I'm posting this at about 3 am Eastern time because, well, I just woke up and find myself with some time on my hands for the first time in awhile.
Monday, August 31: The First Day of School. Cue frantic music. I spent Sunday avoiding preparations and then completing them before going to bed at a reasonable hour.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a reasonable hour when you teach a class that starts at 8:15. I'm going to have to develop a sleeping pill habit to get me to be at 10. I sleep. Lots. I wake up late. Shockingly late, often. But I wanted to take that class on Virginia Woolf, and they said well we can only offer you this teaching schedule if you have such and such a time constraint. I thought oh, I can do it. I've done it before. I have. It was painful, then, too. Funny how we forget these things. At any rate, one of the perks to having a job-searching and supportive husband is that he can be very helpful with practical things like getting one in the shower on time, etc. He also helped me bring coffee and donuts to my students who, if you ask me, were under-appreciative! I was not and drank far too much coffee, ate far too much sugar and, after teaching one class at 8:15 and another at 10:15, promptly came home and passed out. I noted ironically before crashing, that the 8:15 section actually seemed more awake than the 10:15. Perhaps if we know we're doing something before 9 am, we psych ourselves up for it!
Charming husband again shook me out of my stupor, this time so that I could attend class. To my eternal surprise, I am on time for things when I ask for his help. Lovely man! It turns out that I am actually capable of leaving the house with enough time to metaphorically hike from Queens to Manhattan on the F train before class actually begins. Despite being very excited by class, classmates, professor and material, I found myself unable to explain even to Husband what it's actually about. You see, we're studying the "non-normative" in writing, in the classroom, in the world, and it falls within both the field of "queer studies" and of "composition and rhetoric." "Comp/rhet," as it is more fondly known in my world, consists of teaching about teaching about writing. So you can see where things might get a bit complicated. It all makes sense in the classroom, but once you leave it can take awhile before you're able to articulate what it is that you've actually learned. I can say this: I'll be learning a lot about teaching and about writing and about the teaching of writing, and the course allows for exploration and movement that I see as very personal and wonderful. A great opportunity to know more about myself as teacher, writer, student, explorer. Needless to say, the professor put us all at ease; one does not feel comfortable exploring such personal things with an intimidating guy.
After eating dinner tonight, I went right to sleep for a little over 6 hours, and woke with a headache and massive dehydration. It turns out that staying up all night worrying that my students will hate my, my professor will hate me and I'll fail out of graduate school + way too much coffee + not enough water = a very confused body.
I have always loved the first day of school. I look forward to it every year. But the night before, I stay awake with anxiety and I spend the day rushing around trying to be perfect! Why, oh why, do I love the first day of school? The answer is simple--a writer and lover of literature cannot help but love opening a new book.