Tuesday, April 18, 2017

never ignore that "I should be doing something" feeling...

I did, last night, thinking about my teaching and what I had coming up in the next few days.  I prepped like a madwoman over the weekend so I really didn't have to do anything for teaching last night.

Yeah, my thesis was due today.  (ha!)

Fortunately, my adviser finally sent me her comments, and I crunched through it all this evening in a few hours.  The thing that took the longest was re-crunching after Word ate half the document.  It looked just like the Delete key was stuck, and there was no way to un-stick it.  I waited until it consumed the rest of the document, to see if I could "undo" to get it back, but no luck.  I couldn't get a response of any kind, so I had to kill it with the Task Manager and start over with the recovered version.  It was very distressing at the time, but things worked out OK.

It's 77 pages long!  Without a doubt the longest thing I've ever written.  The actual text only runs to page 40, and then it's a lot of appendices, but since I wrote the appendices, too, I figure it's OK to claim all 77 pages for myself.

counting down...

I don't want to wish my life away, but I am seriously counting down the days until 1) my thesis defense 2) my graduation 3) the last day of school 4) DD's graduation 5) my niece's wedding and finally 6) the installation of the new flooring upstairs.  (I haven't mentioned that before, but it's been in the works for quite a few months now.)  DS2 has a piano exam and a recital in there, too, but that list is already way too long.

I had my semi-annual (?) ultrasound and blood work today for  my doctor at Banner M. D. Anderson, and I'll see him next week for results.  The technician measured a lot of things and took a zillion photos.  Nothing I saw looked particularly firm, fixed, and rounded, although some of the nodes did look quite large.  Phlebotomist went for a vein in my right hand (!!!) and got it first try, four tubes filled, didn't blow out or anything. Now I'm working diligently to forget it even happened, lest I drive myself crazy with conjecture.

I worked late Friday and literally all day Saturday to be able to take today off, and it really was lovely not going in today.  I do feel as if I was supposed to do something, but I'm not quite sure what.  I checked my emails and responded to the ones that needed responses... I'm sure I'll find out tomorrow.

The big motivation behind working so hard on Saturday was so Easter Sunday could be  a true day off, too.  Everything turned out lovely, and we've already plowed through a substantial amount of the leftovers.  I made the French orange cake but as cupcakes, and I over-filled them so they really do need to be refrigerated or else they completely fall apart into (delicious) piles of goo.  Fresh orange zest and juice, right off the tree, gives such an incomparable flavor.  (DH harvested the last of the oranges, and I spent about an hour juicing them this afternoon.  Got the first batch of oj-ice cubes freezing now.)

I like this, being able to spend time thinking about the house and getting things (albeit small things) done.  I am constantly giving myself pep talks: it's really only 3 more weeks of instruction, then review for finals, finals week, and promotion week.  It will go by fast!

My adviser sent comments on my thesis today, and it's just a few tweaks here and there.  *whew*  I will package it up this week and put together my presentation -- only 15-20 minutes, that's easy!  I am not feeling stressed about it, other than having to drive up to Flagstaff after work.  I suspect I will have to resort to caffeine... but if I actually leave at 4PM like I'm supposed to, I can actually get up there before it gets too dark...

It's too soon to think about it.  I have to stop casting my thoughts so far ahead and just get through tomorrow! Time keeps on slipping...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

nearly there...

Sometimes, I decide to stay up "stupid late" because no one is bothering me, and I'm actually getting stuff done. 

Last night was one of those nights.  I traded in my hours of sleep for hammering out a nearly-complete draft of the last pieces of my non-thesis project.  It was a good trade.  Now it's just clean up and formatting, which always take longer than they should, but at least the end is in sight.

Yay!

Monday, March 20, 2017

it's always the same question

Why am I still up?

I was working, then I finished working, and I could have gone to bed 2 hours ago, but I didn't.

Spring break is over, back to school, back to routine, maybe that will help?  I got most everything done that I wanted to, over break, so that the rest of the year should be less hectic.  That's good, so why don't I feel good about it?

I am feeling a bit sorry for myself, because this really was not a vacation, just working in a different place and with no contact time (time with students.)  Planned 6 classes plus special tutoring/review sessions for all 3 of my math classes, which of course involved scheduling and finding the appropriate resources, and then copying everything.

Copying everything took 4 hours today.  Some of that time was spent getting the physics workbooks to print correctly, but not much.

Perhaps "sorry for myself" isn't quite right.  Definitely more than one thing going on: exhaustion, anger, worry, disappointment.   A bundle of ick. I would probably feel better if I got some sleep, so I'll try that.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

examination of conscience

Last Wednesday (not yesterday, last week) was Ash Wednesday.  We're already one-sixth of the way through Lent.

