Urgh. I can't believe it's Thursday night -- I'm glad enough, mind you -- that means my teaching week is over, my day off is supposed to be tomorrow, and all time is "my" time, for the next couple of days at least.
But where did my week go? The Sleep Monster ate it. I've just been dragging my sorry ass around this week. At first, I blamed it on my Tuesday night graduate seminar -- seminars themselves are always exhausting -- I walk out of there completely wired 'n tired -- I have about 45 minutes to go pick up take-out dinner and get home before collapsing on the couch to watch a silly movie. And, of course, there's the sometimes frantic prepping beforehand. This is a new course for me, in a new area, so it's taking up a lot of time.
So I slept in a bit on Wed morning but was in a foggy haze for the whole day. Maybe it's the zillions of mold spores I'm apparently breathing in my geographical location. One of my favorite students (in my AWESOME undergrad class this semester -- I love this group, they're way better than the students I've had the last 2 times I've taught this course, so they're consistently exceeding my expectations) on Tues was talking about a poem -- "well it's just so existential, it's really about how there's no hope in the world" and I'm looking at his watery red eyes and thinking Is this because of the poem, or did you forget your allergy meds today? (I think it was the latter. At least I hope so. I'd hate to be accused of causing mental distress and physical symptoms of ill health in my students with the poems of Matthew Arnold.)
And today? Teaching was fine, meetings weren't too onerous. It really wasn't a bad day, or a tough week, or anything like that. But I'm still dragging around, and frustrated at my lack of productivity on the real stuff this week: my own writing. (I'm ready to play the self-flagellation game with Jimbo.) (oops, that sounded a lot naughtier than it actually would be --)
A few years ago, when I was involved in training new TAs, and doing pedagogy workshops etc, I read a book (unfortunately don't remember author or title) that made some really good points about the rhythms of the semester. How every term has its own life cycle, and if you're trying to accomplish certain things during midterm week, for instance, you're bound to be frustrated because your students won't be at their best. Right now, week 4, is a pretty good week -- the students who are staying are committing themselves to the class, they're doing the reading, and taking it seriously because 1st or 2nd assignments are due. Things usually get tough around week 8 or 9, when everyone is getting sick, they're behind on the reading, and we could all use a spring break, which we don't get in the fall of course.
I really did enjoy my classes this week. That was the good part. And I want to hang onto that feeling since I know it won't last through the whole term.
Maybe if I appease the Sleep Monster with 8 1/2 hours tonight, he'll let me do some of my other work tomorrow.