Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Funk of the Year

I'm in a rut. I am not exactly sure why, nor have I any wise ideas on how I ought to pull myself out. So, permit me to ramble, probably complain and just maunder on my cathartic way. The situation at school has changed slightly. The woman in my department, who was the recent focus of angst and turmoil has won the small battle, and admin has forced the dept. to reinstate her for the winter semester. This is good. I have not heard how the dept. has reacted to this. Bitterly I suspect. This does not mean all is over. I've been asked if I really want to return in the fall. I am still really undecided. If the opportunity were there, I am not sure at this point whether or not I would do it because I really want to, or for the marginally acceptable paycheque. I'll have to mull over this more. All this uncertainty is wreaking havoc on my attitude toward teaching. On the one hand, I honor what I do, and the students who are paying good money to attend. At the same time, part of me just want to turn to the university building, stick out my tongue and yell SUCK IT.

I never got off on the right foot with classes anyway. I went in with a bum attitude and it appears to be shadowing me. On the upswing, I have been reading some amazing stuff to help sort out this maudlin - if you ever stumble across Many Rose O'Reilley's The Peaceable Classroom, I hight recommend picking it up and reading a bit. It's been one of those books that I really needed to read, at this exact moment in time. It just so happened to fall into my lap, right when I needed it.

So things are murky for me at work. I am finding more stress and resentment, I am pulling away, although I know that the student's experience will be enhanced if I am plugged in, and I am not satisfied with this tension. I also have this little dark cloud over my head most of the time that showers me with thoughts that I am a terrible teacher. I can't seem to shut off this tape loop, and it's getting worse. Sometimes, I feel like going in front of the class and apologizing " Sorry folks, I know you are getting gyped here, but I have nothing more to give. Sorry." Conditions with my department, do not make this any easier - for there is no safe place to discuss these intimate matters. And knowing that some of the members would relish in the experience of evaluating my work (trying to fit critical pedagogy into a traditional paradigm rarely works), makes this vulnerabily all the more dangerous.

Other stuff is haunting me. My very bestest dear friend in the whole wide world has just separated from her husband - and its as messy as it gets. He disconnected her telephone, and for reasons I am not quite clear about she is still without phone service. I have not spoken to her in over a week. I get sporatic and brief e-mails, but I am in the dark and worried. We've been close for nearly 15 years, I was a bridesmaid, I attended her daughters birth - we've done it all. I know that right now all I can do is be available, but wishing I could do more.

So...a rut indeed.

I think I need a vacation? Anyone wish to host me and pay my way?


Susan said...

You are always welcome here. But I'm saving up for that iBook, you know . . .

In my last semester of adjuncting, I was really torn between wanting to do a good job at work I loved and not giving a fuck, especially when my students were whiny or my 'colleagues' were jackasses (which was every day). I dreaded every single day, which made me so sad.

I feel for you, I so do. Come to Oklahoma! (Dear god, why would anyone want to do that . . . )

Eric said... applied for a posting to the Netherlands my dear. It's a longshot, but it would be worth it. Hell, we could always ferry it over to Scotland and visit Hotboy!

MC Etcher said...

Some periods are like that, rutlike.

In some ways, it can feel like a rut just to follow a routine. Just getting up every day and going to work feels like a rut.

I wonder if there is something you could teach out of your home - that way you could make your own hours and teach your curriculum your way.

hotboy said...

There's plenty of room in the hut! Please bring your gun, so I can fire it at some people. Also, please bring beer. Hotboy p.s. Spliffland is a wonderful country. Be a bit of a change maybe!

Mary P. said...

You're having a November experience, the dreariest month of the year. Let's hear it for the solstice next month!

Ottawa's pretty dreary in November, too, but you're welcome if you want to! Personally, I'd pick Oklahoma: I hear it's still t-shirt weather down there.

robmcj said...

I've yet to meet a terrible teacher. Most of them, like me, have big gaps in their portfolio of skills, but each one has some amazing strengths that make them different from their colleagues. Without me, my students would never have learned how to salute or wave.

Maybe you're just ready for the Christmas break?

McSwain said...

Ah yes, vacation is a good thing. Gunny how there's never money when there's time, and never time when there's the money. I hope your stress level goes down soon!