Thursday, July 28, 2016

onward and upward

So it sounds like my chair wasn't fully apprised of the horror that trying to learn and implement Mathematica is. (That was the solution she was first given: "GOSH! Just have your faculty learn to use Mathematica.")

Based on my increasingly desperate e-mails ("I can't learn that this fast." "I don't know that our students can deal with it" "I really don't think our grad students will appreciate having to take the at-least-several-months-extra learning it and implementing it would take") and the fact that two other department chairs are similarly up in arms, they're going to try to fight it. It may come to naught; the money may either not be there or it may already have been used on something else. But at least she's going to try.

(My backup, which is unappealing, will be to use the "stats" "functionality" in Excel. Yes, I have been warned heartily against doing that but the other options have a learning curve beyond what I can handle in a semester. Yes, even PSPP.)

But yeah. As I said last night, I get so tired of decisions coming down from On High and us having had no input on them.


Today is finals day. I have Raven to knit on. I hope it goes okay - I slept v. badly last night (too much upset in a day, stayed up too late trying to figure out workarounds) and my neck pain (which seems to be a stress thing) is back.

Am slightly regretting taking on those chapters today, even as I am earning about what I got paid for the summer teaching to do them. It's just another thing on the tire-fire of trying to get everything done. I was going to work on the next chapter (due the end of next week, but I want it done so I can move on to the NEXT next chapter) last night but I didn't get to it.

I hate when my life gets like that, where the urgent stuff eclipses the important stuff and I go into survival mode where I am doing the bare minimum in day to day stuff and not doing stuff like reading for my own edification or knitting or even staying ahead of the laundry.

(How I need a butler. I was whinging on one of the Rav boards I frequent about how I wished I had a lot of money, I would buy a private island and go there and post big signs asking other people to stay away. And someone else reminded me I would need "cabana boys" but I argued back that I was getting to old for that, what I really wanted was a nice, quiet, efficient Jeeves-type who maybe would occasionally let me cry on his shoulder. Though if I had my own private island and enough money to keep myself going, I wouldn't need to cry on anyone's shoulder any more)

I wonder if this is just one of the....not exactly forces-of-evil in our world, but forces of heck, maybe: stuff that happens to derail us from doing what we should be doing.

I also wish I were better at giving fewer darns about things. I tend to be a reactor: some big change happens, someone says something unkind to me, and I REACT. In certain moods and for certain levels of tiredness, I'm quick to cry. (I didn't in front of my chair yesterday but I was close).

I don't know. I have a hard time dealing with the unreasonable things of life (and from consultation with others: being told "Just learn Mathematica" is unreasonable given the very short notice). For one thing, I EXPECT things to be reasonable, so when I get hit with something unreasonable, I begin to think: "maybe I'm the one being unreasonable here." I was actually thinking yesterday afternoon, "Maybe my not having already learned stuff like Mathematica in anticipation of something like this means I'm deadwood." I am not good at judging lots of things - I have also had papers I thought were pieces of junk when I submitted them that got accepted with minor revisions, and other papers I thought were pretty good get rejected out of hand. And that scares me, that my critical facilities seem to be so broken. (Secret confession: one reason I don't really date is I'm afraid my "chooser" in re: men might be similarly broken, and I wind up with a bad 'un.)

I think I spent enough of my youth being told by teachers/peers/school admins that I was "unreasonable" about things (e..g, my expectation that I could walk down the hall without getting my books knocked out of my hands by some passing jerk) that I kind of internalized it and am not good at looking at something and going "that's bananas;" I just kind of assume the world's very broken and I have to adapt myself to it instead of planting my feet firmly and going "Hell, no, that's stupid. I don't need to shape up, YOU need to shape up."

The other thing is: I do give an awful lot of darns. And I worry about my "permanent record" too much. I wish I could be one of those people who didn't really give much of a darn, who could skate along in life. And I wish I wasn't the obsessive planner I am; I was even saying last night, "You need to start looking into alternative careers again, some of this carryover budget stuff could be a sign of a drain being circled and you don't want to find yourself unemployed and totally without prospects in another year.")

