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Location: Upstate, South Carolina, United States

I think that the Meredith Brooks' song, "Bitch," summarizes me rather nicely. Or, if you prefer, X. dell says I'm a life-smart literary scholar with a low BS tolerance...that also works!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Random Day

Yes, I'm alive. This last month was about survival, and then it was about recovery from survival. My lack of sleep showed with a few stupid mistakes here and there, but on the whole I made it through the end of the semester crunch.

I had to come in during exam week to sign my reappointment letter. I have to say that it was the best, most favorable reappointment letter yet. I was floored by how many good things both my evaluator and the head of the department had to say about me. The latter was particularly stunning because, well, he's not into compliments. Grace told me that I shouldn't be surprised because I consistently have some of the highest ratings in the dept. from my evals. Okay, THAT surprised me too. I had no idea. All I could think was--what about the two folks who always hate me? I mean, in a class of 35 people, I can predict the breakdown. It's always the same. 30 folks insist I'm the best thing since sliced bread; three don't care and are totally indifferent; and two hate my freakin' guts. The two who hate my guts are rather creative in their reasons...I've actually learned to laugh about it and chalk it off as "having a personality." If everybody loved me, then I'd be doing something wrong. Anyway! Because I always have those two folks grumbling loudly, it never occured to me that this was FEWER than average.

I also have something like 12 former students signed up for my classes next term. And I received a letter and three thank you notes from students this term....that also surprised me. Thank you notes??? And then I had about a dozen emails on a similar theme. How did this happen all at once? In one semester? In, ironically, the semester wherein I completely decided that I didn't want to hold back at all on what I did or said because Clemson had frustrated me totally with their decision to screw us out of five days' pay? Now, I have no idea what my evals have said this term. I didn't look at them, and unless I'm doing the reappointment thing again next year, I'm not sure I will. I'd rather just bask in the glow of this positive energy and think of myself as a pretty decent teacher. Perhaps the lack of sleep was worth it.

That still doesn't mean I'm ready to start back up next week, though. Too many hours at the wine store has meant that this hasn't been a complete vacation. Oh well! If Alex does his job right, I'll be pregnant in April and just converting to an occasional online course to teach anyway! This could very well be my last semester inside a classroom teaching for a few years (provided I CAN get pregnant...only time will tell).

Total Wine has cut back their hours for their employees tremendously in January. My hours have been cut back as well, but I think I'll be picking up some more time after this one fellow quits. He told me in confidence that he was going soon, so that'll free up some hours for all of us. I'm betting that they'll not hire anybody to replace him until the end of Feb. when we start getting more hours again.

We've received Rock Band 2 for Christmas for my brother. Well, Ariana and Jared got it, but it turned out to be a family game. I'm always thrown on the mic; Jared is always drums; Ari is always guitar. Alex floats between drums and guitar. Three of us can go at once, and if we get another guitar, we can all play at the same time. I never thought this game would interest me, but I'm having a blast with it. In fact, my throat is raw from singing for hours last night....haha!

And finally, I propose that from now on out, we stop that stupid ritual of asking people how they are without wanting an answer or at least wanting an answer resembling the truth. The next time somebody asks you at a check out line or at work, "How are you?", just blurt out what you're feeling! "Well, I'm bloating like crazy and craving chocolate. Damn I hate this time of the month. How about you?" or "Man, I'm having the shits like you can't believe! It's so uncomfortable" or "I couldn't be more depressed since my mom died" or "I'm doing awesome! There's nothing like a good breakfast and a quality orgasm to start the day!" Take your pick. But from now on out, it's your duty: answer the question so that it returns to having meaning.