Sunday, September 19, 2010

The too long week...

I can't believe the weekend's nearly over.  I really need another three or four days to recoup from last week.  Of all the bad weeks, last week was the worst I've had in a long time.  I know I'm not the only one, either... maybe there's something in the air? Or the planets are aligned for misery?  Ugh, from a no-go root canal to a pregnancy scare, this last week can take a long walk off a short pier.  Sadly, it doesn't work that way, does it?  Bad weeks always get away without punishment.  Meanwhile, I'm left feeling like the tragic hero (yeah, not quite the right word there) who's suffered more than I deserved.  Welcome to my pity party... I feel like such a whiner.

So, Monday I woke up feeling so sick.  Not just a little woozy, like usual, but so, so, so sick.  I dragged my ass around all morning, contemplated staying home from work, but decided against it.  Because I had a root canal scheduled for Monday afternoon I figured I might as well just go to work.  What didn't occur to me is that I was actually sick.  My tooth was killing me, and had been all night, which was making my ear hurt.  The pain in my ear was making me dizzy, which was making me nauseous.  Couple that with having not slept and my assumption was that the sick was a result of the pain and the tired.  So, when I got off work at 1pm Matt and I went to grab a bit to eat.  I didn't eat much, because I was sick, but it turns out that was the wrong thing to do.

When I got to the dentist, made payment arrangements, and sat down in the chair I was still feeling sick.  I decided against the conscious sedation, largely because I was afraid it would make me more sick than I already was.  According to the dentist, I was right, if I'd taken the meds I'd have started throwing up. Not what I wanted to do, at all, so I rescheduled my root canal for October 19th.  Honestly, it wasn't just the sick, it was the fact that I'd eaten an hour before and the fact that my tooth is infected again.  Add all that together and I the conditions were completely wrong. So, I went home instead.  Or, would have gone home if Matt's phone hadn't been on silent.  When I came out of the dentist, early, I called and texted but got nothing.  After about 10 minutes of the same, still unable to get a hold of him and feeling miserable, I called Melanie to see if she could come get me.  She did, so I went to her house and continued to try to get ahold of him, which I was able to do after about another ten minutes.  Very annoyed, I went home and went to sleep.

Not a great start to the week.  Tuesday I woke up feeling sick again, but not sick enough that I stayed home.  Instead, I went to work and battled against the woozy feeling.  Tuesdays are my long day, we're talking at the school from 7:30am until after 9pm.  I really, really hate Tuesdays.  Turns out that one of my labs on Tuesdays has some problem students, which makes the day even longer.  By the time Tuesday was done, all I had time to do was sleep.  I didn't really eat, I just worked and slept. I know it's not good to skip meals, but who has time to eat?

I was sick again on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.  I've been waking up sick every morning for the last several weeks.  So, it was Wednesday morning, when I told Matt I still wasn't feeling well, that he decided that I might be pregnant.  At the very least, though I was pretty sure that wasn't the case, he wanted me to take the test.  Better to know than not know, right?  So, while I worked, he went and got me a pregnancy test.  I took it at mid-day when I went home for my break.  It was, of course, negative and though I knew it would be, when it said no I was relieved.  The last thing I need, or want, is a baby.  I don't like kids, but also, I don't have time for that.

Still, waking up nauseous everyday is making my life miserable.  I know it's just the combination of nerves and... I don't know, stress maybe?  I just don't feel like I could really be stressed, it's only the end of the first month of classes.  How I could I be stressed already?  I think it's just the fact that working and going to school is more work than I have ever done before.  I'm not in terribly good shape and I don't have time to work out or worry about what I'm eating.  I hardly feel like I have enough time to work, do school work, and squeeze in a little bit of sleep.   Having a job that I'm not 100% comfortable with is making me feel flustered.  Doing presentations and standing up in front of people all the time is making me constantly nervous and shaky.

Thursday morning I had to give a presentation to a group of 70 students. They were nice students, it was quick and went well, but it was also terrifying. Friday I had to give another, to another class, and while Thursday's class was nice, Friday's class couldn't have been less interested.  The professor wasn't there and the other girl, who I think was probably there to give another presentation of some sort, wasn't particularly nice.  And, I get to give another presentation to a class on Tuesday afternoon.  All these presentations are doing a number to my nerves.

