Thursday, April 13, 2006

Day off...

I suppose you are wondering where I went.


I mean it. I've been right here in front of a computer, or in front of a classroom, or in front of an audience of my peers pretty much every day since March 1st. I had two days off (meaning didn't have to go to school, but still with work responsibilities) during our mid-winter break; that was also the last time that my husband will be home until the end of May. In the time you haven't heard from me, I've won another small grant, finagled another course reduction (meaning I am going to be teaching a 3:2 load, so now I'll be teaching what my peers at research institutions will be teaching and hopefully finally have more time to think and write), got another research assistant, helped hire two new members of my department, attended countless committee meetings, lost twenty pounds, gave two interviews to the student newspaper and one to the alumni magazine about the new Big Important Grant, wrote a dozen recommendation letters for seniors who are emerging into the post-collegiate world, counseled students who were breaking up, cracking up, dealing with rapes and miscarriages and flunks-in-progress, helped a student win a national fellowship, graded 300 or so student essays (not counting the mark-up of first drafts), prepped 50 class meetings (about half of them new lectures or activities), and inducted a new batch of honors students into our national honorary chapter on campus.

And then I came home and parented. I've read volumes 2, 3, and 4 of Harry Potter aloud, attended three birthday parties (and acquired/wrapped the presents), and volunteered twice at the school because they were doing something that I know something about. Moreover, Kid has entered into the tremendously exciting world of dance competitions and
although I am utterly opposed to the whole "eating disorders dressed up in spangles" pageanty aspect of this, she's
having a fine time and is largely unaffected by what I think is unhealthy attitude of some of the adults. As it turns out,
she's quite good for her age and she is happy to meet other dancers and doesn't get either freaked out or spoiled
by the attention. (Then again, she's never come in anywhere but first place. It's easy to feel happy when you win everything
you touch. ) Dance has been chewing up my weekends, my energy, and all my extra money. I am pleased to report,
however, that the reign of the thumping bassline is nearly at an end.

And then there's all the normal stuff. Grocery shopping. Laundry. Cooking. Bills. It all adds up. I've had time to
drop in your blogs and I've enjoyed them all immensely as my only contact with real adults talking about stuff
outside of work. I haven't really had time to blog anything myself, though. So thanks for playing your part in keeping me sane during this intense time.

Tomorrow is my first real day off. I have only 28 papers to grade before next Wednesday, so I'm going to go completely
off-line and sit numbly in the bright spring sunshine, watching the forsythia and daffodils bloom in my backyard and
listening to the drowse of bees pollenating the bright scarlet maple budlets. I might watch the dust spin lazily through
a sunbeam or listen to my Big Band 78s or write a love letter or paint my toenails...hell, I might just sleep. Whatever it is,
though, it won't be because I have a deadline to meet or miss driving me forward.

I really can't wait.

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