It's been whirlwind-ish around here, people. This is and has always been my preferred level of energy. There's no time to dwell in a funky state of being, and a perfect cup of coffee feels like a zen-like moment of Ahhh, which is how it should be.
The full-on semester is sneaking up on me, which it always seem to do. I teach two different lengths of courses, and one of them follows no traditional schedule, so I nearly always have a class going or on the horizon. This also means that while I'm working my way through the requisite coursework with one group of students, I need to prep for another variety and group of students, and I rather enjoy the variability of that. Yesterday was my HOLY GUACAMOLE, I NEED TO GET A MOVE ON! moment for the new courses beginning next week. And, it turns out that the gods of academia have a lovely sense of humor because they blessed me with t-h-i-r-t-y students in one course that I have never ever ever ever taught before. I counted last night, and supposing that every student turns in every assignment (which, obviously, won't happen...but let's pretend), there is around 500 individual assignments to be graded. That's a bunch, friends. That's a bunch.
So I have all of my natural anxieties of course preparation ramping up at the same time that I've been spiraling back down into my we-have-no-money-and-pretty-soon-we're-going-to-just-have-to-sell-everything-and-begin-again moments. These finances, I tell ya - they have their ups and downs. I'm fully entrenched in one of those downs that smells suspiciously of new car and a re-financed mortgage.
But, good news good news good news, the author of one of my very most favoritest books of recent memory (the last several years at least) recently released a new book, We Never Asked for Wings, and oh but my I am looking forward to reading this one. However, I'm about 200 pages into the 1,200 or so of Les Miserables, which I have never read though I have owned a copy for several years (about 10-15) now. It's always been one of those that I've wanted to read but have never carved out the time for. After the mad crush of summer reading ended a few weeks ago, I decided to dedicate roughly the next 6 months to this one given how slowly I'm working through it.
I'm pretty sure that this is how long it will take me at about 15 pages a night before I feel the whooziness of sleep a'comin'.
There's nothing like a good bit of misery to both take your mind off of the craziness of new courses as well as lull you to sleep.
Meantime, back in the daytime world, I made a simple change to our meal planning this month and craziness but it's made such a big change. (This might or might not be all that fascinating. I understand. Read at your own peril.) I have been and always will be the meal planner and preparer. It is definitely more my skill than that of anyone else in this house. Typically, I have spent a laborious hour or two on a Thursday thinking ahead to the next week, putting together a list, and all that jazz. For some reason that was just a much a surprise to me as it might be to anyone else, I printed off a standard blank calendar page for August at the end of July and filled in an entire month of meals in one sitting. And glory be but this has made a world of difference. It's been much easier putting together a shopping list; I've thought about what we already have in the freezer and whatnot so much better; and I have yet (20 days into the month) gotten stuck in that 4:30 p.m., good-gravy-what-am-I-making-for-dinner-tonight?, funk. And this has also helped tremendously on those nights when dinner is a wonky or rushed affair, like when I'm teaching. You know what makes facing a class full of new faces armed with a whole slew of first-day-of-the-new-semester instructions feel relaxing? Leaving the house right after dealing with picking up one child, unloading end-of-the-day things, refereeing/overseeing/playing with two rowdies, reviewing your own class notes, making dinner, eating dinner, and getting ready for class all before dropping that hot mess in the lap of the boy who just walked in the door before scooting out of it yourself.
I do enjoy me some good organization in my life.
I also love me some days that are gorgeously sunny with relatively low humidity. Like today. Let's enjoy this one, mates.