Needless to say, by the time this week was over, I was never happier to see one go.  The weekend's been remarkably short and I'm wondering where it has gone?  I need more time, more days to recoup from last week's mayhem. I guess I'll just have to be contented with the two days off I did have.  I need to go make dinner now... might as well eat on the weekend. I hope your week was better than mine.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm here...

It's been a while since I've written anything of substance, hasn't it?  For the record, that nearly said "hasn' tit" but I caught it in time. Ha!  Okay, seriously though, I know I've been quite, but in my defense I've been remarkably busy and haven't had the energy to write.  I'm in the writing center right now, catching up with y'all during a lull.  I've been working, going to school, or doing homework nearly non-stop lately.  I'm exhausted, so rather than blogging I've found it easier to keep in touch via Facebook, where instant gratification is the name of the game.  I can post what's going on and go, which is much quicker and requires much less attention than blogging.

The fact that I'm blogging right now is a testament to both my love of blogging and my fortitude to put down one word more than I'm compelled to do for those activities that account for my real life activities.  Clearly, I love to hear myself speak (type?), why else would I be doing this right now when I could (should?) be doing homework?

So let's get on with it, shall we?  I'm sure you're tired of hearing how tired I am and, as a result, you're about to change the channel... so to speak.  Don't do that!  I'm working on getting on with it, I swear I am.  School's been great so far.  With one class online, one in the evenings and another that's something like a regular undergrad class, I'm feeling okay about my scholastic endeavors, so far.  Work is also great, I'm enjoying my new job, though I find it both nerve wracking and exhausting.  Although, it's probably only exhausting because I'm A) not used to working like this and B) I'm expending a hell of a lot of effort in being worried about my performance and the fact that I have to stand-up in front of people and speak on a (close to) day-to-day basis.  Maybe if I could chill and enjoy the experience of being challenged with something new, I'd be much better off.

I must say, I did have days early on (yes, I know it's still technically "early on" but I mean earlier on) where I nearly forgot that the reason I was doing this job was that I was a student.  I got so wrapped up in doing the job and doing it right that I forgot that homework was something I had to make time for.  I almost completely tuned out on the idea that I'm a student, not just a graduate assistant, and that meant doing the things a student must do.  Now, don't get me wrong, I didn't miss class or anything stupid like that, I just put up mental barriers between my job and my education, something I simply can't do given that the two are completely interrelated.  This job cannot exist without school, it simply can't, that's the name of the game.

And you know, to switch gears slightly for a moment, I've always had the feeling that if I worked outside the house, if I interacted more with others, I'd have more to blog about.  This person's silly antics, or that person's hilarious situation, but I'm finding it to be the opposite.  I do have a lot I could say, but I'm afraid to put my job in jeopardy by saying it.  When I attended the College of Graduate Studies Official GA Orientation last week they said that we're responsible for ethical behavior and I'm finding that talking about students, or whatever, could breach the gap between ethical and unethical, so I've decided I just can't do it.  All working outside the house has done is give me less time to say the things I might otherwise have had time to say.

One thing I feel I can say without concern is what I'm doing, so here goes.  I think most of you know my feeling about public speaking.  I'd rather stick a thousand needles in my spine than do one speech.  Well... it turns out that public speaking is a big part of my job.  I teach labs to basic writers and work in the University Writing Center.  The speaking part of teaching the labs is a no-brainer, but would you believe working in the WC means giving presentations?  Who knew?  Not me, but it's something I'm trying to adapt to without fear.  I'm a graduate student, doing a graduate assistantship, and this is a part of the job.  I figure the world is filled with obstacles to over come and this is just another of those.  You wouldn't believe how proud of myself I am when I pull myself up and get the job done, fear or no fear!

So, now that I've rambled on and on for too long (much longer than I intended to, in fact), I'm going to go.  My shift will be over in 20 minutes and I'd like to write another post, for a later date, about my awesome (sarcasm) experience today.  See y'all later!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I took my sewing machine and went to Melanie's yesterday for a sewing party.  We had a really good time!  The idea was to sew together, but for the most part, she just helped me figure out what I was doing while I navigated my first project in more than 15 years.  I am so grateful to have had her help.  Though we had a few technical glitches, like a bobbin that wouldn't behave (pet named "ill luck bobbin"), everything went very smoothly.  I made a bag, a simple project that actually took me about 7 hours to finish.  It's a long time, but the final product came out really good!  So good, in fact, I wanted to share the pics with y'all.