I don't think I can adequately express how much I've been struggling lately with managing everything, even though I've certainly complained here about it quite a bit.  But complaining always, always feels wrong, because no one imposed this on me, I took it on myself.

In the last week, reflecting in the way that Lent leads me to, I've been trying to figure out how exactly I got into this mess.  This mess being: teaching 6 different classes, all with new-to-me curriculum (one class, indeed, which I am literally making up as we go along), plus being junior high lead in a new school, all while finishing my non-thesis project so I can finally graduate with my masters degree.  [I have declared my intention and set my defense date, and I've booked the hotel rooms for graduation weekend.  I will graduate this spring.]  Plus, of course, being a wife and a mother and, in  much diminished role, a sister, because I'm no living person's daughter anymore.

I have been crazy-overworked before.  This is not like that.  I love my job, but there is literally too much of it for me to handle on a day-to-day basis.  It is amazing I haven't collapsed yet.  I keep wondering, like the Talking Heads, "How did I get here?"   I realized that math lessons in the beginning of the year are simple, but over the course of the year, they are cumulative.  So back in September, each lesson (I teach 3 different lessons each day) was only one or two pages of notes, but now they are more like three to four.  Back in the first semester, when I volunteered for class #6, I thought, "I got this.  I can do it,"  because I was handling five classes at that point and it was ... manageable.

It never occurred to me to think about how that might change over the course of the school year.   I was in a groove.  "I got this."  A little more?  No problem.  Only, not really.  Really a big problem, a sin I carry around with me all the time in my heart and never admit, and now it's my Cross:

Pride.  

Yes, I'm smart, and quick, and more than competent.  But there are only so many hours in a day, and even though I can function on just a few hours' sleep, that's not an optimal situation for anyone in my life, especially me.

There's nothing for it, now.  Spring break is coming up, and I'm hoping to plan and work ahead to make fourth quarter easier.  I just have to work through this, and I can, and I will -- but the lesson here is to stop and think about over-committing myself in the future.  No matter how good I think I am, at whatever it is, I don't have the kind of control over the space-time fabric of the universe that doing my job, managing my own personal life, and getting enough sleep would require.

I'm feeling weird and knocked down a bit, but the only person that feeling is coming from is me.  I get nothing but support and love from everyone around me, which explains the "weird" part.  How can I feel like I'm in so much trouble when I've never been in such a good place, surrounded by such good people?  It's all on me.

Never to old to learn.


Monday, March 06, 2017

blech

Finally had my doctor's appointment -- a week ago -- and everything appears stable, so that's good.  The doctor seemed to think there is not an adenoma, but that if I opted for surgery they'd have to take the whole pituitary, which is not what the surgeon said.  I'm going with the surgeon's take, which is that I don't have to do anything right now, but when I do, he can handle it.

The appointment itself was annoying, because I was late and I got an extremely cold reception from the staff.  There is never any warmth there.  Yes, I was ten minutes late, so I arrived at 4:25 instead of 4:15, but the posted hours are until 5PM, and there were no other cars in the parking lot. Yet when I walked in, the lights were off in reception, and I had to wait a bit for someone to come out.  "I don't know if the doctor will see you, you're late."  Whatever, people.  The doctor saw me for 5 minutes which was all that was needed to give me my results.  No problem.  As much as I like the doctor, the staff really bugs me.

So.... today was the oven repair appointment (DS1 is home on spring break!), and that didn't go very well, either.  Apparently we need a new gas line or something... this house is nineteen years old, and the building codes have changed.  I like to think that it's still safe to use the stove, that if it were going to explode or something, that the repair guy would've told us.   So now we have to have a plumber in and get the gas lines updated, and who knows how long it will take and how much it will cost?  I don't have time for this nonsense.... I just want my functional kitchen back!

This has been a bit of a rough patch, but next week is spring break.  I'm looking forward to sleep, and working ahead so that next quarter isn't quite the disaster that this quarter has been.  I have to remind myself that it has only been a disaster from my perspective.  At school, all anyone sees is smooth sailing.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

oh no!

After a very long and mostly productive day, I turned on the oven to preheat while I mixed up the meatloaf.

Nothing happened.  Temperature did not change.  The broiler works fine.  The burners work fine. The oven has apparently stopped working.

Scheduled a repair during spring break and meanwhile am cooking the meatloaf in the big dutch oven.

Menu planning will be interesting, but how am I supposed to get by without my scones on the weekend?

Monday, February 20, 2017

today's exercise in frustration

I did not have my doctor's appointment today, and did not find out the results of my MRI.  My labs weren't back yet -- those labs that I took Friday morning off work for! -- and so the doctor wouldn't see me.

I'm rescheduled for next Monday, after school.  At least I won't have to take any more time off work for this nonsense.