Last week we got lucky: The teaching was short. About as short as this week’s teaching is long. I read it last night, hoping to get a head start on my commentary, to let the ideas stew and steep as I sleep and I wake, to prepare for this moment, but instead I came to nothing. Only a title–a title that doesn’t even seem to fit.
Exhaustion is the theme this semester. Actually, “exhaustion” is not a theme. “Exhaustion” is a topic. It would be much more appropriate to say that “Intense schedules lead to overwhelming exhaustion” is a theme since themes must be complete sentences that communicate a message to the consumer. By “consumer,” I here mean any readers, watchers, observers, et cetera, that observe a piece wherein some creator intended some deeper meaning. That’s theme.
I mentioned in my last post that I’ve felt exhausted a lot lately. I had hoped this weekend–my second foray into the world of the National Association of Campus Activities, where I got to meet Zach Wahls (!!!), attend live group sex therapy, and had “Bazinga” airbrushed onto a hat–would rejuvenate me, but…well, at least the comedian was uplifting. Laughter does inspire. And live music is like imbibing poetry to regurgitate later. But the overall effect was not as I had hoped for.
I’ve written a lot lately. In fact, since my last post here I’ve written over 23,000 words–or the equivalent of approximately a month’s worth of posts, if we assume I post about twelve times a month and each of them are slightly less than two thousand words a piece. Then again, this is what I expect during NaNoWriMo: A lot of writing but not a lot of writing here. Or on school papers. I’m so glad they’re not due till December.
Lately I’ve also been hung up on saying “the truth is.” Well the truth is I don’t know why I’ve had this obsession, but I’m almost certain that the two might be related.
This weekend I attended the National Association of Campus Activities South conference, a weekend of educational sessions, showcases, and networking to bring activities to colleges across the South. I will no doubt draw upon this experience for a number of posts (so much happened in such a short span of time that I can easily foresee two or three other topics already), but today I’d like to talk about the end.
For all who know me, and especially for those who have just met me or don’t know me very well, it may come as a surprise to hear that I am the biggest introvert you will ever know. You may imagine me speaking in front of a group, or casually carrying on friendly a conversation, or introducing myself with poise and purpose, and surely then, surely then I must be lying.
Actually, I should be ready to go, but I don’t feel it yet. This past semester was a killer. It started off innocent enough, at least on the surface. My tutoring hours in the math lab were surprisingly simplistic, if slightly busier this time than the start of last semester. Under the surface, however, dark forces were brewing.
Thursday was a busy day. It’s hard to think of a day recently that wasn’t busy, but Thursday was busier than usual. I had my calculus class in the morning, then I had three hours tutoring math (and barely working on my own homework, but getting enough done to know I had a lot to do that evening), and then at noon, to the first Gay-Straight Alliance meeting of the semester. It went well. I wish it could have gone better, but nothing in life is perfect.
(And those things that feel perfect often have their own flaws beneath them.)
Then at two I headed over to be a part of an interview that my school was putting together for a presentation I was asked to be a part of. I went to the meeting place…but could not find them anywhere. (Later on I was told that there was a studio in the back of the room I was sent to, which explains why I didn’t see them initially.) So I sent a text message and waited. I looked out the windows at the new parking deck across campus, the one I’ve literally watched since it was grass and trees, then fenced-in mud, and now starting to look beautiful again, and waited.
After a few minutes, I decided I’d missed the event and went for a walk. I stepped outside into the cool air, took a deep breath of the freshness of spring waiting to happen, and then plugged in my earbuds and turned on my iPod.