A miracle

Feb. 8th, 2006 11:25 pm
dianadragonfly: (Default)
It's been a good couple of days. I am getting some shit done. My class turned in papers on Friday. How many do I have graded and entered into the computer? Come on, guess.
About3/4 of them!
YAY! GO ME! Usually I wouldn't even have felt guilty enough to LOOK at the goddamn things by the Wednesday after.
How I did it:
1) Canceled two classes (M and W)
2) Scheduled EVERYONE for 20 minute conferences.
3) As they came in, I pulled out their papers and graded them. Godalmighty! It's a miracle!!!!

There are several pluses to this system.
1) goddamn papers graded with minimal guilt and trauma
2) we are allowed to hold meetings in lieu of class so that's fine. We aren't usually allowed to cancel two classes, but I figure the stress of grading usually makes me cancel one class per paper anyway. Might as well build my breaks in instead of taking them in the middle of a crisis.
3) GOOD FEEDBACK! Having someone sitting right there helps both of us see eye to eye on the grading process. I would have given one student a D for a disjointed paper. Having him there and talking to him and trying to explain what was wrong to him, I discovered that his paper was disjointed, but not as much as I'd thought. It was simply missing transitional language so I didn't make the jumps from idea to idea like he wanted me to. It was still a high C, low B paper, but I understood where he was going after talking to him. (I remember something like that happening to you last semester, [livejournal.com profile] starrthinks). I don't just assign some random-ass grade, throw some comments on there that they don't understand, and give it back. It's interactive and they understand what I'm thinking.
4) I get to talk to the students and see them as humans outside of class. I realize that K. actually has a face instead of just looking for the top of his head sitting behind the blonde chick. I realize that although they are 90% business majors, they are not clones of each other. One girl really is interested in psychology and wants to go into forensic finance -- look for fraud, money laundering, etc. I told her she really wants to be a psychology major, but she didn't think so. :) (I am AMAZED at how many told me about something else they love that is NOT their major. I'm so lucky to be a first generation college student in many respects -- my mom just knew I needed to go to college. The difference between business and philosophy wasn't a big deal to her. These second generation-ers with all the Wal*Money are sort of stuck).

1) see above. That paper really should have been a solid C, but after seeing what I did, I gave him a low B. I tend to make the grades higher than I should when that student is right there.
2) some students see this as negotiation. ("But I have always been told to do X,Y,Z") "Yeah. And I'm telling you not to!"
3) 45 students -- 20 minutes each. I don't schedule myself lunch, etc. like I should because I want to get DONE! By the end of a day, I'm so burnt, I forget what I've told to whom.

It takes a solid week of my time. I think I have something like 10 students left. I also skipped my thesis hours and my class that I'm auditing.
But still... this is a solid week that should be taken up by grading anyway and it gets my butt in gear to do it head on, not mope and whine and bitch about it.


Feb. 4th, 2006 12:01 am
dianadragonfly: (Default)
So, papers were due today.
I literally had maybe 30 minutes between school and work to check email. A student had emailed, and I ignored it, because I was running late, had a possible concussion (see below) and really, didn't have time to deal.

first of all, we've had class for three weeks and she calls me Lesley. I find that insulting unless I know you outside of class.
Then, there is another email saying "You didn't email me back, therefore I have no idea where to drop the paper."

Well, I DO have contact info on my syllabus. And it is pretty easy to figure out that I am an English instructor and call the department. I am teaching in a different building, but that's really no excuse unless you're a freshman. She did email me a copy to show me she had it done...

Do I accept it?
I just resent the implication that it's my fault because I wasn't on email soon enough. A year ago, I would have said "fair enough." But not now.
I might accept it, and do my "one free late" policy for everyone. I am accepting late papers from an athlete and someone on the livestock judging team because they are out of town for school related events.

I will call it one free late and leave it.
I usually say I'm going to count off for late papers and never do.
Because I am the queen of late papers.

But, well, I'm better this semester. So, yeah, they'd better get better too!
dianadragonfly: (Default)
No longer to I try in vain to show my students I am Just Like Them (tm) but older.
I was never Just Like Them when I was one of them. So, as part of embracing my eccentric academic geek-girl, I've been wearing funky things to class (the poncho my sister got my in Bolivia, A line pleated shirt with sweater twin set, etc.) and I am not hiding my affection for all things Ryche.

See the post below:

dianadragonfly: (Default)
So, its 2 am and I've been keeping myself awake and active these last four hours, waiting for dear hubby to bring home the papers I'm grading. He forgot them earlier, so I said no problem. It was 10 pm or so. I worked on cleaning up the bedroom and caught up on a few things -- one, unfortunately, was not livejournal. Sorry all you people I adore.

