Sunday, September 03, 2006

Is Anybody Out There?

Well, yes. I am somewhat the worse for wear (thanks for asking), though probably not nearly as visibly marked as I feel. At least, no one has been unkind enough to tell me so.

I do repeatedly say things like, "Have a nice holiday. I'll see you all on Wednesday" only to have one of the students mumble quietly on the way out the door, "Just for the record: today is only Wednesday and we'll be back on Friday for another class before the holiday..."

And then there was the problem I had crafting syllabi for three different courses where I just skipped the first week of classes entirely, as if they were all scheduled to start a week later (wishful thinking?). And I can't seem to recall what I've already said. And I take the long route to almost everywhere I walk on campus. And my feet are killing me. And my lower back thinks I hate it for some reason and it's starting to hate me back.

I'm driving thirty miles each way to and from my university now five days a week (at three dollars per gallon) and it doesn't seem to matter when I get in the car, it's invariably pouring the rain by the time I drive two blocks. Which means I almost slid into the back or side of something large twice last week, misjudging the slick pavement on the exit ramps.

My body-clock is so stunned by the radical shift of forty hours of intensive orientation on my new campus (and the 8:30 a.m. classes) that it wakes up at 4:00 a.m. with my mind already running, mostly into the sides of my brain cavity. And my eyes have settled into a constant glassy, if questioning, stare.

If I wasn't a "pro," I'd be buckling. Or maybe this is buckling and I just don't realize it. Anyway, between all this and the fact that my pc crashed (that's all I can say about that, but many of you know what that did to me), I am walking wounded these days. And I have missed you more than I like to admit. Apparently, somewhere along the route, I became a blogger who does other things on the side. I don't know when it happened exactly, but I'm now being required to behave as if this is not true. And if I'm ever to write anything again other than a post, I must also make room for that. Somehow.

Nevertheless, here I am, struggling along on the brand new IBM Thinkpad my new employer delivered to my office on Thursday. I've never had a laptop before, couldn't even figure out how to open it at first, but desperation is the mother of do-not-get-between-me-and-the-internet, and I'm getting the hang of it. I have appropriately loaded it with some of my must-haves (like Napster and email addresses and the writer's almanac, not to mention my network favorites, of course, with the blogs I no longer have time to read...but will again, if there's a god/dess in heaven).

And the word is already out, according to some of the other professors who have been overhearing students talk, that there's this outrageous new professor on campus who's "awesome" (so maybe they like it when I don't know what day it is because nothing I'm doing feels "awesome," that's for sure).

Bottom line, I'll be back with a real post :^) tomorrow morning. So don't give me up for dead yet...

*squints into the sunlight as she peers out of the mouth of her cave before shuffling back into the darkness*


billie said...

i have a feeling that we all have those moments :) i know what you mean about being a blogger with a side life. i have come to value the 'relationships' i have with my fellow bloggers. i pull back too but i am never far from at least keeping up with the comments on my site- too much of a junkie to walk away cold turkey :) you are awesome! i am learning so much about myself and about how people of color view the same world i view in radically different ways. you have introduced me to some kick ass bloggers who lay it out straight and i am learning from them also. i am on a different journey now than i have ever been before. so- hang in there and ride the storm. things have a way of settling down when you least expect it :)

Peacechick Mary said...

I was wondering what happened to you and was ready to send out the search team. I knew your students would be crazy about you and that is your whole reason for driving the miles and going through the universal initiation crazies. Some people never get through them, but those of us who take on new things know that there is a period of time while we sort out and make processes and orient ourselves, that we will be stressed. Welcome back if just for a quick note to tell us you are alive and kicking. I recommend chocolate.

Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

Oh the drive sound awful but the time spent sounds, according to the rumor on campus, well worth the time and stress... It will settle and the next thing you know the rumors will be actual students telling you hhow they feel about you. Then this start will seem like nothing more than a dream.


Anonymous said...

fyi: youre missed at USF


changeseeker said...

All: thanks for your kind words.

betmo: Your reassurance brings me solace in a most precious manner.

mary: I might know you'd have my back. Who ever said peaceniks are "weak" didn't know you. :^) Chocolate, yes. And chamomile. My staples.

poetryman: A dream, indeed. Now if I could just get used to this laptop, so I'd quit making hard work out of the simplest of endeavors...

Koryn: You brought tears, you know. I'm only an email away.

iaintlying said...

Your kids at HCC miss ya too!

changeseeker said...

iaintlying: I ran into students from USF and HCC within a few minutes of each other at a little grocery store in my neighborhood the other day. I walked out knowing I've made a dent. It's good. I'm glad. Even though I'm often less than satisfied with my performance.

iaintlying said...

you are your worst critic. From what I recall, you give your best at all times because you give you.
Lighten up, you are after all human! :-)

HellsBells said...

You do a great job. I enjoy every minute of your lectures and leave every class in amazement.


changeseeker said...

And the new school weighs in. :^) Welcome to the party, hellsbells.