Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hazy days

Right now the hardest adjustment with the baby has been on the job end. For lack of a better way of saying it, I worry that I suck at my job right now. Being good at my job requires having my mind be sharp and focused, and I'm still learning how to do that.

Part of this is how my mind works. It's always been difficult for me to partition parts of my mind off from other things or ignore things that are going on in life as I attempt to focus in on one or two tasks. I've done as much as I think I can on the mental discipline end; at some point, this is how I'm wired.

Teaching has been tough. I don't feel as sharp in the classroom as I usually do. Explanations of concepts and ideas during my Media And Society lectures that once came easily now are tougher as I fight through the lack of sleep. On the negative side, these are ideas I know like the back of my hand so it's worrisome I struggle with the words to explain them. On the other hand, how screwed would I be if I vaguely knew about this stuff?

On reading and research, I'm learning how to do this. I do better with research when I have large blocks of time to write and work, and that's one thing I don't have right now. So I'm learning how to do this in smaller chunks and steal a moment here or there, but on the balance this has been the struggle. I feel like I'm making small progress on this, but it has been hard to adjust to this.

Mostly I am adjusting to the feeling that I'm sapped of energy all the time; not physical energy, but the kind of mental energy I need to rock it as a professor. I can deal with being tired, but when I don't feel like my mind is there all the time that is harder. I'm an energy guy and feed off the energy of those around me; not being at school is probably not helping in this regard because I'm not around that creative spirit as much.

In some ways I'm wishing I was teaching Multimedia Storytelling this term instead of M&S because at least I'd be around that creative energy in the classroom a couple days a week. The class I have is more of a lecture-based course so it's harder to tap into that.

All this will come in time, I'm sure. Perhaps when my wife returns to work and he goes to daycare three days a week. We'll figure it out. Thank good news my students and colleagues have been so patient with me.

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