Anyway, he comes home at 2:20. Sans papers. I should kill him but I won't.

I have a headache and maybe it's better I'm forced to go to bed.

I'm so weary of this, so tired of fighting it.
I was all happy with myself earlier, planning how to change things as to NOT set myself up for total failure. I got some things in the bedroom cleaned up and sorted out. I was ready to go.

Then..boom..he doesn't have them. Grrr... I guess I should go get them myself, but I'm scared to be driving on the streets right now. Please god, let school be canceled tomorrow and then I can skip both jobs and concentrate on grading.

These are more for my own notes, but it's things I've learned this semester on how to deal with my health and work better. Read more... )

Going to bed, Wanted to stay up and type my paper for Contemporary Lit, but my fingers are swollen.
Sleep Les.
You aren't any good to yourself like this.
dianadragonfly: (Default)
So, yeah, a lot has gone on with me in the past 24-48 hours. None of it, however, has been sleep.

I took a nap yesterday at about 4 pm. Woke up at about 8. That's the last I've slept.

I was in a panic, needing to desperately get done what I hadn't gotten done earlier. Namely, the papers for class. Students had turned in paper five, and no one had gotten their paper four back yet -- a sin against composition classes. Even worse, about half had not gotten paper three back. Worse than that -- about 4 hadn't gotten paper 2.

Actually, the numbers were actually higher, but I didn't consider the people who had had their chance to meet with me and get papers, or weren't there on paper-handback day.

I didn't take my provigil that morning anyway -- hence the sleeping all day Wednesday thing. (btw -- I am sick of all of these yahoo news alerts that I keep getting that talk about how provigil will become the yuppie power drug and all of this shit. But it doesn't give you a high, so it won't be a street drug. So... if its abused by yuppies, its a disturbing lifestyle trend. If it's used by the lower classes, it's a street drug. )

Anyway, I took 1/2 pill at 10 pm last night. My normal dose is 1 1/2- 2 pills -- 300 - 400 mg. So it was still half to 1/3 my normal Thursday dose -- it's not like I'm abusing it.

I KNOW I KNOW! I fucking know. But I spend all of my energy and time fucking swimming against the current. I am tired when I need to be awake, and then awake when I need to be tired and I get so frustrated and angry at myself when I try to fight it. I decided that I'm just gonna go with it. Sleep when I'm tired, work when I'm not.

I was amazingly focused last night. I still only got about 17 of the 40 grades together, but that's over 1/4 of the people in the class that have their papers handed back neatly. 1/4 more than would have been if I'd slept. I also researched the heavy metal umlat, checked my credit rating, and all of that normal up-all night procrastinating stuff.

The best thing is -- no panic. I was calm. At 6 am, I took a shower and then surprised the mom of the boy I work with by bringing breakfast in.
Took my normal dose.
Hit my midmorning slump about 10-12, but doing okay every since. I still feel that extreme emotional lability that comes with fatigue, but it doesn't feel so physical or so draining. It's like it's someone else's problem.

Taught classes. Decided to call off work tonight for the safety reason -- I don't want to accidentally drop the child or anything. He's 5 and he's heavy. I don't want to have this wear off while driving, either. Also, staying up all night tends to make my body very angry with me, even if my mind is clear. Working tonight would convince this knee to launch a full-fledged attack on me and right now, it's just twinging. Like I said, that's a heavy kiddo.

Don't worry -- this isn't a habit. I was turned loose at 16 with an open prescription for Darvocet to take as needed and never did anything stupid with it.

Anyway, strangely clear and calm.

I think I need to stay up for a few more hours if possible, then take some melatonin and SLEEP!

Why should I feel like I'm doing something terribly rebellious and terribly WRONG when some people do shift work every night. But what this feels like is a relapse -- a joyous denying of what is good for me. This might be how a clean and sober recovered alcoholic feels after a beer or two.

I've actually gotten a fair amount of sleep for a college student -- an average of 6 hours or so through naps, etc. So I'm actually not accumlating a horrible sleep debt. Going to bed fairly early tonight, as soon as the urge hits, and then tomorrow night ought to catch me up.

If I learned anything from Dr. Dement's book, it's to stop punishing myself. I can't go to bed at the same time every night and instead of that fact making me anxious, I need to plan better for sleep crises. First, I need to pay off my sleep debt the best I can. Then, do my best to keep an eye on how much I'm racking up. If I do an allnighter, plan to pay it back hour for hour, over the next two nights. and make sure I don't work with kids.

Anyway, can you tell I'm going on fumes and caffeine at this point? Maybe I should eat and crash.
dianadragonfly: (Default)
It's dawn.

