Friday, September 11, 2015

A bright spot or two

This was one of those weeks when some kind of Fool Translator Device inside my brain made every statement come out as halting and idiotic. 

Everything came out wrong, or so it seemed. When I made a joke in the department meeting, I had to say, like Foghorn Leghorn, "I say, that's a joke, son!"--but not in those words. 

I misnamed files, sent out files with errors in them, and all the while cringed at the promised work that I wasn't getting done. I stumbled over words in front of the class. You know how you can be writing on the board and all of a sudden the word looks strange to you and you can't be sure that you're spelling it right as thirty pairs of eyes bore into your back? Yup.

Even writing was giving me trouble.  I need to use a better word than "humble-bragging" in an essay, but that's the only one that comes to mind, so it's still there.

I thought caffeine was supposed to make you sharper, and I need to drink tea or Diet Coke in order to stay awake during the long commutes on a narrow and twisting road. The VW Bug that drove me off onto the shoulder this week as it passed an 18-wheeler in my half of the two-lane highway is just the latest example of why keeping alert is important.  This level of caffeine makes me sleepy all day and up every hour at night, however, and it's my theory that that's when the Fool Translator Device gears up for the next day.

But then on Thursday, behind on everything, behind on and barely finishing the novels I was rereading since I'd assigned them, it all worked out. We did group work in one of the classes, and as I walked around, students were eager to talk with me about the topic their group was researching.  We had good discussions in another class--high-intensity but with a lot of laughs, too.

And the edited Laocoon manuscript came back to me nearly a month early, with nice comments about how it really didn't take much editing and was a pleasure to read.

So after most of a week that had me saying "what's the point?" and feeling that I couldn't do anything right, these two bright spots turned it around.

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