My Beautiful Wickedness


On The Downbeat
March 14, 2007, 1:08 pm
Filed under: Bitching Rather Than Doing, Things I Can't Help

What a day. Up at 3:45 am, grading by 4, doing a craft to surprise and please my kid when it just magically appears at the table this morning, then back to grading, gulp down breakfast and throw on some clothes — ta da! period starts! — and no time for a shower. Hit the classroom running. All students glum that they have to wake up for this stupid 9 am class and she still hasn’t finished grading and it’s been a whole weeeeeek. But their questions are pretty good and their attitudes improve and by the end of each of my two sessions, the lecture is pumping and heads are nodding. But then I receive the news that my NEH app was turned down (somehow I believed, despite the odds, that it would not be and I could use that money to put a roof on my house).

As I was reading the e-mail rejecting my application, a student pops in to a) tell me that he wasn’t even going to teach slavery, as it wasn’t politically important and he only is going to teach the important stuff and b) he wanted me to be his advisor. Now a) his first pronouncement pretty much violates everything I am trying to accomplish in my professional life and came immediately after I talked about how race and the twin evolution of slavery and white supremacist politics in the colonial Chesapeake. And b) the kid strikes me as an enormous complaining jackass who is apparently not plugged in enough to see that he’s just said something bigoted, offensive, and empirically wrong. But my advisee he will be, because he perceives me as someone who knows what I’m doing. (This despite perversely insisting on talking about black people all the time.) Gulp. A kid I think is
clueless has assessed me as being knowledgeable. That’s a real confidence-wrecker.

There are petty colleague squabbles (nothing major, thankfully…just a pile of predictable little
dumb annoying shit) and there’s that WST conference that is careening toward me. My grad
assistant thinks that I’ve gone off and died, since she needs me to set her another task though I haven’t yet had a chance to look at her last batch. I direct
our national honors society chapter and that’s got a bunch of work piling up.

So I’m cramping and I’m really tired and all I have to look forward to is committee meetings and
taking my kid to a two-hour dress rehearsal for her upcoming dance recital. Lunch and dinner will both be gulped if they are gotten at all. I’m planning for five hours of sleep, but it will probably be less
than that — I often favor talking to my husband rather than getting to bed earlier. And tomorrow is
shaping up to be just like today, only with a faculty dinner and lecture instead of the evening
dress rehearsal. Friday’s completely booked. Saturday and Sunday (usually one of these is set aside as a sacrosanct day where I can just recharge) are also clogged with work-related commitments.

I hate working so hard and still being so behind, knowing that there’s not any foreseeable point in the next week or two when I can just kick back and feel caught up.

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1 Comment so far
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I have a headache just reading about all this. Ugh. I’m sorry for you.

As for the kid, it sounds like he’s feeling around for some big emotional sea change and has you pegged as the person to get him there. I’d imagine he KNOWS how you feel about his positions on race, etc. and that’s why he wants you.

Comment by KC




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