Sunday, February 28, 2016

First, thank you EE and Sisyphus for your comments/advice. I know. The J always says, "how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." And I need to remember that. It's what I do with grading. I don't think about all the grading that needs to get done, just one assignment for one class at a time, and then I end up moving through it very quickly.

Second, what I have discovered, or what has changed or shifted back to my old self is that trying to work first thing in the morning does NOT work for me anymore (at least since the addition of the antidepressants). I have energy in the mornings again that I need to burn off, and the first thing I *want* to do when I wake up is work out. For real. I never thought that that would happen again. But I'm at that point now, which is good since I will have to work out early given my schedule next quarter. I got up early to work the last few mornings, and it has not been successful. You know what was successful? Working out and then working.

This is a good thing.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

I have returned to working on the article that I began over the summer and tried to pick up again in October with the timeline that my friend and mentor gave me. I believe that had I been on anti-depressants in October, I would have met that timeline. Now it's crunch time.

Sometimes I wonder though if my plans and desires are bigger than my abilities and resources. A week ago I was much more hopeful. I'm not discouraged by any means, but if I think about it all at once, then I sorta freak out. I need to think about things one at a time here. My goal is to have this one done by the time the spring quarter starts and have the next one drafted by the time I have my annual review with my boss.

The sort of issue with this article is that I've restructured it. I think it's a good reorganization, actually. I think it will make a better article and the additional things I need to do will tie the whole thing together I think in a much better way that makes more sense in the long run. I just wish I had had this figured out months ago.

But here's what I will stop doing--dwelling on what I could have/should have/wished I would have done. Maybe, for whatever reason, this is where I am supposed to be at this moment. Maybe I wouldn't have figured these things out in October. Or last summer. Or whatever. Perhaps I am where I need to be at this moment? I'll go with that. It's more positive and more productive that way.

I will say this though--since having gone on the anti-depressants a week and a half ago, I've gotten more work done for my classes, for my article, for life, in the last 10 days than I've gotten done in two quarters, so that's something. That's solid progress right there. If I can keep some sort of consistency, then I might be able to get some stuff done here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Apprehensively approaching a new normal

I'm so ready for this quarter to be over. I never ever ever ever ever ever ever want to do another on-line class, ever. To be fair, I did ask for it. I thought it would help me manage my time better and free up some time for research and help if the kid got sick, but so far it has been a major time suck and unending. However, that being said, I've had some wonderful and engaged students this quarter, far better in taking the initiative to learn than my grad students, to be honest, so it hasn't been horrible on that front. But I'm ready for it to be over.

Once it's over though, I have the schedule from hell to look forward to for the spring. I hope my mother's doctor's appointment goes well and she's fine because I want her to be fine and okay, and I'm selfish too and need her help here. Because the *only* way my schedule can be managed in the spring is if my parents are in town. It's seriously the only way it can work, and if they're not here, then we're all really screwed. It will be unmanageable and stressful. So I hope all the doctor's appointments go well because anti-depressants or not, I can't handle a sick mom and a shitty teaching schedule.

I mean, this is part of the problem. Every time I think about it, I get angry. Nothing can be done about it. It's set. And obviously I never have any tendency toward pessimism (ha!), so I'm anxious and worried about what can/might happen. Sigh. That's why I'm busting my ass right now trying to get all these things done so that way if/when the shit does hit the fan, I can cope better with it and things won't be a disaster. And at this point I'm certainly thankful for the anti-depressants. I told the J this morning that I felt like the meds had speed in them, and he said, "No, that's what *normal* feels like. Getting through your day shouldn't be a challenge." That was a huge "eureka" moment for me. I don't know why it takes me so long to get these things. I remember now that this is what I used to feel like.

Though I'm not "supposed" to hole myself up in my office and work, I'm supposed to be out there walking around the building being social and what not, I still have a bad attitude, and I'm sticking to my office because I don't want my bad attitude to seep through right now while I work on not having a bad attitude.

And now that lunch is almost done, back to plugging away. I just had to empty my brain a little bit before I got back to work.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Doing stuff, like for real, for like the first time in months!

