It could’ve been foreshadowing of what was to come in my yoga class, where of course the teacher was going to talk about well being. Or it could’ve been the weather – which is back to “normal” for late February in Wisconsin, cold, snowy, sunny. Or maybe because I was happily thinking that plans I’d laid with various family members, always a risky undertaking, were all going to work out. Either way, there I was, walking west on Kendall Ave. on a bright, cold, snowy Saturday morning, and I realized that I felt good. Got my groove on, or mojo back, or whatever.
In contrast to the rest of the week, during which I realized I felt pretty bad most of the time.
Monday at work, after a meeting that took up most of the morning, I was trying to write up my annual report, and this happened:That shit never happens to me, but I lost my work – probably because I was using an old Word template for the report – when in doubt blame Microsoft – and wasn’t able to finish before I had to leave to prep for the community center food pantry breakfast.
The prep went fine, except there were a bunch of high school kids assisting a local chef (Daniel Bonnano from Pig in a Fur Coat, he’s thinner now than in this picture) make a special meal for Tuesday, and it was a little intimidating to go into the big kitchen to get stuff while they were there. All bigger than me, using lots of bad words I’m not supposed to know ….. And I got busted “borrowing” some cheese from the big cooler. There’re a lot of little fiefdoms at the community center; I’m cooking for the pantry breakfast in the senior kitchen and we have our supplies, and are allowed to use pots and pans and dishes from the big kitchen and take them back there to be washed. We’re supposed to take ingredients from the pantry supplies first and can take small amounts staples from the big kitchen, but that big bag of grated cheese (that I was only going use part of) did not count as a staple. After, I was too tired to go to this weekly meeting of artists that I feel like I should start going to. I want to make a photo patchwork of my pussyhat photos to submit to their What Can Art Do? exhibition, so I guess if I make the art that’s as important as going to the meetings.
But back to this week. To write my annual report, I had to look back at my course evaluations, and the ones from last spring were horrible. At least, the non-statistically-significant-but-never-the-less-wounding textual comments. Anyone who’s ever taught or presented is familiar with these; you know along with the one that said, “the material was dry as dust, but Prof. Shapiro worked hard to help us with it”, is the one that said, “she was kind of mean, and made students feel stupid for asking questions”. These are among the 6 or 7 narrative comments that the 30+ students who filled out the survey left. They just make me feel like if I’m really that bad, why haven’t I been fired? Kind of set the tone for my work week, unfortunately. Really unfortunately, because in addition to my ongoing 3-credit, semester long course, I had a brand new 1-credit course begin. So not a time to be feeling insecure about myself as an instructor. The 1-credit-er meets from 1:30 to 4:00 on Wednesdays, and the 3-credit-er is at 9:00 a.m. Thursdays – so kind of a one/two punch to get ready for both. I was at work until after 6:00 on Wednesday night trying to get my slides for Thursday together, and I did that thing that all presenters hate: I edited slides out for time, and when I was in the middle of presenting on Thursday morning realized they didn’t make sense anymore. Ugh. Basically I subjected my students to death by power point.
Thursday night I came home and made chicken curry and brown rice and roasted carrots and salad for me and Rach & Belana – that made me feel a little more competent – and was one of those kind of dinners from nothing, using up odds & ends from the fridge & freezer.
Friday it got icy and cold – Rach and I walked in the morning and good thing too, because when I walked out of work Friday evening, people were going splat on the sidewalk. We went to see Peter & Lou Berryman at their old song/70th birthday celebration. They did all the songs I most wanted to hear, squirrelly valley, wonderful Madison, too stupid. I ate a little bit before the show, the last few bites of leftover pasta and turkey meatballs, and some of the brown rice heated up with butter and Parmesan cheese, and made myself a really delicious cup of hot chocolate, not too sweet and with whole milk. I indulged in graham crackers & Nutella & marshmallows when we got home – the trip having also been stressful due to the ice. So another guilt-inducer. No wonder it took me until Saturday to feel good again.