Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Except I do

No, I'm not out of darns to give. I never probably will be, until I either finally snap or until I die. And that's part of the problem. I care about junk too much. I get to the point where I say I'm "done," except I really am not; I still care, it's just that I'm overwhelmed and don't know how to easily make the problem go away.

I try hard to be a responsible grown-up citizen, so stuff like the citation push ALL my buttons because to me it feels like someone's pointing a big finger at me and either saying "FAILURE!" or "FAKE GROWN-UP! WE GOT A FAKE GROWN-UP HERE!" and that I'm going to be dragged back, not to Magical Kindergarten, but to seventh grade (the very closest thing to a circle of Hell I have experienced here on earth) and be forced to relive all of that so I get it "right" next time.

And yeah, I know. A lot of people have a harder time managing adult life than I do. But I'm not trying to raise a kid on my own, I'm not caring for a disabled family member, I'm not working three jobs, I feel like I don't have an excuse.

At the same time, I feel like people don't tend to see the eighteen balls I'm successfully juggling, they only see - and point out - the one I happened to drop.

I glanced down the alleyway as I drove by this morning (I might go back there this afternoon to look). I could see more of the danged grapevine that is starting to take over in the neighborhood; that may be a big source of the problem, which means it will be fairly easy for the guy to take care of.

The thing is, I don't want him to cut down all the trees back there (and I hope that's not his plan; I just want the brush removed and the vines). I like having a little privacy - the fence on the alleyway is a chain link fence so people can see in my yard. And for a while, I had horrible across-the-alley neighbors who would fight with each other out in their yard and yell horrible words at each other (You can imagine what kinds of words). The man once cat-called me while I was working in my garden, which felt really horrible and icky and creepy and like "can't I be left alone on my own darn property?" and it was extra icky knowing he had a wife/girlfriend/female companion that he had been yelling at not so very long ago. So I admit, maybe letting the brush grow up was something I thought of as more a feature than a bug. But whatever. I'll see what the estimate is, if it's like $1000 or something, I'll just go back there myself and try to rip the grapevine down and maybe spray some stuff (I hate using herbicide but in this case I may have no choice) and try to deal with it myself. It's just, I don't have a manuscript written and that was one of my summer goals and part of the reason that didn't happen is too much of my mental real estate got taken up by just DEALING with stuff that broke.

I didn't have any fun this summer, either. And I won't now, can't afford it. So: Didn't get anything useful done; didn't have any fun. I wasted a lot of this summer. Or at least that's how I feel right now. And I'm teaching an overload this fall (including a 2-hour class I get no credit for doing because of the idiotic way they assign hours in team-taught classes here) so I don't anticipate getting much done then. My chair has already told me the overload will not be "used against me" in any way if my scholarly productivity lags, but there are people above her who don't always pay attention to that stuff. (At one time there was talk of post-tenure review requiring publication of an article a year. At a teaching-heavy school with almost no institutional support for research, that's pretty much impossible if you're going to be any kind of a decent teacher. If they instituted that, and if somehow it became a condition of keeping tenure - well, they'd wind up firing a lot of us, and I dare say they'd probably wind up firing the more committed teachers rather than the people who tend to phone it in in the classroom. No, I don't see that happening, but stranger things have happened on campuses.)

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

When you talk to the guy, go back there with him and point out what you do and don't want cut. Remember, you're the "boss" in this situation. Don't leave him to work without instructions from you.