You know the kind of semester where you feel like you are constantly getting your ass kicked? The semester that is simultaneously flying by and the longest semester of your life?
That's my semester. I've had bad semesters before, but this one, well, it takes the cake.
I was supposed to finish my dissertation this semester. It's mid-October and I can't remember the last time I actually had a moment or took a moment to even open up a chapter file.
I can't get it together. I can't keep up with the work. This was supposed to be an easy semester. Two sections of the same class that I've taught before and don't really need to prep much. Except there is a lot of prep because the chair doesn't want us to lecture much and wants us to design all these fantastic lesson plans to really reach students on multiple levels that lectures just can't reach. I didn't lecture much to begin with because I prefer activities and discussions and blah, blah, blah, but when your students don't read, it's really hard to get any sort of discussion going because they don't have the basic knowledge required to participate in that discussion. When they don't read, it's really hard to have a successful activity of any sort because, for instance, they can't defend a side in a mock Scopes trial when they don't know who Scopes was and they can't lobby President Wilson for or against the Espionage Act when they don't know what the Espionage Act is or who Wilson is or that there was a giant freaking war of epic proportions taking place.
I can't get into a routine and I need one. It's mid-October and I am stuck in a rut of just barely getting grading finished in time or just barely writing that exam before class or just barely prepping before class or whatever. I am losing my mind.
I need a routine. I like a routine. I don't know how I lost my routine, but I did and I can't seem to get back to it. I miss my routine! I miss having free time. I miss reading blogs to relax or commiserate or just catch up with people that I've met along the way in a million different writing groups. I miss writing groups! I miss College Misery and Jane B and Historiann and Amstr and Bardiac and Notorious PhD and everyone else whose name I didn't mention because it's 12:30 in the morning and I still have 20 test essays left to grade and my brain is fried. FRIED.
Here's my promise to myself: tonight I finish those tests. Tomorrow I grade their multiple-choice (hurrah!) quizzes and fill out the evaluations for the football players and finish grading their blog posts, which I'm actually on top of, surprisingly. Then I get to take a nap and, when I'm all refreshed from a delightful nap cuddled up with Dewey, I'm going to sit down and work out a weekly schedule (including time for yoga and all the annoying little things that crop up and suck up so much time - I'm no fool). After that, I get wine. Lots of wine. And I get to catch up on some blogs. And I get to go to sleep as early as I want. I'd put my money on 8:30, if anyone was taking bets.
I will have my routine and I will stick to it or else this vein is really going to explode and I don't have health insurance (or Medicaid yet), so that would be a problem.
Ok. Back to grading. *sob*