Sitting in a cafe listening to Euro-trance, getting that last bit of grading done... one assignment to go. Let things go later than I usually do in order to decompress and give a bit of grace to one troubled black sheep of a student who might maybe not fail this class now that he got his last assignment in. I am a sucker.
It is so odd to sleep enough, wake up in the morning without the kick of adrenaline that usually greeted me during the school year. I don't know why I get so physical about my job or why I store up stress in my body. I have read a lot about cognitive behavioral therapy and can talk myself out of all kinds of fears (putting my head underwater, eating wierdo foods, trying scary physical adventures) but I can't talk myself out of making my stress incarnate. I also can't quite talk myself out of the stress. I think I am just an introvert on a very physical level: I am so happy being alone about 8 hours a day! Add in four hours of talking over dinner or math tea or Skype and I'm peachy.
So now it's summer. I started this blog because I was stressed out about the job search and my apparent imminent unemployment. I've strung together a few things for next year but am still occupied with the task of moving out of my office and saying goodbye to current colleagues. I have worked with a great department and will miss my colleagues. Right now I'm close enough to the 60-hour workweeks and emotional stress of trying to connect honestly and deeply with students that I don't miss that yet.
(Caretakers are the folks who are most likely to get burned out by their jobs. How do nurses or ministers do it year-round? At least for nurses, there is not less paperwork than I have!)
Since I haven't been done for very long I have not demanded much of myself in terms of research. I have slept a lot, got some paper revisions back to a journal. I need to do some more paperwork for the college before I can consider myself done and return some books. I am starting work with a summer research student (am I a fool?) this coming week. I need to set summer priorities and schedules. Two projects close to completion need to get out the door. I suppose that will be my first main priority..... so much to do!
But I feel free, like I have room to move. Thank goodness.