Saturday, October 9, 2010


how life hard becomes when sleep doesn't come. how fragile i get! i lie there, wondering how i will be in front of my students.

last week was bad. i had been sleeping badly all along, but only last week these experiences accumulated into an awful certainty: a consciousness i felt as soon as i lay down that i wouldn't sleep well. and then i didn't. it was a hard week. i teach 15 hours a week which, with all the commuting, is like a full time job. worst of all, i teach 3 nights a week, so that recharge time at night is mostly gone.

this week was better. S made sure i was able to focus on my two free afternoons, Monday and Wednesday, and to go out for a bike ride. i found that even a short bike ride made my body feel good, even if i didn't sleep well. and i slept a little less badly. in any case, that iron sense of a prophecy that is bound to come true every night has diminished.

for me, every time i wobble -- a flat class, a fit of nerves as i search for a focus in front of 30 pairs of eyes, or wait for students to enter -- terrifies me and puts pressure on me. i think: oh my god, will i do worse the next time?

my fragility is evident this semester. and next semester will be even worse: 3 different classes, with 3 separate reading lists. now i prep 3 of the same class.

but at least i am teaching. i feel good. i see their eyes follow me, pulling in my argument. i'm pretty sure they are with me, even though they probably could not summarize what i said 10 minutes later. i am amazed at how little they know; i forget that everything i know about the world rests on a thick foundation of facts gleaned from decades of newspaper reading. things like the IMF. and i think: did i know what the IMF was at age 20? maybe not.

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