In January I posted here about my fears for the new semester. How is that going? Very Well! I teach night classes, and as I hoped, no one behaves like a teenager. I do have one student who took the class before and failed it. She likes to tell me how much she hates the subject because it's irrelevant. Surprisingly, when she said this last week, another student raised his hand and explained to her the benefits of studying this discipline. How cool is that?! They are in my first class that is a little more difficult because they tend to bore easily. But the second class is wonderful. We have a great reporte already, many say goodbye or thank me at the end of class. Teaching at night doesn't mean I can afford to slack off with the discipline. My students are native New Yorkers. Their respect has to be earned.
One night, my later class started packing up because we only had 5 minutes left. One got up to leave, then the rest began to follow. Oh no. I wasn't having it. I said, "Excuse me. No. Class is not over, get back in your seats. You don't leave until I say it's time to go." Two left but the rest sat back down. One said, "You have 3 minutes." I said, "That's right. You see, this is a power issue." Someone said, "Take the power back, professor." I continued, "It is my job as your teacher to control the class and maintain an environment conducive to learning. Having people leave whenever they want is NOT conducive to learning. You don't leave until I say so." Then I finished up and dismissed them. Beautiful! I was so proud of myself.
As most women do, I live with extreme dichotomies of personality. I do have a very tough and controlling side and I have it's opposite, the timid fearful woman. Because the strong woman disappeared last year, the timid one took over. And it created a disaster! Because of that, serious anxiety htis in the morning and lingers all day before teaching. Last year I was so depressed, it was all I could do to show up let alone control 40 students AND lecture. I let myself go some in appearance. I wore these old lady comfortable shoes and didn't bother much with makeup. I probably appeared quite timid.
Not this year. I am kicking arse and taking names. The bada** inside me has re-surfaced. The old lady shoes have got to go. I usually wear boots or Doc wingtips with stacked heels. I've also tried to punk things up a little, wearing dark lipstick and black gummy bracelets and keeping up with my nails. The way teachers dress really makes a difference in how students treat them, sad but true.
Things are already much better this year and I expect that to continue.
Making up last term
Some may recall this post in which I described the bind I had gotten myself into as a student. And how I was afraid to ask the rude professor to do an independent study to make up for his class in the fall. I came up with a solution the Friday after classes started. I still hadn't registered because of my fear. Having run out of time the week before, I went to school to get the registration paperwork, still not knowing what to do about it. While sitting in the office filling out the forms, I realized....I didn't have to make-up the work with that professor! I could just take a new class, start over. That would be much more pleasant and probably less work too. Yipee.
The deptartment chair got permission to grade my papers for the visiting professor I had last fall who couldn't grade them because he went back to Oxford. Hallelujah! That man is so kind and understanding. I was afraid to talk to him about registering because I hadn't talked to the mean professor yet, what a great slacker am I! When I did go in to see him, it turned out that he hadn't emailed the Oxford don yet either, even though he agreed to do that in December. His procrastination warmed my heart because it reminded me that these are my people, we come from the same warped planet. I started the paper for him this weekend. My friend and I got together on Saturday to help each other work. We had a lovely day.
What is the state of my uterus? I heard from a few concerned readers regarding my uterine problems. Some of you said you prayed for me and I think that worked to the extent that I went back to my old cycle of 17 days, an improvement from 10! My blood tests came back normal. But the nurse said I still need the sonogram because there is something wrong with me, healthy people don't bleed that much.
I decided against the sonogram for the following reasons: if there is something wrong then I can't afford to fix it anyway, if it gets diagnosed now and then I get insurance it will be pre-existing and not covered, we know I don't have any STDs, if I do have fibroids then they can't do anything about it other than prescribe birth control pills which may shrink them. So, what is the point of taking a picture of them? None. This did not convince the nurse. She said I could have an endometrial biopsy instead but could expect discomfort from that since I've never given birth and they have to go up the cervix. No thank you. She refused to give me the prescription until I have some tests. Sigh.
One kind person suggested I look into getting help from the state or checking Planned Parenthood for discounted ob/gyn services. I don't qualify for state aid. I haven't looked into the PP thing yet. A few readers have emailed me asking if they could help financially. Not wanting to turn such generous people away, I have added a donation button to the bottom of the blog. Thank you kind souls who donated! For now, my uterus has calmed down and my two week cycle is livable, I feel more stable. I'll take care of this some day.
The sick cat. She's likely dying. I took her to the vet because I hoped it might be something small we could treat for a nominal sum. Nope. She had to have blood tests because she has the symptoms of the old cat diseases: diabetes, renal failure, or hypothyroidism. The vet should call today with the results. So I wait to find out how my beloved kitty will die. I have responded to this with complete denial, feeling nothing.
Funny thing happened on the way to the vet. I don't have a cat carrier because she's car trained and sits quietly in my lap when we travel. For this trip, I wanted to splurge for a cab, so I had to go down the block to catch one. I walked with kitty half-way inside a canvas bag, her front half clinging to my shoulder. One man I passed said, "You need to get a real baby to play with." Then he repeated himself with contempt. No doubt he wanted to offer his services, either that or I truly disgusted him. Maybe both. No cabs stopped for the woman holding a cat. I can't blame them. After I stood on the corner for awhile, watching the cabs go by, a homeless woman offered to get me a cab. Then she asked if I had any change I could give her. When she hailed the black caddy I gave her 75 cents.
This catches everything up I believe. Thank you for your concern, it means a lot that so many people who never met me could feel such compassion for me. Happy fun stories should be forthcoming soon.