I hope this post finds all of you coping reasonably well.
End of summer can be a little depressing sometimes.
Solidly, for the last week and until next Monday, August 23, I have been and will be consumed with my “other” life as a college teacher.
It’s end of term. Grading papers is weighing me down.
I taught all summer…
So, I’m overwhelmed not only with unpacking, which is endless, but readying myself for the next term. This has been a summer of stress, resilience, adjustment and positive thinking ~ I made gallons and gallons of lemonade.
And now, grading…
Sadly, I have not been able to keep up this term. Tomorrow, my students have their final exam and I must hand back all their assignments from the second term. Then I will really be under the gun to give them a fair and accurate final grade.
How can a grade accurately represent a student?
This is a “trial by fire” for me. I have often thought it would be better to launch a course by announcing, “You will all receive an ‘A’ ~ so now that’s settled, let’s get to work and begin learning together.”
A number or a grade doesn’t ever accurately reflect a human being and the four months of work (or not) that is demanded in my course. But, that scheme, that’s apparently been tried, wouldn’t work, I’m told. Especially at a college level. So, I’m buried in paper with my calculator, following endless rubrics and making countless charts.
That is why you haven’t seen much of me, of late.
What’s intriguing, and I have been following the comments, is that I haven’t seen Dr. Bob, my psychiatrist, for about three weeks and I’m okay. I cannot believe it.
Prescriptions for longevity…
Maybe it’s the three 30-45 minute walks with my dogs each day ~ beginning at 7 a.m. My blood pressure was 106/63 last week, during my annual physical. As a result, my blood pressure medication was cut in half. Yesterday’s New York Times story, about the new owner of Newsweek magazine, Sidney Harman, age 92, really hit home. Harman’s “prescriptions for longevity: curiosity, humor, a disciplined diet (‘a modest breakfast dominated by fruit; a decent lunch, and a light dinner’) and daily exercise, concentrating on “flexes and crunches for the abdomen because a strong abdomen is key to posture.”
When he was 84, he wrote that “Retirement is the enemy of longevity.”
This brings to mind the whole subject of dis-ability ~ a word I detest and a concept, in terms of pension, that I solidly oppose. We all need purpose. Without it, it’s so easy to lose hope. It seems, in this country, anyway, that being on a disability pension, especially for a mental health issue, can be a road to nowhere.
Create your own community…
The motto from the International Center for Clubhouse Development comes to mind. The first clubhouse was Fountain House. This essentially non-psychiatric community based model for recovery was started by a group of psychiatric patients in 1948 in New York and really makes sense to me. Essentially, it’s kept me alive and prospering. No matter what, “Everyone needs a friend, a home and a job.”
In short, a community, which can mean two people with a common purpose. I’ve found the buddy system unbeatable.
Have a healthy meantime. You are always close to my heart.