Friday, April 25, 2014

College Writing and Teaching

At the beginning of every semester, I explain to my English 101 students that at the end of the semester there will be a bunch of them whining and crying to me for more time. I say that the time is now. Be proactive. Seek help early. Don’t fall behind.

And they all laugh thinking it won’t be them.

So, yesterday I had to point out to my class that it was, indeed, them.

I listened to the same old moan and groan and begging for more time.

The life of an adjunct instructor can be very tedious. We get none of the benefits and all of the crap.

For a writing instructor, for a writer, for someone who loves to read and write, it can be difficult to watch so many students who just don’t care.

I suppose it is every teacher’s dream to have a room full of students excited to learn. I work hard to instill that feeling into students and I think I do a pretty good job at it, too. It’s just discouraging to see how many students really don’t care.

I suppose that would have been me if I had gone to college when I was eighteen. In retrospect, it was definitely the right thing for me to go to college only when I was ready, only when I cared.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cork that Feeling

I had an essay accepted for publication yesterday and I savored the feeling of happiness. I savored the rush of feeling accepted.

Can I bottle that feeling and uncork it when I’m feeling low?

I tried to really experience the happiness in my whole body; I recorded the sensations of lightness, bounciness and accomplishment.

I think sometimes that is why I feel so driven, so in need of producing art or doing good in the world—I long for that rush of adrenaline, that shot of happy, that I seem to experience when I feel accomplished and worthy.

I guess it is that sensation of being seen, being recognized and appreciated for being me. That is where my happiness comes from.

Now I need to learn to be able to give myself that feeling. I want to be able to produce happiness through recognizing myself.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Music for Dancing

I went to bed at eight o’clock last night. Exhaustion seems to be my best friend. I also feel like I’m trying to shake off the beginnings of a cold.

I’m falling behind again on my school work. Lots of grading to do and not to mention a lesson plan for a class in, oh, an hour or so.

At least I got my dancing in. Genny likes to sit and watch me, but will not join in.

Today I went with just instrumental and allowed myself to sink more into feeling.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dance Your Day

The Dance Pill actually worked today. I awoke early from bouncing kittens and children and was off to a crappy start of a day.

Before I knew it, I was ready to seriously bite everyone’s head off. It felt like I was being taunted by demons with breakfast orders and lunch demands. 

A small inhabitant of my house, when needing help getting dressed, stood five feet away from me and wondered why I could not be of more aid.

A slightly larger resident asked me to comb her hair and then whined and cried the entire time I did.

Mommy needed her Dance Pill.

I scanned through the choice of songs I have left on my iPhone and chose Duran Duran “Hungry Like a Wolf.”

As I began to dance, all the common thoughts raced through my mind—why am I doing this? This is dumb. This doesn’t help. Shut up. Just dance. Just feel.

And a remarkable thing happened. I just fell into the lyrics and let myself be in the moment and not care. When I do that, everything feels right.

After I returned to my normal maternal duties, I felt better. The dance actually centered me, brought me some peace.

Now, does this mean I have to dance through my entire day? Good God! That would be awkward.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mantra Wanted

Spring break for the kids is over and they are all back to school. Only seven more weeks until their summer break.

Easter started out rough with a pretty strangling depression smashing me in the morning, but fortunately it receded by the time we went to visit family.

It really is a moment-to-moment experience to stay centered and calm. I need to face my demons not every day, but every minute.

I’m ready to start figuring out my next big writing project. I still have a few semi-completed projects I will work on this summer, but I want to start my next memoir.

There are plenty of topic seeds I need to start exploring.

Right now, I need to get through this semester. My students are working on their research papers. I am hoping for no cases of plagiarism this year. A girl can dream.

So, lots of planning and grading and prepping ahead of me. I will try to stay focused.

Maybe I need to come up with a mantra for myself. Something I can repeat to keep me as undepressed as possible.

Anyone have anything good that keeps them going?