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Monday, March 20, 2017

Surprisingly necessary "self-indulgence"

Before I went to bed last night, I'd pretty well made up my mind that I was going to change the due date for the revisions of essay 1 for the Nature in Lit students, as I didn't think I could possibly get the done. I was more right about that than I knew.

When the alarm went off this morning, I abruptly decided that I needed sleep--and a day at home to get caught up on work and possibly nap. Nap, hell. I spent the whole day working through the homework for the 102s (since I'll see them before I see the students in Nature in Lit again), and I didn't finish even that. I did take two breaks for quick walks around the block (just to focus my eyes on something distant, move, and breathe a little fresh air), and I did mark one more of the essays for Nature in Lit, as a mental break from the reading notes and handbook review assignments from the comp students--but after all these hours, I'm still not caught up. I should have kept working, but I hit several kinds of wall (psychological as well as physical fatigue), so I'm faced with the same dilemma tomorrow that I faced today: when will I get all this work done?

I had planned to go to an event in Bradley Hall tomorrow, as I'm interested in the topic one of my colleagues will be discussing (though I can't now remember what that topic is, just that I'm interested), but if I haven't gotten through more of the homework for 102, I'll have to bail on that. I did finish the stuff for the 1:00 class, so all I have to do is finish up for the 5:30 class--but I want some time to work on those Nature in Lit essays, too, or, as I feared might be the case, I'm going to hit another traffic jam: Thursday I'm collecting first versions of essay 2 from the 102 students, and I'll have to mark those in a big flurry prior to their conferences next week.

It's that compulsion not only to teach but to teach in ways I consider good, to do well at what I want to do, to do it my way, and a fierce resistance to watering things down.

Speaking of which ferocity, I practically let loose with both barrels at a student in the earlier 102 class--in writing, but still. In her handbook review, she appended a little whiny comment: "My personal opinion, I feel as though their is too much emphasis on really analyzing and breaking down the ideas. Sometimes its very stressful at times." I launched. Let's just set aside the crap writing for a moment. In what sense is learning to think, read and write clearly "too much"? Did anyone say school would be easy? That the point is to keep you from feeling "stress"?

Even thinking about it now, I want to tear her head off. In other words, you're saying you don't really want to learn and think I'm unreasonably demanding because I expect you to. You want to slouch along with half-baked bullshit for brains and consider that good enough because it's easy. No. Not in my class. Not in my world, if I can help it. Seriously? Poor little thing, we don't want you to feel stressed: here, let's make it easy so you don't have to grow, think, learn, be worth fucking anything to anyone, including yourself.


I will not confront her--though I'm half tempted to read her comment aloud to both classes and embark on my furious lecture about it. I'll just let my written comments do what they will (probably not enough) and hope she has enough sense to come talk to me about it, or rethink her attitude, or both.

Well, looking for the reframe that will shake me loose of my desire to destroy that young woman verbally, here's what's good: I did get a lot of work done, more than I would have if I'd gone to campus--and I'm already home, early as it is (comparatively speaking), so I can do things I rarely get to do of an evening, including possibly get to bed before midnight. I'm on the fence about which alarm to set: 6:00 or 6:45. I'll decide later, when it's clear how much sleep I'm likely to get.

Two more Mondays before spring break. Halle-fucking-lujah.

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