Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Crappy Morning and a To Do List

Those freshman essays? STILL working on them. I should be working on them now. I had planned to sleep in, but I awoke to find a text from my bank saying my rent check bounced. WTF? Am I in grad school? In any case, I immediately emailed my landlord expressing my horror, offered to have the husband drive cash to him if necessary, but assured him it would be rectified by Friday (I have to do a wire transfer--you'd think I was some high powered lawyer or accountant or something with multiple accounts). Zoot allor! Who goes to bed after that? I think we accidentally used the "bill" account for groceries or something over spring break and then forgot to transfer the money over to it to make up for it. Crap.

So, freshman essays. I can't seem to get my shit going together for that one. I actually was on a roll yesterday, but, and I HATE this, but here's what slowed me down:

Winter quarter evals.

They were stellar across the three classes. In a few cases I was well above the department and uni average. BUT, one kid, one bad comment, and I cried. It destroyed my day.

As unconventional as I am, NO ONE has EVER called me unprofessional. EVER. That is the one thing I pride myself on. While I may be a total dork and a complete goofball in front of the class, while I even may occasionally curse (things like "yeah, this character totally called bullshit on that character"; or, "so and so character totally got his ass handed to him in this scene, and rightfully so."), I am not unprofessional. Unprofessional means that I degrade students. That I don't give feedback. That I hang on to their stuff. That I don't do my job. That I penalize them for not sharing my opinions. I try to be as transparent as possible, and I know I go above and beyond most of my colleagues with the revision opportunities I give them (even for dinky assignments), and go beyond what I should be telling them pretty much exactly what's on their exams without actually giving them the exam to study. It also indicates that I'm doing something inappropriate which I associate with something along the lines of harassment or something of that nature. I tell jokes, but they are clean and 99% of the time involve some sort of bad pun (a clean one). My students know nothing of my sexual life, my drinking life--because those are inappropriate and unprofessional topics-- my non-academic life beyond that I have a husband and that I am old enough to get into bars. If alcohol ever comes up, I give a PSA about not drinking until it's legal and to always be safe and have a DD. Clearly, obviously, this has totally shattered me. But the student, if I remember the comment correctly though ended with something really passive aggressive (or at least to me) like, "but I guess you can tell that she really enjoys teaching." WTF?

That comment totally shut me down pretty much for the day. It took me 30 minutes to get through the essay I was grading (which didn't warrant 30 minutes--it seriously only needed about 12 minutes), got in the car, told the husband, immediately began crying and then took a nap, and kind of slogged and pouted through my workout, and then just moped through the rest of my work for the night. Completely shut down over that.

I should focus I guess on the fact that for 99% of the other students, at least the ones who bothered to comment, I am doing something right.

I'm still kind of down about it--clearly. It's ridiculous because I can't let it interfere with my work, because that would be unprofessional.

****************Switching Gears*****************************
Here's what's left to do:
  • Grade 4/8 Freshman essays as soon as done blogging.
  • Grade last 4 Freshman essays during office hours. I was on a roll! I finished them! Huzzah! I'm so glad that's done!
  • Finish prep for lit class during remaining office hours.
  • Work out.
  • Go to thing on campus tonight.
  • Call eye doctor and find out where contacts are.
  • Get in touch with landlord again.
  • Do work out early before class.
  • Prep for Friday's class during office hours.
  • Grade lit analyses that come in today.
  • Meet with students during the afternoon.
  • Meeting.
  • Crash from exhaustion.
  • Meet with students during office hours.
  • Do nothing after teaching.--this may be modified for working out because  nothing happened on Wednesday; nothing's happening today.
  • Hair appt.
And then hopefully by Saturday we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming, and I'll be able to get my reading done Saturday morning and have a much less stressful week.


  1. For what it's worth, babe, my DEAN called me unprofessional this year. Mainly because I expressed discontent about working my ass off without any acknowledgment or compensation or support. The longer you're in this gig, the more potential there is for somebody to call you unprofessional, and that likelihood is only higher if you're female. Because, you know, females are hysterical, not professional. Here's the thing: I'm NOT unprofessional. YOU are not unprofessional. Don't let the comment get you down. I understand why it did, and you wouldn't be a *professional person* if it didn't, but do not let this make you doubt yourself. Comments like that are all about trying to put you in your place - no matter who they're from. They're about trying to cast you as a "bad girl" and placing blame on you. And, ultimately, they are jacked up ad hominem attacks and they aren't at all productive. Yes, they hurt. But they aren't any sort of representation of reality. Seriously.

  2. Thanks Crazy. I do feel a little bit better, especially after I blogged about it and got it out of my system. It does help, too, to know that this probably isn't the last time, and will likely have nothing to do with my actual professionalism at all.