Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Academic angst, Hormones, and More Stuff to Worry About

Yeah, so I'm a bit terrified. Today's the first day of classes, and I'm team-teaching a senior seminar course on Aphra Behn with my advisor. She could teach this in her sleep. She could teach this blindfolded with her hands tied behind her back. I, however, have no fucking clue what I should be doing. I know what I usually do when I teach, but this may not be what she considers "good teaching", so what if she hates it? What if she thinks I'm an incompetent boob who shouldn't be allowed near English majors? What if my normally great rapport with students falls short because they see that she is clearly the Queen Bee, and I am the lowly graduate student who wants to be a professor when she grows up. Yes, I'm all in knots about trying to figure out how much I should prepare for the days when my advisor is leading class, and how much/if I should alter my normal teaching style to address seniors.

I usually start class off by offering some guiding questions or issues to discuss and then I sit back and let the students take it from there. After this, I just "direct traffic" and let them determine what direction the class discussion should take. My worry is that my advisor will see this approach as lazy or unchallenging. Agghh...I kinda want to vomit right now.

Adding to this, I can't even take pleasure in watching any of the inauguration coverage because I'm so hormonal I start tearing up as soon as see the images of history being made. I don't mean just a little bit of watery eyes, either, I mean full-blown cry.

And it gets even better (well, actually worse)....it turns out that the last surgical procedure I had on my neck last May?? Well, its effects have worn off. I found this out after waking up last Tuesday morning with near immobilizing pain. The neurologist admitted that the information I'd been given last year, about the surgery lasting anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, was inaccurate. Instead, he said that 6 months to 1 year was more like it...big fuc&*ng difference Doc!! The best he could offer was trigger-point injections of anasthesia, which would numb the area and buy some time for the steroids to work. Just a little FYI: trigger-point injection fucking HURT!! Seriously, I was screaming and crying and wishing I'd just gone back home! It felt like someone was stabbing me repeatedly with a knife in my neck. I'll NEVER go through those again!

On top of the neck issue returning and the general lower back/sciatica pain that comes with pregnancy, it also looks like I may need a root canal! I woke up with a bad toothache on Sunday, went to the dentist yesterday, and the x-ray showed what looked to be an abcessing tooth. So, off to the endontist I go. Let's see, how many doctors do I have now: general physician; obstetrician; dentist; orthodontist; peridontist; endontist; neurologist. Seven doctors. At 32 years old, I should not have seven doctors unless I have some sort of terminal illness. I just feel like my body is failing me, and it sucks. I'm going to start a pre-natal yoga class on Saturday, which I'm hoping will help with both the neck and back pain and generally help me to feel a little more mentally and physically balanced. I've never done yoga, so I'm not sure what to expect. We'll see how it goes...things have to get better though, right?

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