Here We Go Again

Let me start with my familiar line:

It’s been a month since my last post . . . but this time, there’s a legitimate reason.

May was nothing short of being a whirlwind for me; I seriously can’t believe that it’s now June.  The end of the academic term is always a flurry of activity.  On my end, there are final projects to be graded, final papers to be read, grades to be calculated, and ceremonies to attend.  On the part of students, there are the same things, but also the hours of pleading and begging for me to ignore a semester’s worth of bad behavior and asking for the gift of a passing grade.  There are tears, the occasional gift, the online complaint (or two), and the near-immediate preparation for the Fall term.

In short, the magic never stops.

In my case, this has all been complicated by additional health concerns, so what should have taking a few days extended into a few weeks.  The headaches are still ever-present (if not more aggressive), and my physicians are still of the mind that these are some sort of “stress-induced” migraines, and I’m still adamant that they’re more along the lines of a nerve-based physical issue.  If nothing else, this whole episode has convinced me to ease up on the things I get angry or stress over, as I am not interested in suffering a seizure – I saw someone experience that this year – or worse, a cerebral “incident.”

You know that line in the musical Hamilton, where he says, “I think on death so much it feels more like a memory?”  That’s literally the story of my life.  Am I the only person who fears that once I leave the house in the morning that I’ll not return?  When we were kids, there were a group of us fixated on the idea of death, and I honestly don’t know where it came from.  Well, it’s certainly no way to live – that I can attest to.  This, of course, led to concerns and exams over other issues, so now I’m taking a battery of medications and dealing with a variety of aches and pains.  The latest is pains in my hands, and I’m petrified that an exam will show it to be the onset of RA.

My primary physician tried to comfort me by saying that this is what happens when we age.  That, and noting that things only get worse from this point forward.

I’m hoping to travel south to visit the local Renaissance Faire this summer, as it’s been a good while since I’ve last been.  I once thought about seeking summer employment there, but that was a long time ago!  Besides, I don’t know if I could don a medieval outfit in that summer humidity – I have trouble with that in jeans; don’t know if I could stay sane under those conditions in a doublet.  A friend of mine will be there working, and I’d love to see her strut her stuff.  We were supposed to attend last summer, but things got away from me and . . . so I promised that I’d make an extra effort to trek that way this year.  I’m actually kind of excited about it.

That said, I’m trying to remain positive as I tip-toe through this Valley of Shadows.  I have a new class coming up, one that I’ve been trying to prep for nearly a year now.  For the record, it generally takes me a year to prep a class, especially if it’s something outside my bailiwick; I like to get familiar with the material before I try to palm it off on a room of unsuspecting students.  While preparing the lectures has been moving relatively smoothly, I came to realize that I have a serious problem – namely, that after a year of reading, taking notes, and shaping a narrative, I’m only half finished!  Worse, most of my work – weighing in at about 60 pages* as I write – is just prologue.

* I should note that I like to have my notes typed as a single-spaced outline.  Right now, I’m at about 60 pages – really closer to 78 pages, but I know I’m jettisoning some stuff – and based on my experience, a standard sixteen-week semester requires about 130 pages.  Do I need them typed out?  No – I have a lot of handwritten lectures.  But I’m getting picky as I get older, so cut me some slack.

I haven’t even gotten to the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the class yet, and that’s going to be a good 100 pages by itself.  I’m already starting to panic, but maybe that’s good.

I need something to worry about for once that I’m pretty sure I can actually fix.

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