Monday, October 12, 2009

Random bullets of dear God: isn't it November yet?

Around these parts, we're limping toward the midpoint of the semester. I guess Week Seven always finds me dragging and feeling overwhelmed, but it hits me with new and surprising force each time.

Among the things currently sapping my strength:

  • Grading. 'Nuff said.
  • I'm chairing a major departmental committee. The work isn't monumental (and I've been fortunate in how little service I've been expected to do in previous years), but it's still new work, with the attendant learning curve.
  • Fall. I love fall, but I always get a bit moody and prone to bursting unexpectedly into tears at this time of year.
  • The fabulous progress I made on my manuscript over the summer has not been sustained, and I'm mad at myself for that.
  • After more than two years, I recently got back in touch with my ex-partner. It's been a good, healthy, and even basically banal event--but reintegrating him and parts of our shared past into my present has still taken up a certain amount of psychic space.
  • Recommendation letters. Endless recommendation letters
  • Another one of my local friends is moving away. I've been developing and/or deepening other friendships, of course, but this is a reminder of how transient most members of my social circle really are.
  • I'm traveling each of the next two weekends, most of the way across the country both times.
  • One of those trips is for a conference. For which I have yet to write my paper.
  • I'm not getting enough sleep. I had a brief cold a few weeks ago that left behind a lingering cough that acts up at night--and though I'm now on antibiotics, having two cats isn't conducive to getting an uninterrupted 8.5 hours, either.
  • Did I mention grading?

Damn. October really is a brutal month. How's it with you-all?


The Bittersweet Girl said...

I think you copied some of your bullets from my blog.

Seriously, this time of the semester bites. And it lasts FOREVER.

Sisyphus said...

Yeah. Sigh.

Get well soon!

Doctor Cleveland said...

Two words, Flavia: comfort food.

It's bleak. It's chilly. There are so many many many things to do. These are the times that try professors' souls.

So I'm going to fight back the only way I know how. With sweet potatoes. Mmmmm.

Piers said...

Not comforting, but in England the term is only just beginning. In fact this is the first week and there aren't even classes yet. This plus the fact that I'm not even involved with, let alone responsible for, teaching makes the transition between North America and the UK very disconcerting.

On the other hand, I'm still involved with JIL so things aren't so simple.

The History Enthusiast said...

I know how you feel! I am presenting at a conference on Friday, and I just now finished my paper. Today, right after I sent off two job applications, I had to spend the rest of the day in the ER with my grandpa, who had a stroke. I really wish October would be over....

the rebel lettriste said...


I get to go to the Midwest on Thursday and co-write an MLA paper! And then, I get to read a whole bunch of books and articles for a series of reviews that are already due. And then write some recommendations. And oh yeah grade a bit more.

And watch my girth expand by the pregnant-with-twins day.

But at least I have broken up with JIL. And gawd she was a bitch.

I concur with Dr. C.: comfort food. Forthwith.

Renaissance Girl said...

Yes. The grading. I keep muttering that I'm going to revise my assignments in future courses so that they do MUCH less writing. But then I convince myself that it's pedagogically sound or something to have them write critically and thereby to think critically. Damn them.

And I have found the cabin pressurization, during the flight to the conference, really is a kind of tonic in the paper-writing process. Embrace the last-minute flurry! And drink lots of OJ.

Feel better. May we all get through to June intact.

Anonymous said...

One of those trips is for a conference. For which I have yet to write my paper.

Right there witcha. Oh, yeah, and on the tears. And grading. Okay, just wanted to comment on the conference paper.

Cranky Old Man said...

October is dangerous for miners as well:"During the last 10 years Metal and Nonmetal mines have experienced more fatal accidents in the month of October than in any other month."