Mother of the Year, Teacher of the Year, and Other Awards I'm Not Earning

I solidified my Mother of the Year status by forgetting I'd volunteered to help at the Holiday Cookie Decorating Party in Little Miss Talkalot II's kindergarten class Friday morning. BECAUSE I'M A GENIUS AND A GOOD PERSON.

She wasn't traumatized. I think that by now, at the wise age of 5, she recognizes that everyone else's mothers are far superior, better and more capable of this parent-y stuff, than her own mama.

The missed cookie appointment put an appropriate cap on a very very very tiring week, as I attempted to manage my own anxieties about the end of the semester and also talk my students off of various metaphorical ledges. 

One of the more mystifying aspects of this semester is finding out how many of my students just didn't bother to submit major papers. Like, finally going through the grades and seeing the holes, and then going back to those students (who are usually "good" students in the sense that they keep up with reading and participate in class) and telling them, "just turn in something, because anything is better than a zero." 

And that's where I am as a teacher right now: "Just do the bare minimum -- hell, give me a thin approximation of the bare minimum. Okay, bro? Okay. Good game."

This time of the year can be so demoralizing.

I might have caught this earlier and been able to triage more efficiently if I'd completed Mid-Semester Academic Alerts, but I was overwhelmed and behind and didn't have time to do Mid-Semester Academic Alerts for a hundred or so students. 

Also, back in the Dark Ages, when I was in college, we didn't have anything like Mid-Semester Academic Alerts. BECAUSE WE WERE CONSIDERED ADULTS AND RESPONSIBLE FOR MONITORING AND CLEANING UP OUR OWN SHIT.

Also also, get off my lawn, you young whippersnappers.

There's something about having no time to write that makes writing the thing I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO DO RIGHT NOW and that's part of the reason I'm still behind with the grading. I wrote just over 1100 words of "Accountability Partners" this week, and I completed and submitted one residency application. (To be fair, the deadline for the application was this weekend, so I kind of had to take a time out to complete it; also, I'm trying to meet a deadline in early January that requires a complete full-length play, so.) 

On the left, what I want to be working on. On the right, what I'm actually working on.
Whenever I'm writing I'm also fully, hyper-aware that there are other responsibilities I'm ignoring; at these points, I try to remember all of those interviews with writers and artists I've read (and taught!) that stress the necessity of making your writing time "intractable and nonnegotiable." 

This semester, I've been MUCH better about keeping writing time sacred, but once again everything fell apart at the end of the term, from writing to exercising to eating well to getting enough sleep.

One more week, tho. And then final grades in, and then holidays and some travel to Virginia, and then maybe, maybe, writing and running and rest. Maybe.

And on a last note: This is my three hundredth post for this blog . . . since. . .  2011? I'll have to fact check that. Anyway. I don't know what that means. I whine at the internet a lot, I suppose. Thanks for absorbing my panic and myopia, Interwebs! Yer the best!


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