Your optimism is unfounded.

Brutalpacalyptic was putting it mildly. Up at 7, home at 9 so tired I may die * flump *. Teaching was lovely, students are bright eyed/bushy-tailed, I like them already. Then I set at my desk job and do small composition-y tasks, and that is all good, too. Also office hours. Then I audit class with crazybrilliant theorist. And that’s where the going gets hairy.
See, by 5pm, I have been on campus for eight hours with no break. My brain is a sad, sad place. And then I have to poke it with the coffee stick and make it remember all the reading I’ve crammed into it. And then it has to perform. It hates hat trix.
Suffice to say, I’m terrified. I LOVE THIS CLASS. Seriously, this professor is my favorite. I could listen to him talk forever and never get bored. He did an intro to classism v. poverty that is exactly what I need to be passing on to my ENG160 students (and I will…just added the book he pulled his stats from to my Amazon wishlist, for purchase within the week).
BUT. The class is eight people–seven first-year PhDs plus auditing me. And he always does four response papers a week, irrelevant of class size. In previous semesters with larger cohorts, this meant a response paper every three to four weeks for each student. It is a gift of his time to have such individuated attention, and don’t I know it, but the math works out to eight papers I’ll be producing for the course this semester, on top of my exam responses for him. Not even counting my other two lists. Worst of all: I’ve already written four responses based on readings he’s assigned me…and I’ve shown him 0 because I’m so damn intimidated.
GET OVER IT, SELF. You are doing the work. Wherefore the fear? But I don’t want to be good enough; I want to learn how to be brilliant. This class will be Clarion redux but for academic argument. If I survive, I will be betterstrongerfastermoar. My little heart breaks that I may have to postpone exams, though. What if that’s what it takes to be closer to not dumb?

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