I feel I was somewhat productive this weekend, bursting with energy actually, which has me a bit tired today. However, as loathe as I was perhaps even a few days ago about the idea of getting up to make a 5am workout class, I think, honestly, it might be the best thing for me. Usually I'm up at that time working/reading whatever, and what I've found, since I've actually be a bit more aware and had some clarity this past week since I've been taking the antidepressants, is that it makes my mornings rushed, believe it or not. I use that time to lay around, have my coffee, leisurely read in bed until the kid wakes up, and then it's just non-stop, and I'm usually not ready. So maybe it might actually be better for me to use that time to work out, come home and get ready before the kid gets up, and then the morning may go more smoothly, and then when I get to my office hours I won't feel so frazzled and might actually be more productive? I don't know. This seems to be where I'm heading, which perhaps is a bit more like my older self.

I will say that I'm starting to feel more like "me" more consistently again, which is nice. I like me actually. I was not liking the me that I was becoming at all. I feel like I'm a bit more patient with the kid. Not all the time, but more often than not these last few days. I exercised over the weekend! That's the first time that's happened in weeks? Months? I had fun with the kid. I got work done. I even, GASP, worked on my article for the first time in months! And had some clarity about it. I think it may actually get done, soon! Or drafted at least which is what I mean by done.

I won't lie. I'm tired today. My body aches. I think it's in part the rain, but I've already gotten a lot of tedious things done this morning for the last week of classes. I'm hopeful that by the end of the week I will have all of next quarter's classes set up as well, so that will be done.

Truth be told, this is the happiest I've ever been about being on anti-depressants. I so wish I would have gone to the doctor months ago. I would have had so much done already. And I wouldn't have gained all this weight and could have avoided some unpleasant meetings with my boss. Oh well. What's done is done. I am at least on the path to taking care of me!!

Friday, February 19, 2016

I'm trying, I promise

The saga of my days continues.

Okay, I am dramatic. For someone who loathes drama, I sure do seem to have a lot of it, and certainly perpetuate it, at least on my blog.

Here are a few things causing me anxiety that haven't happened yet, but loom, actually just one thing: so as you know, my boss designed my spring schedule around my parents being in (reminder: not the schedule I asked for, but one she took upon herself to give me based on her perception of how I should be caring for my family). Well, my parents have to return home the first week of classes because they have doctor's appointments. They cannot do it the week before during break, because I will be taking students to the honors society convention, which was another of my boss's concerns that I'd be able to go and have adequate child care. What my boss did not think about in giving me a schedule that ONLY works if my parents are in is what happens when my parents are not in??!! Oh, wait, she expects the J to use up his vacation time to fill the gaps that wouldn't need to be filled had she given me what I asked for. As I will then miss office hours the first week of class, I imagine this will go over like a lead balloon. I have to mentally prepare myself for this. Sigh.

Behind all this, as she nearly said as much, is that she had *other* people she needed to accommodate. Eff you.

So my doctor ran a whole bunch of blood tests, everything from diabetes (dear god! I was freaking the eff out about that one!) to anemia to hyp0thyr0idi$m (which my boss has and I'd like a random search not to land her here) to some other test, and bam. All normal. Which is fine. That's a good thing. I'd rather not have diabetes. I'd rather not have to see an endocrinologist. But, what it boils down to though is simply that I'm fat. And depressed. Which I suppose are easier fixes than the other things. But I wanted there to be a reason for my weight gain and my fatness other than my own failure. I suppose there is. I mean, the depression certainly explains my lack of energy, constant sadness and lack of productivity, lack of sex drive, lack of desire to work out, lack of desire to really just take care of myself because I figure if I'm taking care of the Magpie, then that's functional, right? To be fair, major depression does explain a lot of this. So, despite my desire not to be, I am, after about 5-6 years, back on anti-depressants. I'm not thrilled about this. I'd rather not be. But it's ridiculous, I know. What's the difference between having an imbalance caused by the thyR0id and a chemical imbalance caused by the brain (or whatever). My stress level is through the roof; it's affecting the kid and the home in general (I have a super short fuse with my mom which isn't fair because she's there to help not remind me that I'm a failure, which she does not do at all. It's totally in my head, I know that). If it gives me the energy to take care of myself, get my work done, and not be a mega-stressed out bitch all the time, then well, fine. That's how I've resolved my dislike of this development.

