Emsworth Wed Nov 9 19:33:01 2005|
Re: but hang in there...
> well, it _is_ traditional to give first year grad students the worst
> assignments. get close to one of the profs you actually like who needs TAs
> (but you will probably need patience).
Actually a much longer story than you guys assume, but they started me off teaching freshman comp with hardly any training or support, which was stressful, but after a failed exercise leading to students openly challenging me (quote: "We'd get more done if you'd stop asking us how we're doing"), I mentioned situation to coordinator... who after sitting in on one class, decided to remove me entirely. Yay. Actually, it was a relief in a way, and I kept my stipend, but it was also admittedly a blow and not exactly an encouraging portent of how the department works (though in fact that was also part of it, as while my grad work is under the English department, the teaching assistantship was under the separate Writing Program, which is more creative writing based and so on). Re-assigned to a Shakespeare professor as a grader, but been having problems with his last minute demands or e-mails not coming in (and as said, phone is still giving me problems; I'll have to find time weekend after this to make *another* long trek to the mall to replace). Sort of working that one out, but still no idea what they want me to do for next semester, though hopefully they'll work that out for next week. And still trying to get ahold of hospital to pay a bill, which annoys me considerably as I owe them $169 dollars for basically spending five hours waiting to be seen and being told that nothing was wrong with me, because the paramedics who insisted I be brought in because of heart rate and stuff also conveniently forgot to hand in their notes specifying the allegedly high pressure and unhealthy rates and so on.
> i am stuck between pleased and disappointed that you are eating actual
> perishable food, rather than the traditional fare of ramen noodles and
> instant mac-and-cheese - but your course is, of course, the wiser for
> overall health.
Make that "trying to eat actual perishable food." It perished, remember. Definitely not overly reliant on mac and cheese and ramen (though I have a little of each), but have plenty of canned soups, veggies, chili and beans (Andale! Eppa!) for when I get homesick, but my raisins seem to have disappeared.
Overall health has been mixed, though. Cold weather seems to be giving me slight arthritic joint pains (still not as bad as doctors had said way back, but not unmixedly pleasant), severe migraines, and I think I caught some sort of intestinal thing which kept me up late at night with, no way to put it delicately, well, a rather distressing situation involving discolored (black and tarry) bodily wastes, exacerbated by non-functioning toilet, another recurrant problem with this apartment. And stress over paper, which led to basically spending four days stuck in my apartment having a nervous breakdown, also led to binge eating on oreos, and a bit of substance abuse problem. I'd wake up at 11am, find half empty bottles on the table, crushed cans everywhere, feel the aftertaste, see another six pack gone... and realize that Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi has me in its fiendish grip again. Hopefully next semester will involve fewer shifts so I can either find more time for walks just for the sake of walking or to explore the area (and not to rush to class or buy Excedrin, which may have had a role in the black waste issue), when/if weather permits, which I miss so badly, or maybe take advantage of the campus gym. If I can get some shorts, it would be nice to go swimming again. Do the elbow some good as well, I imagine.
>are you a bicycler at all?
Ah, another item I forgot to mention. Friend gave me a bike right before I left El Paso, which was a pleasant surprise... But just as I was re-learning how to bike, and had a nasty spill which suggested I needed to have the bikes check... it was stolen from the basement where I'd been storing it. I hadn't had a chance to buy a better lock, and they managed to undue the cord lock I had. Some of my neighbors were leaving the basement (which is laundry space) unlocked, or even going off, leaving the door wide open, and taking the lock with them.
>i take it there is no decent public transportation.
There's buses, but drop offs are limited, and trips to the mall or supermarket are long and also unpleasant (why do they try to cram 250 people, including two folks in large mechanized wheelchair, into an 80 capacity bus?) and you know....squirrels are pretty productive.
> i was going to assure you that things do eventually settle down...but now
> michael has chimed in to remind us of his
Which means he gets to see gorgeous sunsets and exotic scenery. Although on my own side, I did get to go to Ottawa for the animation festival (and attended a signing of the book I contributed to, for which I still haven't been paid and maybe won't be but hey, minimal payment at best was promised to begin with, and it was fun and a big notch on my resume). So there have been some compensations, but in general it's been hectic and apart from phone calls to parents (and occasional internet contact), I feel so very alone when it really matters, though again I'm so thankful for my parents. And at least I have plenty of cranberry sauce for when I spend Thanksgiving in the apartment with the wolverines and my stuffed animals.