I am three weeks into the semester at PhD U and two weeks in at HBCU. Usually at this stage, I am have a routine and a rhythm going with my studies, teaching, and everything else that I have to do in my crazy life. However this semester, I feel disconnected. I am struggling to find a routine. I am floundering through all of my responsibilities with little sense of direction.
I think some of it has to do with having a minor RA flare last week. It was not enough to keep me home unable to function. But, it was enough to slow me down enough that I am having trouble refocusing my efforts. Part of the problem with RA is that the flares just zap so much of your energy, including brain function. I like to think of it as walking around in a haze or fog. I suppose it's just part of the body attacking itself, but it sure doesn't help when you need to think about a lot of deep shit. The flare has kept me from exercising, which really helps keep my endorphins bouncing. But, with the pain, I just didn't want to make things worse. So, I did nothing until this past Sunday when I walked briskly on the treadmill for 2 miles.
Also, there is just something different about this semester. I am not sure what it is. I can't put my finger on it. This semester just feels different. I have a large online class at HBCU, no surprise there. But, I have more than my fair share of students who need my attention. Some in a very legitimate way, such as disability issues, which I am more than happy to accommodate. Having a disability makes me a very sensitive to another person's disability accommodation. I have a lot of students who do not have the money for the textbook, which frustrates me on several fronts and I will save for another post. But, it's just there are so many that it is making my head spin.
At PhD U, I have two classes and an independent study. One class has a lot of reading. The other has a lot of writing. The independent study is based on my research work with my advisor. We can't do anything until the amended IRB is approved to include me, so I have a little bit of a reprieve, But once it is approved, things are going to happen quickly. We have a conference in March and need to get our data collected and analyzed. But, it's still a lot, and my brain is just trying to catch up. It's just so much stuff to think about.
This morning. I seriously considered taking the day off. Not going to class at PhD U and just taking the day to regroup. But, I have a group project meeting that needs to happen today, so that's out. I am thinking that I spend some time this morning trying to map out a plan before I have to go to campus. Then tomorrow I will take the morning off and regroup a little more.
I know I will get it together. I just need a plan. Being disconnected is just no way to go through life.