I know not even two days is far too early for it to have had any effect, but I'm sure the placebo effect has kicked in because I am convinced that I feel better and and functioning better. Obviously, I have a ways to go, but it's not a permanent issue (hopefully), and there are far worse things that could be wrong other than that. And if it's the thing that allows me to take care of myself and lose the ghastly 30 pounds I really need to lose, then so be it. I guess there's no difference really between a thyR0id pill helping me lose weight and an antidepressant.

The primary issue though is getting my work done. I know it's all related. If I'm healthier and feeling better, I can focus better, write better, I have more energy to get done what I need to, which will increase my productivity and thus will increase my ability to get tenure next year. Or will help me get all these things done that would help me be able to go back on the market.

Here's hoping that this is the beginning of a positive change that will help me get to a more positive place.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I'm ready for Spring

Honestly, I'm worried about my ability to maintain my health and fitness during the next quarter. My schedule, thanks to my boss, is grueling, and if I'm having trouble now, then I worry about what that's going to look like in about three weeks.

I don't know. Perhaps I'm burned out on CF again? But really, am I more likely to get up and run outside in the dark at 5 am? No. Or go to the school's gym and run on a treadmill? No.

I guess the easy solution is that I just become hyper-organized at night so that the mornings are less stressful. And maybe if I'm able to get work done during the day, and work out, and actually let mom and the husband take some control over things, I won't be so wiped out at night and will be able to get things organized. Also, if I can be productive during the day, then I can get to bed at a decent hour so I can get sleep and more easily get up to go work out at 5 am. And perhaps it won't be so bad since I'll have TR off to rest, and by rest I mean do work at home in my pjs and not have to get ready to go anywhere, which is significantly better than wasting time to get ready for work.

Really, I'm just mad at myself this morning for not going to work out when I should have. And I'm mad at the cookies I stress ate yesterday afternoon and last night.

Here's the new stressor: I think the Magpie is becoming significantly impacted by my stress about my boss, the state's budget crisis, money, and my inability to lose weight and fat, and my general overall stress. She hasn't napped at daycare in like two weeks, which in and of itself isn't a problem because generally she will just lie quietly on cot for two hours while the other kids sleep. But lately, she's been crossing her fingers on both hands (this is her sign of stress) and grabbing her head. She's defiant at school. And we've been having meltdowns daily at home in the afternoon since Friday. I feel incredibly guilty because I don't want to bring that kind of madness to her. And I'm not pleasant when I'm stressed and the other night I was so angry with her for not going to sleep which just made things worse. And then Monday night she had night terrors (which are horrific and frightening, albeit harmless). Aside from my stress that I'm bringing to the table, this is also what I think is going on with her.

  1. The grandparents came back. Which is great. But then grandpa left to go back home, and she keeps asking for her "gramps."
  2. The J and I were both off last week, and he drove her to school every morning last week including Monday, and yesterday, he did not. He went back to work. As did I. 
  3. Two weeks ago, a kid in her class bit her through her sweater. She wouldn't talk about it, as much as she could. When I asked her about it, she shut her mouth, hung her head, and turned away. 
  4. Communication issues. I am mad at myself for this one, too. For six months we've been debating the issue of a speech therapist. Every time we go to call the doctor to get a referral, she makes this giant leap in her speech, and we're like, "oh,okay, here we go." But when she was sick, I asked the doctor again, and she thinks it's time for an evaluation. We were hoping to get the evaluation before we hit communication meltdown mode, but it's clear we've missed that train. I know everyone says this about their kids, but Magpie is smart. Or rather, I'm assuming she's smart for a 2.5 year old. She can count to 70 then by 10s to 100, can sing the alphabet (and can sing it correctly if you pick a letter halfway through, like if you start with "L"  then she'll finish the alphabet correctly), knows the sounds of the letters of the alphabet, can tell you what letter words start with, recognizes several words by sight, can spell three words consistently, and has a very large vocabulary. She's very observant. I think her brain works faster than her skill set. I've noticed that she now gets frustrated much more easily when we don't understand her. She repeats herself a lot, I suspect because she thinks we don't understand her, and she has mantras, I guess you'd call them--sentences that she will say when she's trying to formulate what she wants to communicate. Kind of like, "I know I can say this, so I'll start here and try something harder." But now I think we're definitely at the place where her mouth cannot keep up with her brain. I get it. There are few things more frustrating than not being understood. To know you are speaking and no one else is getting what you're saying.
I feel like a failure because like with the tubes in her ears, I was trying to do everything I could to help her to avoid tubes and speech therapy, and I feel all I've done is delay the inevitable, and therefore delay her development and stress her out. I love my kid, so much, but I feel like I've done a horrible disservice to her. And of course, this makes me want to stuff my face with cookies and wine. 

