The Scamp and a Day Off

I feel very guilty about having the day off today. Veteran’s Day is an important (and often overlooked) holiday, and while I like having the day off, I have done nothing to deserve it. I know a lot of people who have served in the military in some form or another, and I am extremely grateful to all of them.

While I feel guilty about my day off, I made sure to make the most of it. I met with my study group this morning, and then parked myself at my desk to do homework and work on my philosophy paper. The last week or so has been tough in the academic sphere. The history class on Tuesday started off with a very defeatist speech by the professor about the need for balance in our lives. One of the women in my cohort mentioned that she is having a hard time balancing school, work and her social life. She missed her friends and family, but felt that she constantly had to forego time with them to get all of her work done. The professor told her there was no need for balance. Everything had to take a backseat to this program. Family could wait, and if we were in relationships that required attention, then we should end them because they were just a distraction. I get that this program is serious, but I also like being able to see my family, and occasionally see my boyfriend. I made the joke in class that I was the one that needed the TLC, and I was the one that occasionally needed a little love, and she told me that I didn’t need that for the next three years.

I’m not really okay with that. I am extremely lucky that the people that love me understand what I am doing and are very supportive of me. The problem is, I don’t think I am doing a very good job. I have gotten very selfish and needy lately. I feel like I need the social interaction, but I also don’t want to be the one that has to seek it out. I want people to call me, or text me and tell me they miss me. I want to wallow.

In short, I am selfish. I’ve gotten so wrapped up in me and my expectations, that I forgot about the people around me who do make the effort. I’ve completely taken advantage of the people around me. I haven’t asked any of them how they are doing and how they are feeling, and I certainly haven’t called any of them to hang out. I haven’t been a good friend, girlfriend, daughter or sister. I finally got to see one of my good friends from San Diego this weekend, and it was so nice to sit in the sunshine, play with her adorable son and listen to her tales of mommyhood. She reminded me to call her anytime, and that she was willing to come to me to hang out. She reminded me that it takes very little effort to pick up a phone and meet someone for lunch. It also helps that her son is a built in happiness maker. An hour with them made me feel a lot less like grumpy cat.

I can’t say that I will stop being this way overnight. I might even need a few more kicks in the ass to be reminded that I am not in fact the center of the universe. In two weeks I will be on a plane to Scotland for my graduation. I need it. I need to recharge, see some of my friends, and introduce my sister to my favorite place in the whole world (besides my bed that is). I hope that recharge will help me move into finals and end my first semester in the doctoral program on a high note.

In an order to not waste my day off, I am going to finish plugging along with the edits on my paper and finish some other little homework tasks for school. Maybe if I feel less behind with my work, I will feel less guilty about wanting to see my friends and get a little TLC.

The Scamp Gets Philosophical

This weekend I have the house to myself, and instead of having a raging party like most kids home alone for the weekend would do, I took the time to crack open my books and do my first homework assignment. Technically the book should have been read during the summer, and while I was writing my dissertation, the book sat on my dresser and collected dust.

I don’t want to read the book. In fact, I cleaned the house today just so I wouldn’t have to read it. The book is a freshman level philosophy book to get us to start thinking about the philosophical ideas that underpin our own teaching practices. I’ve known that answer since I started teaching, and while I am sure it will change over time,  right now I feel good about the old dead white guys whose theories have shaped my teaching. The one thing that worried me about the books and the presentation that we got in class on Tuesday, is that while my school of thought is part of the presentation, the theorists and scholars mentioned on the slides are not the big names in the field. In fact, the names that I expected are not even anywhere on the list. I recognize that I am partial to the theorists that I know, and I am looking forward to learning about the men listed on the slide, but I have to write a final about the theory of my choice and who is a part of it, and I am worried that all of the research I have collected for the last two years to use in my dissertation for CSUF may now have to be expanded to include theorists and ideas that I don’t necessarily like.

While trying to sort out how I felt about teaching, I thought about whether or not the same theories apply to the way I am outside of the classroom. I have recently had the chance to reconnect with two people who are very important to me. One of them lets me ramble and talk nonsense and then helps me sort through the issues and look at things logically. She is the one who best understands philosophy, and has lived a life full of adventure, so I feel that she understands most of the angles that I am coming from. The other one, well, that one asks me hard questions that force me to really think about myself and why I make the choices that I do.It is from conversations with him that I really think about myself….which makes me uncomfortable most of the time.  He has a strong scientific mind, and looks at the world in a way I can’t see. We live a strange existence together, but it works, and I get to exercise my mind in the process.

The thing is, my philosophy is pretty much the same. I’m a critical thinker through and through. I spend a lot of time questioning and analyzing everyone and everything around me, and I do it too so I can get the answers that I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Now if only I can use that as a justification for being difficult, or being a hermit….no one notices if you get stuck in your head or ask too many questions if you are a hermit.

Time to get past chapter 4 in the book. The house is clean, I have surfed the Chive and the Berry, and emptied my brain of all non school related thoughts, I will go back to trying to be a good student.