Wednesday, March 28, 2007

the seven stages of grief

(according to me)

1. Shock. This lasts about fifteen minutes.
2. Sorrow. Big, gasping, hiccuping sorrow. This is especially embarrassing in front of your department head, but even worse when she has to cover your class (which meets in five minutes) because you will cry and not stop for the next two hours.
3. Pleasure that your closest friend there is angry. You mildly feel surprised that anger is a considered reaction, though you do feel a little like she is your knight in shining armor. And you appreciate that someone would get angry for you because you haven't reached that stage.
4. Yet. Because anger, the kind that courses from the pit of your heart and rises up swiftly and in a frightening way through your orifices, is what follows. You think of words like "betrayal" and "lack of loyalty" and "injustice." You think of every single thing you have done and you list them, in chronological order, to anyone who listens, because you are desperate to prove that there is nothing else you could have done. When you tell your students about it, you compare it to getting dumped, because that's the only thing they know, and then you cry again because they are sympathetic and want to make shirts in protest and say that you are a good teacher and will get a job anywhere and this is now the only thing that will make you cry because anger is drying you up inside.

I'll have to let you know what steps five, six, and seven are once step number four is done.

I have officially been informed that I will be cut due to budgets next year.

And I know that there are so many pros (thank goodness, I wouldn't have ever been brave enough to quit, and I really wanted to go back to graduate school anyway, and I want my MFA in poetry and PhD in Lit and that's what I've wanted since I was eight years old and thought I was giving up on myself) and (oh it was an hour away and I'd like to have children and actually see them) and (I have so many co-curricular duties I could cross my eyes and scream and no one would hear me for the noise in my head) and (oy, one hundred and twenty research papers--really? seriously? Merry freaking Christmas). Etc.

But right now I must process this and what this is is me having something taken away from me in an abrupt manner... Yes, I knew there would be cuts, but at this point, with the math that I did, I thought it would be someone else, and I thought I would, at the very worst, be .8 next year. So it's sudden and surprising and, well, infuriating.

Step number four is the worst.

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