Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I don't know.

Two things.

1. I hope I'm not developing some braining problem. I hope it's just that I'm overtired and overwhelmed and my colleague wasn't explaining it well. But one of my colleagues was trying to do some analysis using General Linear Models (which I am not all that familiar with, haven't used it in YEARS) and it was some kind of nested analysis and I literally could not figure out what he had tried to do and what the results were saying.

It didn't help that he kept talking at me while I was trying to figure it out.

I finally protested that (a) I wasn't that familiar with it and (b) it was the end of the middle of a long week and I was tired and (c) I didn't understand. I think he was disappointed but it worried me a lot I couldn't make more sense of it. I need my brain to still be sharp! What will I do if the bad budget times wind up meaning I DO need to look for a new job? If I can't think on my feet any more I'm DOOMED.

2. I went to my chair about the Sci Oly tests, to tell her I was struggling and also to ask if I could re-use a lot of the "junior level" questions with some added hard questions on the "senior level" test. She said yes, but also reminded me: "This is really supposed to be kind of fun."

WHAT? what? I'm sorry, no that doesn't compute. I can't have fun making up a test and I especially can't have fun doing it when I'm worried about doing it right.

And, I don't know. Maybe I do fail at being/having fun. Maybe I am too uptight about these things. But this ISN'T FUN and I can't think of any way it would be fun. Maybe it's fun for the people doing model rocketry or the chemistry-demos but it's not fun for me, I'm writing, giving, and grading a test and all I see it as is duty. Something I'm doing not because I remotely want to, but because it needs to be done....and I can't even think of a way to see this as fun. (And yeah, maybe I am failing at it because it's not fun). But that just boggles my mind.

I did kind of murmur that I wasn't having much fun with it, but I didn't say what I really wanted to say - that I was worrying about getting my own work done because of the time pressure from this, and that I was worried the test was going to be "pitched" wrong, and that I'd have another bad experience like the students who started fighting and whom I had to speak sharply to last year, and also the stress of getting the dang things graded in a short time, in a room where other people are talking and making noise, and....this just isn't fun for me. It's giving up a "recovery day" that I desperately need, and I really am doing it because (a) someone has to do it and (b) I need to do more service. But I can't find the joy in it.

(And this is also where I roll my eyes so hard at that person a year or two back who wrote a book about only taking on tasks that "sparked joy" because on what PLANET does someone have the privilege of doing that, of airily walking away from the stuff you don't want to do and leaving it for the "little people"? I think the only FAIR method of dealing with unpleasant tasks is having each person shoulder them some of the one gets to beg off 100% of the time on the grounds it doesn't "spark joy." Cripes, every day of my life I do stuff that doesn't "spark joy" and frankly, living like that seems kind of like some kind of weird Pinocchio-on-Pleasure-Island messed-up stuff, where the plates pile up dirty in the sink and the bills go unpaid because they "don't spark joy" in a person....)

But yeah. I really want to crawl under the covers and read, but in a few minutes it's Elders' meeting and then Board meeting and maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll be home again by 8 pm....

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