so on. It does help.

What also helps is meeting with students one-on-one. I love the classroom dynamics as well, but those individual meetings are just great. Before class I met with the remaining female student in the SF class (apart from the senior observer). She has great ideas, but her essays are somewhat problematic, both in terms of focus and in terms of some of her sentence structures. But our talk about how she can revise her essay quickly changed into a conversation about books, authors, reading, processing written language, Le Guin, book publishing...) I asked her if she likes cats--but unfortunately, she's not potential cat-sitter material: she cares for a disabled mother, so she can't stay anywhere other than home. It was just a thought, better to have several possibilities than to rely on one (who has allergies), but I'll have to keep looking.

The second meeting of the day was after I observed an adjunct's class. (Side note: some problems with the class, but my rating is probably going to be "needs improvement" rather than "unsatisfactory.") The student is from 102, and in class yesterday, he seemed completely despondent over the novel. I was anticipating something much more fraught than what happened; he said he hasn't read far in the novel, but that's because of a lack of motivation--and sleep, and food. He's on the wrestling team, and that is where his heart and soul obviously live. But when we talked, he said he actually finds the novel pretty easy to understand, and he was a bit baffled about the essay topic because it seemed too easy and obvious. Maybe the gender stuff is easy and obvious, but making an argument about it may not be. Still, by the time we finished talking, he was laughing and relaxed--and ready to go get the work done, no matter what. And we'll probably meet again on Thursday to talk about using critical material. Cool beans.

Now, however, I need to tie this up and head home. I didn't think I'd be here so late tonight, and I have much to do in the next few days--all the way through Friday, when I'll be on campus to work with Cathy and Bruce on adjunct scheduling. I haven't practiced the violin since my last lesson, and I won't practice when I get home tonight (I don't like bothering the downstairs neighbors with it after 9 p.m.). But tomorrow is another day, as we all know. And maybe I can make a really nice frock out of some green velvet drapes...

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