I guess regardless of what happens this week with my blood tests, I need to work on healing my body and my brain (I really need to go back to meditating. I have an amazing app that I pay for that I love, but just don't use like I should and when I do, I know it helps) so that I can be a more functional and productive mom to my little Magpie. I don't want to stress her out. My poor kid. 

Honestly, perhaps if we can establish a routine next quarter, for both me and the kid, things will run better. Maybe that's been the problem this quarter, and the plague of winter quarter every year is that we start, then we break for two weeks, then we start, then we have a day break, then we start, then it's another four day break, then we start back up again, and look, it's the end of the quarter. Maybe the spring will be better. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Resentment mounts, but I'm trying

I do feel somewhat bad for how awful I'm talking about my boss and my job right now. I just need someplace to vent. I don't want the Magpie to hear me saying stuff like what I say. I don't want to really unload on my colleagues about my misery. The J is probably tired of hearing it. And my mom has a tendency to add fuel to the fire and sometimes make things worse, or at least make them worse in my head. I do hate sending all this negative energy out into the universe though. It makes me feel like an awful person.

Really since the Magpie was born, actually, since the quarter my boss thrust an overload on me while super pregnant, I've really struggled to find a balance between my family and my work here. And it's not even a matter of sacrificing one for the other. It always comes at the expense of my own work. And as I say time and time again, it's only when I'm really working on my scholarship that I'm truly happy. So why can't I find time to prioritize that? I don't know. It is harder now because even though my scholarship is what is going to get me tenure, if I sacrifice my teaching slightly for the sake of getting work done, I'm going to hear about it, especially since I had that bomb of a class in the fall. If I don't give the appearance of having it all put together, then it will work against me, even if I try to argue that I've been working on my scholarship and even if I have that to back it up, it will be a mark against me that it appears that I can't do both well at the same time.

What's left is either sacrificing myself or my family, each of which makes me even grumpier and more resentful of my boss. I don't want to work out at 5am in order to get everything done and still take care of myself. But I may have to suck that up. Yeah, yeah, a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, but seriously, who wants to get up at 4:30am to work out? I used to, but that was before I had a kid and a full morning post-workout to come home to. But that may be what has to be done. But that's not even really it. What I hate the most is that I have to relinquish the things that I see as taking care of my family to my mom, which, while helpful, makes me feel like an utter fucking loser for being 40 and having my mom still take care of me. It's also very much a privilege. Don't get me wrong. Magpie loves it when the grandparents are in. They love it. It takes pressure off of us, but still, it serves as a reminder that I am incapable of taking care of myself and my family.

I think even if I were at at place that was a 4/4 again, which not that I want that, even with a 4/4, I won't be spending nearly 4 hours in class a day on top of 10 additional office hours a week, and my time would be freed up a little bit. I swore I wouldn't make a lateral move, but at this point, given the state of the state and the university, the husband, though nervous about it, thinks it is time to consider that option if one presents itself in my parents' state. I think the system is set up here for mothers to fail. Seriously. Unless you get your stuff done before you have a kid, or you have a kid who's not sick, or you have a husband who has a very flexible schedule, or your boss doesn't rely on you to pick up everyone else's slack so they can go commune with nature and get their heads together. And a boss who doesn't make scheduling decisions based on what she perceives your situation to be.

Sure, there are moms who have tenure here. They didn't get tenure under this boss, I'd like to point that out. And they got tenure with course releases (we were supposed to get two before tenure) to get their work finished. So there's a reason, I believe, that it's been a while since a woman and a mother got tenure here.