(Please click the images to see them larger!!)

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I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them! I had a really great time working on this bag and will likely make several more of them in different fabrics and colors. I have Melanie to thank for finding the brown fabric with the teal circles, we were looking for fabric when she pointed it out and I loved it the second I saw it. I have enough extra that I'm going to make dice bags out of it.

My next project, as you can imagine, will be dice bags -- going to work on it next Saturday. I got some fabric last night so I could make some, one of which will be for Matt, who chose a gray fabric with skulls on it. I should have known he'd pick something like that. I don't think there are patterns for dice bags, but they're fairly simple, so I'm not concerned. Might hunt around the net for instructions, I don't know yet.

Today, I feel like I got a workout yesterday. It's funny how exhausting sewing is. It's very rewarding, but it's exhausting, too. I'm looking forward to sewing next weekend!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What doesn't... ah, forget it.

What doesn't kill me will make me stronger, what doesn't kill me will make me stronger, what doesn't kill me will make me stronger... okay, enough of that.

You've just read what seems to be my motto for the fall. Those of you who read here with any regularity know that I had a horrible summer. Those who don't, well, I had a horrible summer. Now everyone knows. Everything that could go wrong did. The stove going out, work, my grandmother passing... horrible... freaking... summer. Now that fall's here, I'm trying hard not to have a horrible freaking fall, too, but I'm also feeling like by the time Christmas break comes, I'll be ready for a break.

I started school and work on Monday, but that wasn't where things began. I had orientations and meetings last Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Turn around from that and I was at the school bright and early Monday morning. So far, school's okay, but as one would expect with graduate school, I have a lot of work already! Work is busy, busy, but will get busier next week when the labs start. Right now, I work every day in the writing center, observe basic writing two mornings a week, attend a weekly meeting but starting next week I'll also teach two lab sections and work every other Wednesday evening in the library from 5-8 doing writing center stuff.

That's not to say I'm not enjoying it, because so far, I am. I'm also exhausted and it's only Thursday, but I've been assured that that will get easier. I'm looking forward to all of this becoming routine, because I need to lull into a sense of routine to keep my sanity. I have the feeling that it won't be routine for a while yet, which is expected. With every job, and every semester, a period of adjustment is normal... right? Gah, I hope so, because if not, the exhaustion and subtle confusion are just me and I hate when things like this are just me.

Right now, my biggest concern is next weeks start of labs. I am petrified with fear over having to teach these labs. I know it's nothing to be worried about, I know I know more than basic writers, but all the knowledge in the world isn't putting to bed the fear that I'm going to screw up, or look like an idiot, or come off unprofessional. In all this fear, I do have moments of lucidity and sheer, unadulterated confidence that I can do this, but the other 23 hours and 59 minutes a day, I'm terrified. I'm hoping it'll pass once it's over, or at the very least ease as the semester progresses. We'll see if my nerves can do that, or if I'm just a total basket case from here on out.

I have to say, though, I know that at least part of my problem is the realization that presentations are all around me and that I can't escape them. I have to teach the labs as a part of the GA job, which I understood when I took the job, but I also have to do a presentation and a class discussion thing in my British Lit class and give presentations about the writing center as a part of my writing center duties. Fear of public speaking be damned, it's something I have to do. Yay for being a grown-up, grad student with grown-up grad student responsibilities.

Two years, two years, two years... yeah, repetition because I learned in high school senior psych that you have to repeat things if you hope to commit them beyond your short term memory. Not that the fact that it'll take two years needs be committed, I know it with every shred of my being. May 2012, it seems like forever but by the time I get working on everything that needs be worked on, I'm sure I'll wonder where the hell the time went.

To top it all off, though it's not really time yet, my thesis topic is floating around in my brain. I'm thinking about it all the time now, ways to spin it and make it as original and compelling, both for myself and any prospective audience, as I possibly can. We'll see what I come up with. Nothing I can possibly share just yet.

Is it Friday afternoon yet? No? Damn!