Thursday, April 21, 2005

Stress and Sleeplessness 

After milking the oversized brains of four candidates for what should have been major consulting fees but amounted to a free trip to the Princeton area, they gave the department chair job down in Princeton as an interim position to someone in-house.

Annoying, that, but not illegal.

So we're not going to be moving to Princeton, which is good.

But then, it's starting to look like we're not going to have anywhere to go, which is not.

I'm not at the end of the line just yet -- applied for a full-year job at a nearby prep school, and sent out a letter of intent to a tiny boarding school in the hopes that they'll want a Renaissance Guy like me to teach English. But every day gets a bit closer to total loserhood. And family homelessness. I'm almost afraid to count the weeks.

The reimbursement check from Princeton came today, and I've been eyeing my retirement account with a sort of shameful lust. It'd be pretty depressing to trade the family's future for a hand-to-mouth present, but it may come to that, in the end.

In other news, I've had a debilitating migraine for over 24 hours, my shoulder blade develops a sharp shooting pain after just three minutes of babyholding, and my herniated disk is back with a vegnance.

This is day two of sitting in an information commons for four hours with not a soul to assist with anything. Meanwhile, Darcie's home resting up after a too-soon-after-C-section full family trip to the grocery store and Friendly's. This is stupid; I should be home with my children, bonding. Desperately.

It's hard not to think that every minute I spend here at work doing nothing is time wasted laying a foundation for us to brave the unknown and scary future together.

It's hard not to think about how busy, fulfilling, and useful my mornings used to be, what with teachers and students clamoring for my time between and during their class periods.

It's hard not to resent the people who decided that sitting here blogging in public while every kid in the school hangs out playing frisbee outside all afternoon is the best way my time could be spent.

It could be worse, I know. We could be out of paychecks already; we could have no parents ready and willing to help; the two year old with Downs Syndrome at the next table over could have been ours.

But I hate people who say that. It can always be worse. That doesn't mean it's good. Or that it's going to be good anytime soon.

How long can one function on three hours of dead-to-the-world a night? How depressed can one get sitting twiddling one's thumbs when the world needs teachers, the children need parents, the teachers need support, and the timing's all wrong?

Maybe it's just the migraine talking. But, man, I wish someone, anyone, would give me a chance to make a difference in all these lives. I'm damn good at it. The world needs it. How impotent it feels most days to know that I'm not doing anyone any good. Especially when pretty much everyone who has ever seen me teach or parent agrees that what I do -- at home, at work, and at play -- is both amazing, and amazingly transformative, in exactly those ways that people actually need.

posted by boyhowdy | 4:25 PM |

This seems to be a time of crazy uncertainty and transition for a lot of us. Wish I could do something to ease where you're at. Thinking of you.
Thanks for the support, Rachel. And happy pesach!
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