Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Megastore recommends: The Blues edition.

America, it's January, and all that that implies. To wit: the syllabus hustle, the Canvas meltdown, the Too Cold Crisis, the stayabeds. Maybe it's just me, but maybe not. In these dark times, it seems important to have a few recommendations at hand, with which to rouse oneself from the abyss. I'm throwing you a rope, in other words, and with it you can lasso a tree branch and pull yourself up, like a Navy SEAL. That's right: with the following recommendations, you can be your own hero/rescuer. You'll have to supply your own white uniform and cap, however.'s       right      there....
1. Finish your orientations. Did you offer to orient every man, woman and child in the vicinity, and beyond, because it's an online class? Did you set up orientations all over the schedule, to accommodate the worker, the mother, the living in a foreign land-er, the slacker? The Lord knows you will feel relief when you've reached the end of that agenda--when you have explained for the last time that the student can find many an answer in the syllabus which is right      there      and then, when there are no questions--none!--they thank you and sign off. You will have the breathing room that comes with the item checked off a list. You will feel, psychically, baptized, arisen from the waters, blameless and pure. You did it! You got through the first week! Now sit right down and eat a plate of spaghetti, because the Lord also knows that you really need some carbs, and right now.

it's the very last syllabus. of the semester. there
may be other syllabi in my future, but not today.
2. Finish the last of your syllabi. The course that is taught but once a week, on a Friday, is lo! a great blessing, when you are experiencing the Onslaught of the Syllabi, that epic mythic battle. But when the storm has passed, and you're teaching your regular classes, that unfinished syllabus for the Friday-only class looms like a bastard, just glowering and leering, reminding you that, sure, you wrote down your suave assignment ideas in a tidy little list that is ... somewhere, maybe in your purse? Or in some grungy little document loitering around in an unmarked file on your hard drive? Ugh, you're going to have to come up with other ideas, stupider, more prosaic ideas, that will make the course huff along like a car in need of a tuneup. Not at all like the sleek machine you imagined back when you wrote those ideas down, where the hell are they?

But when you finish that syllabus, the angels will sing. Can you hear them? They are lauding your resilience, your persistence, your wherewithal, your je ne sais quoi. Come to think of it, I can't hear, exactly, what they're singing. Maybe it's more like the child's choir intro to You Can't Always Get What You Want. But if you try sometimes, you might find you get the syllabus you need.

Now that you've finished that syllabus, go buy and then eat some candy. It's dark outside. Your mouth needs something sweet in it. Or salty, go buy some potato chips also.

I meet all my students on plazas,
in filtered sunlight.
3. Meet with humans. AKA students. It is amazing how talking to an actual person who will be in
the class you're teaching makes teaching feel viable again, as opposed to hypothetical, and hypothetically anathema. They might not tell you that in teaching school, but it's true.

sparkly like a BOSS.
4. New school outfit. Did you iron a white shirt recently? You are so freaking diligent, you deserve to buy a new skirt! Make it a sparkly one.

Did you say your blues are existential? I feel you. Mine too. So you can trust and believe that my having accomplished all of the above does not mean that I did not cry like a sap at the Modern Family episode tonight, where Phil Dunphy realizes that he has to let the ducks go because 'the internet says they were ready to fly a month ago.' Birds gotta fly? Ugh, where's the sparkly skirt to compensate for that, I ask you?

1 comment:

  1. I feel you, sister, and will give the sparkly skirt a try.



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