Thursday, August 25, 2011

Month-End Introspection

Grading, fun for the whole family
I have reached the final hours of my month of craziness, and the time has come to really reflect on it.  Was I as successful a teacher, a wife, and a mother as I had hoped to be?  Definitely not.  Some of the things I accept were beyond my control.  I also learned to accept that not all students want to be here.  This is not necessarily a shortcoming on my part, in some cases the student simply does not accept their own role in their education and there is nothing I can do about that.  But even that was such a grab bag of emotions this month that I really need to look back and think about it. 

As an instructor... 
Bad: I think I wasn't as tough on some of my students as I should have been.  I had a student in one class that really brought the dynamic down.  That negativity bred more negativity in other students and led to a very difficult month.  I need to figure out a way to divert the negativity and figure out how my students can channel that energy into something positive. 

Good: The students I could connect with, I REALLY connected with.  And those students, even if other issues prevented them from being successful in my course, will definitely succeed in other ways. 

On the homefront:
Bad: The long hours at work this month left me disconnected from Big Guy and Little Guy.  They also contributed to one tired, stressed, and cranky Kitten as I tried to balance work and moving...  I was not always successful.  Little Guy, in particular, dislikes the long hours that go with a split shift.  He wailed at the thought of me having to go to work a few times.  I had to tell him on my days off that I was staying home.  And Tuesday, Big Guy came in to see me in my off period and Little Guy spent the last half of the visit crying because he wanted me to go home with him.

Part of his clinginess stems from the uproar of moving, I am sure.  But...  I still feel like a crap mom when it happens.  Although moving was the other rough part on the homefront.  By Sunday, this will all be behind me, but the stress of packing and organizing everything fell mainly on Big Guy because, well, he's home to do it.  However, my inability to affect the outcome led to stress and one massive blowout here at the end.  Next time we move, I may drink more heavily.

Good: The house is almost packed.  When we were able to work together, we did WELL.  Not only did we do well, but we were SPECTACULAR.  Plus, we were almost in each other's heads on the organization and planning on a regular basis.  It reiterated that Big Guy and I are definitely partners and definitely have improved our communication skills over the past 8 years.  The entire house is almost packed up and we are almost ready to go.  The house will be a definite step in the right direction (though I think any step out of where we are is "the right direction").  Where we have been living had a purpose, but that is long gone.  Now, we can start a new chapter. 

Overall, the month had its ups and downs, but it was a positive experience and certainly one I can use to gain insight into myself and my life.  Once it truly ends and next month begins with its classes as I live in the new place, I can see what new items I have carried with me and begin the planning for other areas. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Split Shift Ramblings

This month, I am teaching a split shift.  Split shifts are rough on the body and the mind because the spread of the hours is so exhausting.  I have to start teaching at 8:30 am and that runs till almost 1 pm.  I get a stretch of hours in the middle then until I start again at 6 pm and teach all the way until 10 pm.  I'll go home tonight, whine a bit about food, and then sleep.  Luckily, I don't have to teach tomorrow.

Big Guy agreed to let me take his laptop to work with me, so I can sit in the adjunct office during the stretch of time where I don't have class and work on class stuff.  I will find this extremely helpful this month.  The free time in the middle of the day allowed me to get my morning class papers graded already.  I also was able to look at the books and figure out what I wanted to make copies of for my class before they got here.  I ought to plan what I want them to do for homework on Thursday, but I am seriously considering a power nap. 

Big Guy has also been packing a lunch for me for prevention of passing out during the day.  It is something I truly appreciate and I love having a husband who wants to take care of me.  He loves me, wants me to be happy, healthy and comfortable.  Unfortunately, that's not something that often happens over the course of a split shift month.  My program director tries not to give her instructors two split shifts in a row because it's horrible.  You really do put in 14 hour days and can't do anything outside of school on those days.  The funny/horrible part of this month's split shift is we're moving at the same time. Feel pity for Big Guy, who is taking care of Little Guy and packing all on his own.  I'll be able to get some of it done on Wednesdays and weekends, but the bulk of it falls to him. 

Yesterday, he got a ton of stuff packed in Little Guy's room.  It was impressive, considering Little Guy (like his mother) likes to be able to see everything he owns.  I adamantly refused to go in his room because I was terrified I was going to break something.  Last night, when I got home, Big Guy showed me that not only could we walk on his floor now, but there were "See You Later" boxes packed of toys.  Little Guy and Big Guy had decided what was going to be packed.

I'm hopeful that more stuff will be packed today, but my two Guys may decide to nap instead.  The split shift is hard on all of us.  Bleh, reading this over, I can tell my brain is mush right now.  Back to the grind goeth I.