It might not seem like I'm trying to work on my attitude, but I am. Honestly, I'm hinging everything, unfortunately, on my blood tests tomorrow (for this and possibly this causing it, although it seems unlikely, but would explain a lot), and a positive diagnosis actually would be an easy fix basically for a lot of things. A negative diagnosis means that I'm doing something wrong and will have to work harder to fix myself. And I don't have the energy for that, honestly. And what I need most of all is energy! That's part of the problem!

I've also got to start thinking about a new morning routine. I think my negative attitude in the mornings (because once I think about coming to campus I start to get grumpy and irritated) is starting to affect Magpie, and that's not good. I hate bringing that to the table. So I've got to figure something out to get me through the end of the quarter and next quarter that enables me to be healthy, productive, and less bitchy.

Monday, February 15, 2016

A tired rant

I'm in a bit of a grumpy mood this morning. I'm on night three of less than seven hours of sleep and it has made me foul. Plus, my family isn't helping by pointing out that I'm being grouchy and it's aggravating everyone.

I'm resentful because pretty much from this point on, until the end of spring quarter, I've had to relinquish taking the Magpie to daycare and that is now the job of my mom and the J. And I am angry about it. Not because they aren't capable. I'm angry at my boss for taking that responsibility away from me because of the schedule she has given me based on my parents being in town. When I think about it, I get mad.

Also, my spidey sense is up too because, and I hate to be a negative Nancy here, but I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. There's just that feeling in the air. Maybe it's the lack of sleep, maybe I'm paranoid. Maybe it's nothing.

I also don't want to have to wait until Wednesday to go to the doctor, and I assume this is blood work that will be sent off, so it just means waiting.

I am anxious for this quarter to be over. I hate feeling this way! It's so unproductive. I just feel so mean right now. I can tell even too that my face looks mean. My face feels awful. I'm glad today is just office hours because I'm not in the mood to teach. And I'm so mad that I didn't get to go to dropoff with Magpie. It sucks!

Anyway, thanks for letting me rant. I needed to get this off of my chest so I can sit and concentrate on the reading I have to do today for tomorrow.

I am trying to put a positive spin on the schedule I have for the spring. I'm not happy about it, at all, to say the least, but in theory, I should be able to get all my work and prep for my classes done on the three days I'm there for forever which would leave the weekend days open to hang out with the fam and the work I do in the mornings can be just *my* work, and it should free up TR for just *my* work. Until then, I'll put on a smile and pretend to be pleasant so as to not make anyone uncomfortable with my surliness.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Fight or Flight

I can't even believe I'm going to say this, but...

I totally forgot that I had the grading of a major assignment to do that is over a week overdue and which is critical to the students' final papers.

My brain is a total fog. I seriously am in survival mode at this point. I didn't want to be, but I am.

I am taking a break from that grading. I've gotten through six of 11 on-line. I have the hard copy of one of them which I will save for tomorrow or Tuesday's office hours.

The only thing I want to focus on is my research.

On top of all of this, our state (and you can probably figure out which one) is in the midst of a major economic crisis and there's talk of shutting down all public universities mid-semester.

For real.

Now, it probably won't happen. Most see it as a ploy for the state to accept the new governor's proposed tax hikes, but whatever. It's still a bit frightening. And even when they do pull something out of their asses on the eleventh hour, it could still have serious ramifications for my job. If they cut jobs, I honestly think the untenured faculty will go before the instructors because they teach more for less. Cutting me means they can pay two people with my salary which is better for them than cutting two people to pay for one salary.

I'm trying to look at this positively because all of the things that I would like to put in my tenure portfolio in fall quarter are all things that will make me more marketable. And any search committee that sees where I'm from will probably understand why I would want to leave the year I go up from tenure.

My focus, from here on out, will have to be on my research.

One of the complicating factors may be some potential health issues (nothing serious), but the hope I'm hanging on to right now is that by the end of the week there will be an easy fix, I'll start getting some energy back and feeling better and it will help my productivity.

Right now I'm sort of in fight or flight mode.

