DISCLAIMER: This is a long and whiny post. Read at your own peril.
I find myself inert at the one thing I could always do. The one thing I never lost interest in suddenly repulses me. Ok, not so suddenly. I haven't finished a paper since December 2002. Last December I sat at my computer and then the computers at school trying to finish a paper, desperately wanting to finish that paper...I found myself paralyzed. I tried everything I could think of. But I wasn't interested in the thesis for one thing. I only chose it because the a-hole who has a crush on me stole my topic. Which he knew was my specialty subject. I couldn't tell if he did it for revenge for my lack of interest or his warped attempt to capture my interest.
He is so clueless! He just called me on Sunday and left a message asking me out. LOL. I haven't called him back yet. Last year he tricked me into having a date with him that totally sucked and he's still trying? He's lucky I don't hate him for what he did. The first thing he did was an extra credit presentation on my subject so I had to present on something else. Then he told me he was writing his paper on my topic. I didn't want to compete with him because he's one of those annoying over-working people. His presentation lasted an hour when it was supposed to be 15 minutes. So I ended up writing about something boring and couldn't finish the paper. Then he told me in February he didn't write about it afterall! He changed his mind. Oh yeah. He's a special one.
So last winter I had this awful 'holiday'. I couldn't finish that paper. And I still had to get my grades in. But I didn't finish grading their papers on time. The provost and others called me about my overdue grades. I ended up rushing them but messed a lot up so I spent two months making corrections.
Now when I sit down to write I stare at the blank screen, type in the preliminary stuff, type my thesis statement and then when I'm ready to go, I get nauseous. My mind refuses to co-operate. I process the arguments and ready myself to write them out and then I shut down. This is the point when I cry or blog or go numb because it's easier not to feel the frustration and anger. I want to write the damn paper. I don't know how anymore. How can that be? I've been doing this for 9 years! I used to write papers in my sleep. I could crank out a 6 pager in 3 hours and get an A in grad school. October 11th I had a 5 pager due. I had a thesis. Then I did the reading but what I needed to find wasn't there. The paper suddenly became more difficult than I could manage in the two days I had.
That's when I stalled. I missed the deadline. And then the weekend was over and I had to do the reading for my monday night class, which reading I did not have because I skipped the last class because I was very late. I forgot what time class started. I annoyed the prof the previous week. So I didn't want to increase his disregard for me by bursting in late, disrupting class and looking like a jerk. Later I found out he assigned a one page essay. I didn't do it because I was still 'working' on the not even started paper and didn't have time to read the 100 pages I needed to. I skipped the next class out of shame. And then the next one after that because I still didn't have the essay. Now I'm 3 weeks behind in reading which he knows because he gives us the texts in class. I think we have a midterm next week. No way do I have time to catch up now.
For my students, I had to write 3 different midterm exams last week (because they cheat). Now I have to grade them and make a handout with their paper assignment and a guide to writing philosophy papers because they won't read the book I made them buy which explains philosophy writing . And I stopped going to the P.I. class because the prof asked me when I'd have the paper done. I couldn't force myself to keep going without it. The course ends next week because he's a visiting prof. Our final paper was due this week. So I'm failing. Drowning. I don't know what to do.
I can't be both a good teacher and a good student. So this term I tried to be a mediocre teacher and a mediocre student. But I can't be a mediocre student. I'd rather do nothing than crap. I only have time to write crap. Which would be good enough to pass. But I won't let myself do it despite all my efforts to convince me otherwise. I wish I could withdraw from my classes but my teaching fellowship requires us to be fulltime students. (How sick is that?) I feel so trapped.
Writing this I've realized that the repulsion is due to my feelings of failure, not the subject. That's good to know at least. I really need help but I don't know what kind. Any suggestions? I want to scream. I want to do violence to something. Gee, I bet sex would be great right now wouldn't it? Not that I would know. ~The hills are alive with celibate cries.~