And I'm still not done, but I'm plugging away.
dianadragonfly: (Default)
I'm declaring tomorrow Get-Your-Shit together day.
I'm also canceling class.
Because I can. Also, they need to write -- I need to grade. They are ticked when I keep them doing one in-class activity after another when they have work to do. I can see it in their eyes. We'll make up this class later with a grade conference when I actually have their grades together.
I need to go to school and get the stuff to give them their assignment though.

I had a lot to write, but I'm suddenly too exhausted to do it. I spent all day filling out and researching patient assistance applications, since I've spent over $500 in the last two days in medicine. I really wanted to try to live without it since my patient reimbursement is approved, but not processed for the provigil, but I slept all day yesterday and on and off today. So, I got two weeks worth on the credit card. Almost $300. Two days ago, I got my celebrex refilled, not remembering how expensive it is since I've been using samples. Also, I figured that heart attack/stroke thing would make the bottom drop out of the market. Not so. $200. And until I get my health taken care of and get more methetrexate, that's only a month's supply.

AND -- the bills came in from insurance. Almost $5000 from the sleep study, plus a few hundred to my rheumatologist. Bastards. So yeah, all day, whileI was awake, I copied tax returns and bank statements and filled out envelopes. I need to run up to school and get my final prescription, and then I'm DONE!

Tomorrow is grading and schoolwork day.
Fuck being a good t.a. I am dealing with a serious health problem and it's okay.
dianadragonfly: (Default)
So, it's the time of the year where shit hits the fan.
In my classes,  I got tired of re-explaining myself so I signed EVERYONE up for presentation days, whether they were in class or not, then sent an email out explaining the schedule.

This was on Friday.
In the last hour, two people have had a friend die and one has broken his ankle.  All in the night before a presenation was due.

Im expecting something of them and they're FREAKING!

It's not that I don't believe the two who had a friend die.  It's just, well, the guy who had the "broken ankle" told me to my face he didn't care about the class or his writing.  The other four emails were people that missed BOTH classtimes where I explained the assignment and somehow them not knowing what to do is my fault.

Grrrr.....   I'm always pissed for class after respite.  Jesus Christ, I watched a kid that has never walked a day in his life crawl up the ladder to the slide because we were cheering him on. 

Deal, crybabies.  DEAL!

I so don't want to teach next semester.


Sep. 22nd, 2005 01:45 am
dianadragonfly: (Default)
Usually I'm a sucker for navel grazing. I expose my weaknesses, mull over them, throw myself little friggin pity parties, analyze them, talk about the ad nasuem.

But my procrastination problem has gotten so bad and so embarassing that I don't even want to think about it. I am in denial. I wanna stick my head in the sand and not stress about "what's wrong with me" and "why do I do this?" I don't care.

I'm tired of failing.
But I can't make myself NOT fail. I don't learn. I don't ever fucking learn. It's always midnight, or one, or two, and I'm always stuck here with a pile of papers that I can't NOT grade because it's the very last day before their next ones are due and I've painted myself into a corner by announcing "I have them, really, they're just in the car today." or "come by at 11 and they'll be ready." I don't learn. I don't learn.

Okay... I am being harsh. I'm still recovering. I need to remember that.

But still --- I've been here on and off for like 12 hours and gotten maybe 5 papers done. The rest of the time I've been playing on ebay, watching Rita updates, being a fuck up, wasting my alertness.

I go to my counselor tomorrow and ask him how he deals with people who for some reason or another, will not change, even though it's miserable? I need to change. And I don't.
dianadragonfly: (Default)
Feeling soooooooo much better.  Sleep helped.  Yesterday was just stupid and unproductive.  That is all.

I'm sooo far behind, I don't think I'll ever catch up.  AND I was tired.  Must sleep 8 hours a day.  That's all there is to it. 

On a positive note -- YAY!  S. made wedding invitations. 


Thanks for the support. 

It's 12:30

Jul. 13th, 2005 12:30 am
dianadragonfly: (Default)
I'm still at school.


But at least I'm getting something done. Very very slowly.

SO glad there's only 18 papers in this class.
dianadragonfly: (Default)

*bangs head against desk*
sometimes I have to wonder what the hell is wrong with me?????


Jul. 11th, 2005 11:27 pm
dianadragonfly: (Default)
There comes a time...
in the life of every English teacher...
when she must talk frankly with her students...
about the thing no one will mention.

They think they have heard it all before.
They think they are too cool for it.
They think this stuff is just for high schoolers, or even middle schoolers.

Tomorrow, I talk to them about GRAMMAR!
Pray for me please. 
dianadragonfly: (Default)
got my webct up and running and first week grades finished.
go me.  I'm not totally neglegant teacher.

I wish ya'll could see my cool webct page, but it's protected.  Oh well.


dianadragonfly: (Default)

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