It has become clear to me that regardless of what I do, there seems to be some dislike still lingering. I'm getting glares from my boss and the office assistant when they see me talking to certain colleagues (people who may be on my tenure committee by the way), so apparently I'm supposed to be social, but only with some people and not others. So I've just kind of decided that I'm going to do what's best for me if it alleviates my stress and helps me be productive because it's clear that whatever I do will piss off someone in charge regardless, and I'm a better person and professor when I can be myself. And at this point, it's not my teaching or my service that is going to make one damn bit of different in my tenure portfolio if I don't have those extra 16 pages to please people who haven't published a damn thing in 20 years and are skeptical of my publications because they're not familiar with the works. So, whatever.

I'm just annoyed with the whole thing.

And the more people tell me the tasks I have set ahead of me are too much or impossible, the harder I want to work on them. It got me through my dissertation (which no one thought I'd finish because I was getting slowly edged out of the program); it got me to my first job (which no one thought I'd get), and it got me a second better t-t job (which I was told to make the best of my first very shitty job because it was the best that someone like me was going to get, whatever "someone like me" means). I'm at my best I think when I'm my feisty self.

That's where I'm at.

So, we'll see. And come hell or high water, I will be done with these well past midterm (but only one week overdue) essays.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

It's been a super long weekend already. I've gotten notes for 2/3 of the three remaining units for the on-line class uploaded. I've got some forums to post and whatnot. We've had our meetings for the content sessions for the summer camp that I do this weekend. I've been in front of the computer for the better part of the day since 5 am this morning. And I've got about a half day of this tomorrow, too. It's exhausting and a pain in the ass, but it will be worth it this summer when I'm not working on this stuff until 2 am.

I am just having some angry days though. I'm so disgusted and frustrated with myself. I feel like nothing I do is working for me at all.


Anyway, I'm tired of working. I want to go home now please. And I've still a superbowl party to go to later as well. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Friday, February 5, 2016

I feel like a giant asshole mostly lately

You know, I do feel somewhat bad about all the negativity I've been spewing forth about my job and my boss. I have to vent somewhere though. I wake up with headaches. I go to my workouts surly because even though I know the physical activity is good for me and will help with stress and headaches and whatnot, I still just think about all the things I need to be doing (even though, yes, self-care is an important one of those things), and I hear her voice in the back of my head criticizing me for working out rather than doing academic work.

There are two really sad things about all of this. One is that up until about 7 weeks ago, I was really enjoying my job. The second is that every morning I wake up enthusiastic really about the work that I'm doing and the stuff that I have planned, and then by about 8:30 I become completely demoralized and I want to crawl back into bed and just forget about everything. And I don't want it to be that way.

I feel bad, mentally, physically, emotionally. I feel like I have a short fuse, too, right now and that's not really me. It's just so argh! I mean, it's shitty to just feel like this all of the time lately.

Anyway, the husband will be home for 10 days, which is crazy amazing and wonderful. I only have to work one day next week, which is nice. I'm hoping I get some rest over our little break and some work done, so maybe by Tuesday I won't be feeling like such an asshole anymore.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

How my job is currently making me feel.

How I feel when my boss comes into my office to give me advice about productivity:

How I feel when I have to ask my boss a "yes" or "no" question, in which I am the Judge:

And what is currently my theme song:

The Small Things

To add to the litany of grievances--the small ones are starting to add up.

Yesterday, I asked the office assistant to forward an email to all the faculty, which she regularly does. It took her 4 hours, yes FOUR hours to forward the email which was 15 minutes before the end of the day, well after everyone had left, and well after many people would have been able to purchase tickets from me for the honor society event.

Today? Colleague sends and email to be forwarded. She does so 10 minutes--TEN FUCKING MINUTES after he sends her the email, an email which did NOT contain time sensitive information.

Am I being too bitchy? it's just hard to ignore this stuff given everything else.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I have found that in my current state and given how far behind I am in my classes (regarding grading), I hate to admit that I'm being a very generous grader. I wouldn't call my grades inflated really (and maybe they are this quarter, but whatever), but here's why. My boss has created so much stress for me right now that I can neither deal with grade hagglers nor can I have them going to her office to complain. Any little negative thing and it's just a ding against me, especially with the online class.

I suppose I will have happy students. And perhaps I'm not serving them as well as I should be, but I seriously blame my boss for making my life so shitty right now that I'm in full survival mode with my classes. I just have to get through and get through decently and get good reviews.

