Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Like a switch....

And now I'm more or less back to my normal basically-content bopping along as I work on stuff. I don't know WHAT was up earlier this summer. An attack of accedia, maybe? Temporary overwhelmage from what is wrong with the world?*

(*And yes, I know Chesterton's answer to "What is wrong with the world?" and I admit I'm inclined to grudgingly agree. I don't WANT to agree, but I see the point)

Or maybe, I was just that worried about the conference, about traveling to it, about whether my poster was "good enough" and all that. (And yeah, several times I did think, "I should e-mail to make sure my abstract was accepted" and now am annoyed at myself for not bothering as I could have saved myself some agony and maybe saved my old advisor a little trouble). Sometimes I don't always recognize when something is worrying me, I can't quite own up to it and say "This is what's bothering me" but the being-bothered bleeds over into all the rest of my life and makes things seem bleak.

I think I was also worried about breaking "the rules" in re: summer teaching. Never mind that other people have left for conferences at the start of fall semester. Never mind that I completed all the required material and was already on the "we almost never get to this" enrichment-type material by the time the conference rolled around. Never mind I was being paid adjunct wages for teaching - I am one of those people where you don't EVER want to suggest something is going on my "permanent record" (I still believe that one exists, somewhere, and I'm the wrong kind of infraction away from being sent back to Magical Kindergarten or something). I was afraid someone would find a way to refer to what I did as "insubordination" even though my chair was 100% okay with it and my students were 100% okay with it and the administrator most known for threatening to brand people as "insubordinate" has retired.

("Insubordination" is a loaded word in academia; it is one of those blanket conditions that can get faculty de-tenure-ated and fired just as easily as their committing a felony or sleeping with a student could. But it's also a lot more nebulous in definition and so it's scarier to me - I know what felonies are and don't commit them, and there has not yet been a fellow in my classes intriguing enough to make me want to even contemplate risking my career over, but if I were to respond snarkily to the wrong person, or, I imagine, fail to follow "the rules" to the letter on a certain day - that could be judged insubordinate. Never mind that my chair would go to bat for me like blazing heck to keep me here, still.....I am afraid of breaking certain rules).

Anyway. Those meetings are over now, no one has said "boo" to me about being absent. My poster went over fine - at least, I didn't get that guy who wanted to show how Important he was by destroying another person with pointed questions and references to his own research (and yes, I use the gendered words deliberately there; 90% of the "dominance mount" behavior I have seen at conferences has been from men, and generally the conferences I go to are, at most, 60% male attendees). And as it turns out, I was a co-author on another paper - a reworking of some data I helped my advisor collect years back when I was a research assistant, and then later after I moved down here I helped a few times when I was back in summers....so I can put that on my CV as well.

And my finals are written - I decided to do a new one, from scratch, for soils, because I had hinted at "all multiple choice" and I realized my standard final was not, and what was more, I covered things a little differently this summer so some questions might not be as appropriate. (I can reuse finals because I never hand them back and you better believe if anyone tried to photograph one with a cell phone that phone would swiftly be crushed under the sole of my sandal, "insubordination" or no). I just upgraded the ecology one a bit, discarding a few questions that didn't work so well and writing some new ones to reflect the additional material I covered. And there are no labs this week, so no lab prep and also no four-hours in the afternoon in a hot lab room.

And Thursday, I will have to have some kind of project to carry along - two, seventy-five-minute classes in which people are taking exams. I've been working a bit on Raven and I hope I can get to the dividing point for the fronts and backs before the final, I could take it and work on whatever side I'm "supposed" to do first as per the pattern.

So it could be seeing the end of a semester even if I have almost no free time between this and Fall - one week, then a week of meetings, and then boom, Fall semester starts. And I need to do the logistical work on the cedar study. And I need to write my fall syllabi. But somehow I feel more able to do that and less overwhelmed by things. And even though Fall is busy, it's not going to be the constant, daily busy that summer session was.

It's also entirely possible that whatever allergen was getting to me is finally done with....

I dunno. I'm not going to question it too much, just be happy that I'm feeling better.

1 comment:

purlewe said...

YAY to feeling better! Enjoy it.