And it's that kind of thing that makes me tiresome and not-fun and puts a lot of wear and tear on me. Maybe it's that I've had basically an okay life with no major problems (I never was homeless, I never was unemployed with no money coming in for very long) that I've had to bounce back from that I question my ability to bounce back from setbacks and so feel I have to have a whole chain of plans in place before they happen. But equally, I don't trust life to work out well for me, so I have to have those "worst case scenario" plans in place.

(I don't know if an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety med would help with the giving too many darns. And I am deeply resistant to going on another medication, and also dealing with the whole dosage-calibration period those things take. And other than sapping some of my enjoyment of life and making me slightly very tiresome to deal with with on occasion, I don't think I'm too greatly disabled by my tendency to function.)

Or maybe the ongoing death of a thousand budget cuts will eventually break my ability to give a darn, and I'll be like freaking Mrs. Krabappel up in front of the class.

(Secretly, I fear: my ability to care about stuff out of any reasonable proportion is one of the ONLY things I have going for me. Kind of like my deadly diligence is the only thing that sets me apart from the rest of humanity and without it, I'd be nothing: I never had enough looks to get by on and anyway now I've reached the Invisible Age, I can't sing or paint or tell jokes all that well, I'm not pushy and brazen, and the thought of doing things the underhanded way makes me want to throw up, so being a neurotic mash-up of Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle is literally all I have to recommend me. Or at least that's my secret fear.)

But yeah: often I give darns out of proportion to the darns given about me (e.g.: the bean counter who thought they could save the 10K or whatever it is didn't give a darn about the people it would affect) and I wish that would stop. It's a very lonely place to be in when you feel like you gave up your whole summer for a handful of magic beans (because: students would be hurt if you didn't) and then you find out that an essential teaching tool is deemed too expensive, and hey, we have this other thing that kinda sorta might work, but you'll have to teach it to yourself, and it's a step BACK in ease of use from what you had....


I also slept badly last night because of other worries. I have not heard from my piano teacher (we were supposed to start the next session of lessons Monday and she didn't show up, and I e-mailed her and she hasn't responded. I'm HOPING she's away somewhere or lost her phone or something and it's not something worse). And my mother started on Prolia yesterday. She has the beginnings of osteoporosis, she took the pill for it (Fosamax? I think?) for a while but had muscle aches and her former doctor had her discontinue it but her new doctor insisted on her doing SOMETHING medical for it (and yeah, her fracturing a hip or vertebra would be bad). So the injectable. She noted the doctor made her sit for 20 minutes after the shot to be sure there was no immediate allergic reaction, but she complained last night over the phone she was "having a hard time clearing her throat" which of course made me go DANGER WILL ROBINSON though I didn't express it very vocally. (I did say: if you start feeling worse, get the neighbors across the street - he is a pharmacist at one of the hospitals - to get you to the ER).

Later, I kept thinking about it and kept feeling more concerned about it and of course because I can imagine the worst very easily, I pictured having to run up there and then maybe even try to find someone to help my dad with the stuff he can't do because of bad knees, and and and.....and I couldn't sleep.

So I told a little fib. (God forgive me). I called her up again on the pretext of "My phone rang and I couldn't get to it in time and the caller ID must have messed up because the number wasn't shown, did you call?" It was 10:30 at night which is late for me but they hadn't quite gone to bed yet so it was ultimately okay.....her voice was better and she blamed the earlier problems on "I went out and watered and deadheaded flowers before I called you" and I wish she'd told me that first off. Oh well.

But yeah. I want things back on an even keel for a little while.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

In general, I have found the NEW! systems are better about 43% of the time, often enough that they keep doing it, but a failure often enough to make one batty. (Blue Cross Blue Shield 1989...)