That makes me feel like a giant ass loser, to be honest, to have to think this way. And I'm trying to be great at my job, but how can one be great amidst hostilities? I'm trying. I won't let my students suffer. Rather, I like to think that their self confidence is getting a nudge that many of them might need right now. They seem depressed anyway.
Our Title IX/diversity officer works for the president--this person is also his secretary. I don't feel like I could even go to her and ask her advice without it coming back to me.

My colleague who was hired at the same time I was just had his talk with our boss. Our meetings were dramatically different--he was not told to show up at every single thing (I actually attend MORE college and university functions than he does, just fyi). He was not told to smile more, and nor was he told that people are watching how often he's sick (and there are quarters where he has missed significantly more classes than I have).

I know much of this is related to his having all of his pubs in print currently and meeting the minimum requirement for scholarship. I have not, yet.

My drinks with my colleague was very enlightening on many levels. One, I have a better sense of where I stand. Two, we cleared the air about some things, because I need as many allies as I can get at this point, and my boss has created such an environment for me that I have no idea who I can trust, which only makes me paranoid and only hurts me. I am trying to keep everything out in the open here.

My colleague suggested that I meet with the Dean to a) kiss ass and politic and make it clear that yes, I love it here, yes I want tenure, yes my grad class was a disaster and here's why, and b) ask him what his sense of where I stand is and kiss his ass by asking for his advice. Yay, so basically, I let him stare at my boobs for about 45 minutes, stroke his ego, and maybe it helps me. I know that's a cynical way to look at it, but it might not hurt (as Heu Mihi had already suggested talking to the dean).

The other thing I might consider looking into is about a tenure deferment based on Magpie's volume of illness over the last nearly three years. The only thing that concerns me at this point about that is that I wonder if it will further justify those concerns that I can't Mom and Academic at the same time, that even if that extra year means I have everything in print that exceeds the minimum requirement, it won't matter? What are your thoughts on that my peeps? I mean, it might be worth looking into, not that that means I have to act upon it.

I guess for me this depends on what I can get done in the next two months. I don't think what I want to do is impossible at all, but very challenging and will require me to dedicate myself in ways that I haven't in a while and will also mean a lot of sacrifice at this point.

So I wrote that days ago, and just never hit publish.

I guess I will continue. As fucked up as this is, it is actually a relief to know that I'm not paranoid and that m fears are justified in that I *am* being treated differently than my colleagues. I also spoke with the person who has a schedule that I want and asked said person if the schedule was punishment, if he asked for it, how he got it. He was offered two choices in which the chair was trying to accommodate him and his hour commute, and offered him the back to back to back because the chair thought it would be a good schedule so my colleague wouldn't have to make his commute five days a week. Not once did she say, "This is a lot of teaching in a row. I don't recommend that at all." No, to him it was presented as a good idea to help him maximize his day.

When I asked for it, this is what I got: "No no. You don't want to teach three classes in a row. No, when are you going to be able to figure out when to eat lunch? You need to have a break between classes. You won't be able to handle that [I teach four straight hours in a row now]. I don't think it's wise to have a schedule like that."

So either she does think it's a bad idea and she was trying to punish colleague without him thinking it was punishment, or she thinks that I'm too weak and not smart enough to figure out how to pee and eat in between classes and that I'm too fragile to teach 3:45 in a row.

I see where I stand.

My goal for this week is to get the online class stuff finished up for the quarter so all I have to do is moderate the forums and grade their assignments. I want everything done. I plan on finishing up a couple of books this weekend, too for the other class. Fortunately some of what I need to work on will benefit the class next quarter. But I need to get a writing/research schedule, plan, and deadlines set for from next Monday to Memorial Day. As I think I mentioned above, I have a lot to do. I'm exhausted thinking about it; however, my parents are in, thankfully, and that has helped with my stress level a lot. I'm able to work out. I don't have to worry about meals. My mom's been cooking and keeping up with the laundry. So that's been a big help. I still can't seem to get caught up on my work, but it's getting better at least I think.

Nevertheless though, I am disgruntled. But that shouldn't hinder me from getting my work done. Sigh.