Friday, July 16, 2010

something REALLY good must be just around the corner...

...because yesterday? BAD DAY.

i mean such a bad day that i ate my feelings.  with pretzels and twizzlers and steak and shake.

(hey, at least i knew that i was doing it. and stopped myself from doing more damage than i did.)

i had a pretty good morning--i felt like my class went well, and i got a chance to talk to all of them about their speeches and give them some feedback/advice. i always like doing that, because i feel like i am genuinely helping them and it gives me a better sense of what's going on.

so that was good.

and then i did some other stuff and felt productive. 

and then i got an email from my supervisor at collegetown u, who said that my student evaluations were in and they were REALLY low.  so she wanted to talk to me, to "brainstorm" ideas to help students be more satisfied.

in so many ways, this hit me like a mack truck. i felt at once like i was being told i wasn't a good teacher, like i was being yelled at, like i was being fired.  it was a perfect storm of emotional angst, and i cried. 

lovely musicboy was there, and we talked about it.  foremost in my mind was the fear that i wouldn't get the classes for the fall that i had been scheduled for, that this somehow would make them automatically kick me to the curb. 

we decided that was highly unlikely, since few supervisors want to "brainstorm" with you if what they really mean is "have you pack your bags," which after subsequent emails with her seems the case.  essentially, i think i'm on probation with them. they'll see how willing i am to change and adapt to what they want me to do, and then they'll see if i'm a fit for the department still.

makes sense to me.  i see where i could be less of the hammer thrower and more of the supportive, empathetic cheerleader. i will look forward to the suggestions that she has.  i'm open to it.  it makes sense.

(also, i am aware that we will be taken care of no matter what. that is not far from my mind, and it was one of the themes of what musicboy told me.)

however, at the time sense was not really the main character in this little drama.  visceral, gut-level emotional reaction was. 

and it went on for HOURS. i didn't cry for hours, but man did it sink me a bit. 

so i went to the drugstore to get newspapers so we could finish packing our kitchen. and i bought candy. and i packed two boxes and then lost the will to think of what to do next, so i sat down. and then musicboy started packing and i felt guilty and he said "do your dissertation instead" so i did all the changes to my dissertation (which did NOT take as long as i thought it would, except that i lost all of the formatting on my references page so i had to italicize EVERYTHING again which was annoying) and then turned it into a pdf using a free trial from (TOTAL BLESSING! i thought i was going to have to go on campus) and then i submitted it.

which means that, other than turning in a stupid piece of paper which i will do today, i am done.


(as long as they clear me, that is.)

and then i went and spent copious amounts of money at target for the new house, the whole time knowing i could probably have gotten things cheaper at walmart but not wanting to go to walmart AND target at 9:30 at night because...well...i just didn't want to.

so we bought our slipcover and our shower curtain and our doodads and our hizzelypops and our snickwaddles (sorry...channeling dr. seuss) and used our gift cards and it was still expensive but what are you going to do?

and today seems like a brighter, better day.  i woke up not tired. i woke up smiling. i woke up knowing that we made it to today, the day we get the keys for the place that will be home for the next while, which feels like a whole new chapter of awesome opening up before us.

so i'll go to school today and give an exam that i hope everyone does supremely good on, and knowing that my exams tend to be challenging, i will keep an eye toward questions that everyone misses so that i can throw them out.  i will consider a curve, and i will hope that i am doing enough to prepare students well for their public speaking opportunities. 

and then i will come home and unplug appliances and put boxes in my car and think happy thoughts about a whole new house while trying to figure out how to get as much as possible into my deceptively large cargo area.  i will try to plan for the essentials, like toilet paper and cameras, as well as for the non-essentials, like convection ovens and crockpots. 

(we're moving our kitchen over first.)

and then i will go to our new home and get the keys, wait for musicboy to get off work and meet me there, and we'll turn the lock together.

i'm very much hoping there will be no need for twizzlers today.


  1. Oh, hooray for the new house, and for the dissertation. Both of these things are wonderful.

    As for the reviews...I probably shouldn't rant in your comments section. :) I just, in general, tend to feel that students who want a teacher to be their friend are...wrong. Friendly, yes. And kind, and generous with time, all of those being things I can't imagine you NOT doing. But the hammer WORKS. The hammer gets results.

    I'm projecting here, though, obviously, because I've always been the hammer type, and I really envy the cheerleaders who still get their students to turn in work and do the reading and on and on.

    Have a wonderful move!

  2. When I had my first performance review here my supervisor and my boss were there. I love my supervisor and spend a lot of time with her, whereas my boss was more direct, and distant, and experienced, and an LCSW AND a DU alumna. Pretty intimidating. And she told me, you're young, and it shows. And more not positive things. The point was to help me improve, and she later told me that after that I did and I know I still am...but man was I fighting back tears in that office some 8 or 9 months ago. Nobody wants to hear they aren't amazing at what they're doing. But then, better now than a year later when they're like, yeahhhhh you can just leave now.

    Also I just noticed that you read Along for the Ride. Not my favorite Sarah Dessen book. Have you read Lock and Key? I loves it.

    Also, Poisonwood Bible? Can't even express how much I love it. Barbara Kingsolver weaves words into magic I swear.

    The end. <3

  3. BOO for bad days. I know things are going to get better.