Teacher Self Care and a Finals Week Playlist

I won’t lie, this quarter has been rough.

Being an adjunct for a living means that I have to bounce back and forth between schools, and since “rent” isn’t one of those optional costs, I end up having to take classes that I otherwise wouldn’t. Like this quarter, where I somehow ended up with a three day weekend ever week, and four 15 hour days in a row. Sixty hour weeks in four days. My body has become a battleground between sleep deprivation and caffeine fighting it out for supremacy on a daily basis.

To the individuals who have asked me what I do for a “real” job:  fuck you and your supercilious selves.  I help people think critically, achieve their dreams, and I can keep a room full of people interested and engaged in the subtle sciences of math… and I make it fun. Go back to your banal jobs and your white-washed racism you fuckwits.

My classes have been pretty good, with the occasional exception here and there. Fall quarters I always see students biting off more than they can chew, and new students have the fun job of trying to learn how to balance being a student with living the rest of their lives. For whatever reason this quarter my students’ families have been dying off:  I have had at least 4 students lose parents or loved ones (that I believe), and dealing with that is devastating.  Not all bad news though, I have also had several become new parents as well.  So I know that I’m not the only one dealing with sleep deprivation.

Remember those 3-day weekends I got this quarter? Imagine trying to cram the rest of your life into that.  Trying to recover from exhaustion, have meaningful relationships, exercise, dealing with medical issues, deal with car issues, and trying to have any creative outlet. Oh yeah: also add trying to prep enough meals to survive on during your crazy week!

I should note: I have an amazing partner. She has somehow managed to juggle things that I normally wouldn’t ask of her, as well as caring for me in ways I never knew that I needed.

All of this is pointing to how important it is to have some regular forms of self-care.

This quarter I have had a few consistent things to keep me sane:   podcasts (for my 10+ hours of commuting per week), baking (to force myself to slow down on the weekends), and gaming.  Interspersed with these are my usual mix of running, too many books, and various shenanigans that I can cram into my time.

My podcasts this quarter:  The Scathing Atheist offers a wonderful mix of humor (NSFW!!!) and brutal roasting of the religious bigotry and misogyny, and The Skeptics Guide to the Universe offers wonderful lessons of skepticism and gives me more hope for the future than I had before.

And now:  here is my playlist for grading this quarter.  I’ve only managed to kill four red pens this quarter.  I should sharpen my fangs a bit more.

Good beats for when I repeatedly stab a stack of finals with my red pen.  Metal keeps me sane-ish.

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