Sunday, January 07, 2007

In Not Facing the Start of the Semester News....

This has been an unproductive weekend for the ages. Well, that's not entirely true. But I'm not facing that school's starting, and this means that some of the things that were on my weekend to-do list have been postponed until I can't put them off anymore, i.e., to the school week. What I have accomplished is the following:

1) Made 5 new recipes: A tomato and bean casserole (delish), Indian Tomato Soup (yummy), tapenade, Shrimp with Arugula (pretty good, except that cooking shrimp kind of freaks me out - just as does cooking carbonara, so I probably won't make the shrimp recipe again, as even though it was good, I don't know - I just am kind of grossed out by the thought of it), and today, Loubia bi Zeit (green beans with olive oil and tomatoes - one of my favorite Lebanese dishes, and one of my new year's resolutions is to learn to cook lebanese food, which is no small feat because I can't exactly learn from my Tayta as she doesn't really speak English, and as I don't really speak arabic, I've decided the best course of action is to do my best with a Lebanese cookbook and then to watch her once I've done some things myself a few times, so the resolution is to make one recipe per week, sometimes repeating recipes in order to perfect them - or just because I love them) and now I'm making a mediterannean chicken recipe, in which you stuff boneless skinless chicken breasts with a mixture of tapenade and feta cheese.

2) I cleaned my toilet.

Yeah, that's kind of all I've accomplished. I have not...

1) done laundry
2) organized my closet
3) done some record-keeping things
4) emailed students about Notoriously Difficult Book reading group that I've agreed to lead
5) looked over stuff for the first day of classes TOMORROW (and can I just say that the new MLA dates are really going to suck balls for people with my academic calendar? I know, I know, the current dates suck for many people, especially for those with small children, but as much as the current dates suck, I still prefer them to the new ones, if only because I will have ABSOLUTELY NO TIME BEFORE MY SEMESTER BEGINS once the new dates go into effect. I'm sorry, but I need this time.)
6) Straightened up around the homestead and vaccuumed. But as the kitchen and bathroom are clean, I'm not beating myself up for this. I mean, really, who cares about a little clutter? It's not like the Man-Kitty minds...

While I've been busy not accomplishing the above, I have been busy with the following:

1) Watching the conclusion to the ANTM marathon on VH1
2) Watching The Wedding Crashers, twice.
3) Watching the following movies on TV, with commercials: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, A Few Good Men, a bit of Top Gun, Legally Blonde, A Walk to Remember, The Wedding Planner, a bit of Wimbeldon.
4) Watching the following movies on cable: Hope Floats, Ordinary People, The Family Stone, and I'm not even sure what else, but I think there were actually more movies than that on cable that I watched all or part of.

I think I might be depressed. What else can all of this couch potato behavior possibly mean?

But whether I'm actually depressed or not, I can tell you this: I am not energized about this spring semester, I am not happy with certain aspects of my job, and I am feeling fairly down about the prospect of most aspects of my life in this location, at this job, at this point. And I just don't have the energy to do anything about it - especially if there is even a sliver of hope that I might get a campus visit (which I have now convinced myself is only the tiniest sliver and that I've fucked everything totally up with trying to get out of here).

Maybe the start of the semester will be good, if only because I'll have to interact with people and get out of this funk.


helenesch said...

Not that it will help you feel better, but I've finally realized that I often (almost always, actually) feel really down right around the time classes start--no matter which semester it is. I'm not really sure why this is (except for now, when I'm returning from a much-enjoyed sabbatical). But I do know that I *always* feel better once the semester gets underway. It might take a week or two, but this feeling of blahness (for me, anyway) does wear off.

Of course, that doesn't change the larger fact of living in a place where I'm not all that thrilled to be, but I am at least telling myself that I will feel happier--and more excited about teaching, and my life here generally--once I'm in the midst of it all again.

At least you tried some new recipes! I'm really impressed (though I have to say, the shrimp with arugula dish sounds like the best one!)

medieval woman said...

I'm SO feeling the same way you are, Dr. C! It seems like last semester, when I had all my time off, all I wanted was to have something structured to do everyday. And now all I want is more time off! "Totally unprepared am I to face a world of students..."

Btw, what do you mean by new MLA dates??

Hope you feel better!

Mel said...

I agree with helenesch -- the time just before the term starts -- and actually, for me, through the first week, until everything settles into place -- is always kind of depressing and unsettling. So cooking and TV therapy sounds like the right thing to do! (Were the green beans easy to make? that's one of my favorite dishes at the middle eastern place we go to) Don't be too hard on yourself. Good luck tomorrow --

Anonymous said...

You are not depressed- it's just a symptom of a winter break that is WAY too short! I also start classes tomorrow and am DREADING it. It will all be fine tomorrow after I get up in front of those 90 mostly freshmen and introduce them to my discipline. Until then, I will stick with DREAD! And we're supposed to get snow tomorrow (boo hoo)

Dr. Crazy said...

Thanks for the good wishes, everybody! And yes, I know that once I'm in the groove it will be better - the thing that's kind of unusual for me this semester is that I usually am a bit more positive about things at the very start - I think that this may be the job search taking its toll on my enthusiasm, at least in part.

The green beans are TOTALLY easy to make. I'll post the recipe!

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, and the new MLA dates (though it will be about three years before they go into effect) will be the first thursday after Jan 2 through sunday. Again, I do not like the change, though I can see why others (like people who begin after MLK day) would find it immensely preferable to the current one.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I think the new dates are the worst possible time to have MLA. Precludes anyone who teaches at a school with a Jan Term.

I'm also starting school in twelve hours and in a major funk.

Anonymous said...

That would be "excludes." Clearly, I need to sleep.

kfluff said...

Yikes, I think we must be cable buddies--I only made it through the Wedding Crashers once, but The Family Stone and Legally Blonde? Right there with you. Oh, all right; Hope Floats as well.

Now just throw in Hellboy, and it will get all Single White Female...

I hope all that couch potato-ing has recharged your battery!

New Kid on the Hallway said...

I am also so not facing the start of the semester (which, thankfully, is not until Wednesday, which is good because I still have 2.3333333~ syllabi left to write...). This winter break has felt WAY too short. Maybe it's La Nina? Though I think going to the major conference and interviewing and all that makes it really hard to turn around and get back to work. (Not like I have that excuse, but...)

I think in my case it's inertia - the less I see people, the less I *want* to see people. I've pretty much been a hermit over this break (partly because LDH was here for much of it) and I feel like I've completely forgotten what my colleagues' faces look like (let alone students). Which means I'll probably be pretty energized once I *am* face to face with everyone, but *wanting* to face them? Not so much... I don't know whether you do this at all or not.

New MLA dates: you will now be synchronized with the AHA! For some reason I'm thrilled by this, though I couldn't tell you why.

Now I suppose I should either go back to writing assignments for a writing-intensive intro seminar (writing intensive? what is this writing intensive of which you speak??), or give up and go to bed...