Friday, January 04, 2008

bound & determined

Today the department chair came in to ask me how bound and determined I am to attend graduate school next year.

Funny he should ask, because I don't know.

Because lately I've been thinking about how I don't actually mind teaching here, and how I might hate leaving because I've enjoyed this school and enjoyed my job here. And not once gone home and thought, WHY?! amIdoingthis?!

Because maybe I am writing just as much as I might in graduate school, maybe I have figured out a routine. Maybe I'll get an MFA later, or maybe even do it from a low-residency program instead.

A year ago I had anxiety about leaving Old High School--even though I wanted to go, I was not brave enough to do it. Now I've been brave enough to apply to most of my graduate schools (do I stop now? I have maybe five left on my list, but would I really leave Husband and Minnesota? Seriously? Is it worth the extra money and time any more?).

So this is how my head feels: there is a table tennis ball, jittering around in my head, and it has to be rubber because it hurts when it smacks against the sides. Graduate school - Teaching - Maybe neither will be any option anyway - bang!

I have this tendency to fling myself into hope, to open my arms wide and shout out to the world, bare skinned, Yes, yes, this is exactly what I want! And I have the propensity to collapse into sobs just as soon as it doesn't work out exactly as I had expected it to--marrying my husband, buying the house we had, those were lucky things, because my hopes were flying so high--but then losing my job to budget cuts, rejection slips from lit mags, those are hard for me. The word no is hard for me.

Oh, and in the resolution department: I'm already up two books and down four pounds. At this rate, I'll be running circles around that list, but I always fail (I am awfully good at losing six pounds and gaining back double that--if there were a talent competition, I might enter in that category, or sleeping, I'm not sure which). I'm hoping, by making little public announcements, that I'll be shamed into not failing. Maybe?

It's funny. The other day I thought about how this blog has "theteacher" in it, but I hadn't been writing about teaching so much lately. It's not that I'm less of a teacher, but maybe the novelty of it has settled; I thought, maybe, it was time to blog about it again.

And, of course, the world then gives me two topics in one day. The second:

This morning's ping ponging was temporarily distracted by the evacuation of the school in the midst of 4th hour. Ah yes, the day I decide to give a test in each one of my five classes, the day I brought my thick book, ready to catch those cheaters (or at least shame them with a pointed look) from behind John Irving.

Instead, we spent an hour in the arena, our feet numbing. I suggested the hockey team perform ice dancing for the entertainment of the student body (and the frustrated staff--"No, really, you cannot go to your car; I don't care if you have to go to work--you won't get fired, I promise, but maybe, if I'm lucky, they'll fire me"), but it was not to be.

Apparently, a message was left on the school's voice mail, maybe some drunk one a.m. phone call, but they treated it seriously, and I was surprised (but pleased) at how many students were annoyed; perhaps this was mostly because there were three in a row last year. Another dog in the school, which always makes me want to go home and nuzzle my little bundles of muscled furry energy, then everything as usual, tests handed out at the door, promises that completion will occur on Monday. We will pick up, trudge on, winnow our way back into what is left, because nothing was really taken anyway.

And I am grateful for that.


chelsea said...

i just weighed myself. i've lost 7 lbs!

(i wasn't going to weigh myself for four weeks, but curiousity got the best of me.)

Anonymous said...

it's all going to work out, Molly--- follow what feels best, if it doesn't feel right, if it loads you up with anxiety, it's not the right path-- everything is gonna work out goooooood!


michelle said...

deciding what you want to do is a never ending battle. i still have no idea what i want to do with my life. right now i'm just trying to concentrate on the happy healthy part. the rest will fall into place. goodluck!

and congrats on the reading and weight loss!! i have no scale and so have not weighed myself but i'm starting to see a difference which is so nice :)

ck said...

On the subject of graduate school...why do you want to do it---really? To have time to accomplish something, or to say you did it? It will get you what? I only ask because I was asked the same question and always had some great answer to spout off, but deep down, I really just wanted to prove to everybody (particularly a vile ex) that I was NOT stupid and MORE THAN a pretty face. And I swear if I had the contentment and joy and sweetness and light that you seem to have I would NOTNOTNOT mess that up with moving away and piling on stresses. What are you searching for? No answer necessary, just understand "why" before you lunge happiness-first toward a goal 'just because' :) Please disregard and throw directly into the rubbish bin if you so choose. I hate where I am right now and that is oozing all over everything.