I’m tired, but I think I’m finally ready for the new semester.
Last fall was rough. Rather than go into all the details, I’ll sum up the low points:
- Thanks to ineptitude on the part of some folks in Santa Fe, I didn’t find out what classes I would be teaching until a week before school started — whereupon I learned I would have seven preps, including two I’d never taught before.
- Remote learning was a virtual hellscape of buggy software, lost passwords, and tech access issues that persisted much farther into the semester than they should have.
- We returned to in-person learning for about a month, from early October to early November, before somebody in our building caught COVID-19 and managed to share it with me. I realize how fortunate I was to have only a “mild” case, but it was still unpleasant, and the brain fog and fatigue lingered long enough to make the last month of my first semester of grad school unnecessarily difficult. I still managed to pull out a 4.0 GPA, but it was a near thing, and it wouldn’t have been if I’d been healthy.
- Being sick and exhausted and busy with grad school meant I didn’t keep up with housework the way I normally would.
By the time I got to the end of the semester, I was exhausted and frustrated and overwhelmed. Last week, I took the bull by the horns and did myself three favors: I cleaned, decluttered, and reorganized my kitchen and office during a three-day period beginning Christmas Eve; I got on the FlyLady website and started re-establishing the habits that I’d learned there 20 years ago and hadn’t needed in several years; and I started a new bullet journal using a cheap dot-grid journal I found at the dollar store last fall but hadn’t had time to set up.
Tonight, I have a shiny sink, a set of lesson plans (and most of the ancillary materials) ready to go in Google Classroom — which I spent several hours taking self-paced classes to learn over break — and a glass of sangria in hand. This is the calm before the storm of another semester, but the point here is that it’s calm, if only for a few more hours. That’s something I haven’t experienced in a while, and I’ll savor it while I can.