August 26, 2004

Exhausted and Excited

Today was the last day of new teacher orientations. I thought that I was so exhausted after the spring orientation sessions (I did give birth about 4 days later) that I wouldn't be nearly this tired the next time around. That was a complete misconception. I think orientation went fairly well. Of course, I probaby think orientation went very well, because I was talking for 1/3 of it... and I just *love* to hear myself talk. Seriously, though, this semester we have an exceptionally eager and excited group of new teachers. The excitement is contageous, too.

I'm not teaching this semester. I've decided that I simply have no financial means for teaching and working in the freshman writing office and writing a dissertation. There are a number of other reasons for that decision. One of them is that I want to spend serious time working on my dissertation this semester, and teaching would completely defeat that. At the same time, I want to be around for my daughter's first year. That isn't saying that she wouldn't grow and thrive and become equally as exciting and wonderful a human being if I were not her primary caretaker (despite what recent Time magazine articles and NIH studies will tell you... links to come later when I'm not ready to fall out of my chair sound asleep on the floor). It has more to do with selfish reasons. Today, I called home from work while I was taking a much needed "nursing" break. (This, by the way, is an example of true motherly multitasking... holding two cow-udder pumping devices to your breasts while balancing a phone on your shoulder and reading new teacher syllabi)... I learned from the sitter that my daughter had "officially" crawled (belly off the ground on all fours crawled) for the first time. My heart sunk. I've been waiting for this event anxiously for several weeks. Yesterday, I thought I saw her do it, but I missed it because I was running around trying to 1) finish a presentation for today; 2.) eat lunch, because I hadn't eaten a meal since dinner the night before besides a doughnut; and 3.) take care of that nursing problem I keep having. So, I plopped my little girl down in the middle of the floor while I was getting my stuff together. She started whining, which I simply couldn't handle, and so I barked at her, "Sit still, angel, because mommy has WORK to do..." and when I looked up, she was on all fours, looking dejected because I wasn't even paying attention... And then I realized she crawled. Anyway, that's the long version of saying that I was standing right there and missed it. And then today, she was doing it. Apparently, once she figured it out, she was unstopable.. and I missed it. According to one of my office mates, I should get used to it because, "it's just the beginning of a long string of disappointments." But what if I don't want to get used to it? Does anyone really get "used to it"?

Still, I'm excited about starting the semester and the freshman writing program. I'm excited that this year I get to do what I didn't have an opportunity to do last year and what was the real reason I took the job in the first place--I get to help new teachers make that difficult but eventful and enlightening first leap into teaching. This group of new teachers has me excited. I can see them nervous about the first day, checking over their syllabi and course policies over and over again. In fact, I'm still getting electronic copies of syllabi and course policies from teachers who have already had me look over them once before. I hope that this semester as we work together at making this transition into the classroom that I can help them maintain this level of excitement as they mature and develop in their classroom experiences. I know that sounds hokey... but, folks, I'm tired. Probably too tired to justify posting anything at all, because I really don't have any filter left (that's another side effect of orientation...)

OH! In all the excitement, I almost forgot to mention that I'm writing this post from our beautiful new laptop. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing it is to have wireless and to be able to sit in the comfy chair and do work. Otherwise, I'd be a wreck today. This was a necessary investment, because we're constantly trying to do work while watching the baby... and wireless is much more condusive to doing that.

So, this computer is a little more my computer than my husband's computer, which means that I got naming rights. I named our newest member of the family Penelope. The computer description is "the dissertation loom." My favorite part about the computer (aside from its lightening fast speed and incredibly light physique at just over 4 lbs.) is that when it shut down for the first time, I got the following message: Shutting down the dissertation loom.

How much of a geek am I that I love my computer for its remediation /mythical irony? Back to syllabi...

Posted by c_jane at August 26, 2004 10:59 PM | TrackBack

Hey, CJ, we're on the same wavelength!

It's somehow reassuring to know Matt and I aren't the only ones who anthropomorphize our machines!

Posted by: kari at August 31, 2004 3:26 PM |

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Wow... I didn't even realize that we named them the same thing! I remember reading your entry, but I didn't remember that you'd named your laptop Penelope, too! I'm glad to have joined your wavelength... hopefully it leads to a completed dissertation :-)

Posted by: CJ at August 31, 2004 4:22 PM |

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