The Texture Of Things

This is mostly whine, but I didn’t mean it to be
when I started.

September 26th, 2007

It is an effort, these days, to anything beyond the very basics. It’s not that there’s any single huge crisis in these parts; instead, it’s simply that there are so very many “basics.”

I am teaching two sections of Comp II. Both sections are filled, so that means I have 54 students. Because my course plan is rigorous, they have to write (and I have to grade) about a billion and three papers. I have no idea why I do this to myself every effing semester, other than “it’s the right thing to do.”* My job is to prepare them to write at higher academic levels, whether it’s a Lit course or a 400-level Bioethics course. I can’t do that without making them write and write again.


I love my job. I do. I just lose myself in the workload so easily.

I’m also working three days a week at my mother’s store because my uncle is still unwell. He’s been struggling and sick all year, so I’ve been covering for him as much as I can because I’m the only one besides him and my mom who knows the business. Also? I guilt easy, so there is no way I could refuse to help out down there. Also, also? I like money, and I do manage to earn my keep there most days. (Not today, though, because I’m training a new highschooler.)

Good news on the horizon, however, in the form of a new teaching assignment for next semester. I’ll be teaching a developmental reading and writing course. It is the course that comes before Comp I, and it is what I’d like to be teaching. It’s difficult to get this assignment as a part-timer because the full-timers hog these sections. It’s 6-credit hours (three of reading, three of writing) and has a cap of 20 students. But I get paid by the credit hour, so I’ll earn the same amount of money next semester with 20 as I do now with 54. You can see why the full-timers would snatch these courses up before the adjuncts have a shot at the schedule.

To be fair, and honest with myself, it will be hard because it will be a brand new course prep and the students will likely be students who have struggled with reading and writing. That’s okay, though, because those are the students I love to work with. But the course prep is likely going to kill me.

So I’m working. What a boring excuse for being away. It’s not just that, though. I’m ‘whelmed’. Let me explain how I mean that word.

Back in the height of my Panic Disorder, one of the things my therapist encouraged me to do was to use this goofy little magnet thing that HG had gotten somewhere years before. It has a couple dozen little faces and each face is demonstrating some emotion. You’re supposed to take a little square magnet and lay it on top of the face showing the emotion you’re feeling. This raised awareness of my emotions was supposed to help me keep track of the spans of time when I wasn’t panicking and the roiling emotions that typically led up to a panic.

Almost every visit in the beginning I would tell her that I spent the week on “Overwhelmed.” We both knew I was turning a corner when one night I told her, “You know, there isn’t a face on the magnet for me anymore. I would choose ‘Overwhelmed’ except I’m not. I’m only a bit ‘whelmed’.”

And that’s where I am now. I am whelmed. I haven’t been overwhelmed in a while, but the pendulum is swinging back toward whelmed these days. I realized it when I left a comment on a blog last week and felt a pang of guilt that I hadn’t even checked my texture email in weeks, let alone post. And then, it took until tonight to do it.

Plus, I think I’ve pulled away because I have two unbloggable things going on right now and I have been fixated on them. Actually, they are contributing to my whelmage whelmness whelmitude. Whatever. You know what I mean. I will do what I can to get back here shortly with something. And, I owe Jennifer a response to the Power post.

*Points to the first person who can say the second half of the slogan. Bonus points to the person who can identify the product. Super Awesome Bonus points to the person who can remember the spokesperson’s name.


  1. KLee says

    Sorry you’re whelmed. I’m feeling that a bit, myself. School takes up so much time and energy — all I really feel like doing when I get home is crawling up into my bed, and staying there until morning. Having to heave my carcass around and cook dinner, too? A feat nigh on impossible!

    I say STOP! with the whelmaciousness, World! I have had enough! Cut me a break this week! Let it be Friday all damn ready. 🙂

    September 26th, 2007 | #

  2. admin says

    Oh shit, not Friday. I have so much to do this weekend. Oh who am I kidding? My life is a play on the end of every Pinky and the Brain episode: What do I need to do today, amy? Same thing I do every day, amy: try to take over the world try to keep up with the never-ending flow from the responsibility volcano.

    But! I like “whelmaciousness” but when I first read it, I saw “whelmaliciousness.” That didn’t make sense to me, so I re-read it.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is me modeling reading comprehension strategies.

    :takes a small bow:

    September 26th, 2007 | #

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