Thursday, October 11, 2018

big heavy sigh

Nothing is so very terrible, but I am kind of worn and tired and sad and didn't get as much done today as I'd hoped. The biggest thing I did do was send off my monthly grade-and-attendance reports, and I know that means I will get a bunch of e-mails tomorrow; they fall into three camps:

1. "You said I was absent 3 days but I was only absent 2 and this is unfair" and the thing is? This isn't official and I'm doing my best and frankly if you walk in halfway through class, long after I've taken attendance and you don't bother to check with me you should be counted absent any way.

2. "What can I do to raise my grade" from first-timer low-grades who are surprised and sad. Sometimes it helps when I give suggestions, sometimes it doesn't. A couple people who are already aware they're not doing as well as they'd like to have come and talked to me, and hopefully they are taking some positive steps to fix that.

3. "How can I raise my grade" from people I've already made suggestions for help (like: come in to my office hours, or here is the number of the tutoring center) and I get the impression is that they don't want to do anything but really are hoping I'll just sigh and give them extra points because....I don't know why. And yeah, I get executive dysfunction and being shy and all of that, but sometimes you do just have to pick up the phone or come in to someone's office hours and there is only so much I can do - I can suggest, but I cannot drag people to office hours, and there is no way I am just handing out points because people are sad about their grades; it doesn't work like that.

if it worked like that I'd have got a cost-of-living-increase when I was sad because my salary wasn't keeping pace with inflation.


In the meeting today there was some talk about how it was frustrating to file these reports because many students don't "do" e-mail and that's how they're sent out (they text, instead) and I said "Text them a frowny face if they're failing" and one of my colleagues laughed so I guess there's that.


There was also a lot of talk about the need to be more "nurturing" (not me, specifically, but one other individual who was being evaluated) and you know? I get tired of being nurturing because I do it so much. And I get tired because some days it feels I don't have any nurturing left for ME at the end of the day, and I have no one to nurture me. And yeah, yeah, I know "your own oxygen mask first" but that's easy to say and hard to do.

I don't know.

Like I said: Thursdays are usually the day when I hit the wall and just feel like I can't any more.


I got my various retirement-investment statements (Baird, and TIAA, and Vanguard) the other day and I was like "yay, maybe I will be able to afford to retire after all" but now we're starting to see a market slide and I would not be AT ALL surprised to see everything fall apart before I hit retirement age. And yeah, people are saying "brace for another 2008 but worse" and I am like "yeah figures as I get closer to retirement age"

(And yes, I recognize my privilege in some of this: pretty much ALL the money in the Baird account came via one set of grandparents who invested money on my behalf when I was a baby, and my dad's careful shepherding of the money that ultimately came from those grandparents' estate. But the Vanguard IRA and the TIAA account are mostly money held back out of my paychecks and invested - and there are a lot of things I've gone without down through the years (mostly things like vacations and fancy clothes) so I can have that security.)

I had to go to the bank today (my mom sent me a small check to refund me for ordering something she needed off of Amazon)....and I noticed that CD interest rates have gone up *considerably* from the last time I looked and I am wondering if I take some of the money in my savings account and get a CD instead, because even if I had to cash it in in an emergency, I just forfeit that interest, don't I? And it would make more than what it's making in the account. I don't know. I might look again next Tuesday when they post the new rates; if they go up again I might just go ahead and do it.

And I got one of those little mini-magazine-flyer things from Baird's today, and I looked at it, and the cover story was "The New Definition of Retirement Includes....Working?" and I am like  "oh please no" because the thought of being beholden to a boss or students or whatever until I'm like 80 makes me want to just lie down and not get back up for a very very long time.

And you know? The truth is most churches, most volunteer groups, most benevolent groups like Meals on Wheels?


If everyone is expected to keep working for pay until they die, those various things - some of which are tremendously important (Meals on Wheels - some seniors ONLY get to talk to someone face to face when the Meals on Wheels person shows up, and that's how they get a hot meal at least once a day).

Honestly, at this point I'm looking forward to not having a daily grind, not coming in five or five and a half days a week and doing stuff for other people, and worrying if what I'm doing is good enough, and getting evaluations every three years that tell me where I'm slacking off and how I need to be better now, and....yeah. Too old for this.

Volunteer work can be grueling but at least you feel like, "Well, since I'm not taking a paycheck for this, if people get too demanding, I can tell them, 'I'm sorry but I can't do this any more' and walk away"

Also with volunteer work you tend to get a bit more appreciation. The reason I do so much stuff down at church is that people actually seem to appreciate me doing it rather than just taking it for granted like at work-work.

And really? I would like some more time to do what I want.


But I do spend some money frivolously, just not on things like $300 pairs of shoes of $1000 vacations.

I'm still waiting on the Toothless I ordered from Build-a-Bear. I keep stalking the tracking information because it's been a disappointing few mail days (just bills and junk mail) and it's in Dallas, at the "SmartPost" location, and it should be here Monday.

(It took a day to get from Ohio to Arkansas, another day to get to Dallas, and now, what, three business or five actual days to get from Dallas to me? I dislike SmartPost).

The Cony unicorn I ordered, there's no tracking info, so I just have to keep waiting.


I am thinking tonight will be an early night. All I have to do is complete my piano practice for today and figure out something for dinner. I'm surprised at how tired I am.

I miss cute cartoons. I am not often home to catch the re-runs of My Little Pony (though this Saturday I don't have to be anywhere so at least I can watch the season finale) and I really am missing Summer Camp Island hard (I guess it's off now, because summer is over. I wish they'd re-run it: it was just soft and pretty and sweet). I can't think of any others that hit that sweet spot - DuckTales is fun but it's more slapstick and adventurey, and there's not a whole lot of other things right now...

Maybe I pull up Amazon Prime and if they still have the nice old 2-d animated Angelina Ballerina on, I watch that tonight. (I know: "The Good Place" is on but I missed last week's episode and also I feel like until I've run through Seasons 1 and 2 I might not understand where 3 is going, will probably buy 3 on dvd eventually).

hm. I wonder if Summer Camp Island is on dvd....nope, and Amazon charges you to watch it on Prime, womp womp.

I dunno. I feel like I am suffering from a cute deficiency, like I have not got my RDA of cute stuff for a few days. A cute deficiency makes me droopy and sad and more inclined to do things like cuss at my office computer when it is slow.

1 comment:

Barn Owl said...

I'm in good shape for retirement, according to my financial advisor, but the plan is to retire at 67 or 68, not 65. Some of my colleagues have chosen "phased retirement," but that's not for me - I'd really like to move someplace else, like my grad school city on the West Coast. To achieve that though, I'm going to have to continue to budget carefully, and keep putting money in a savings account (in addition to my ORP with the university).

Honestly I found the endless discussions of $300 shoes, expensive vacations, and $200 fountain pens on Ravelry to be tiresome. I just don't have that kind of disposable income, and in some ways I felt like a failure because I don't. Rationally I know that's not true, but I couldn't help feeling that because I don't have (or really need) an expensive wardrobe, don't jet off to conferences or sabbaticals, and don't shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, somehow I wasn't succeeding in academia.