Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Slow, painful academic death

Follow up to the previous post. Tangent: yes, I have days where I write like three in a day and this is probably going to be one of them. I feel like I'm going through so much at one time that I HAVE to have a way to process this shit, but my therapist is so booked I can only get in there every two weeks, and the person I live with really has no idea what I'm going through. Thank goodness for blogs.

Anyway, about the previous post. I finally forcibly extracted myself from my office because I was about to blow a gasket, trying to get my homework done and having the boss get in my face every five minutes and all of the "emotionally needy" clients calling one after another.

All day I had been trying to communicate with my classmates in response to last night's "oh shit, was I supposed to be meeting with my classmates" moment. Did I mention that about 30 people are showing up at my house at 7pm? Here I am with my immediate surroundings making me insane, my boss holding me hostage, my living filled with over 60 pumpkins, cats jumping on th computer and I'm desperately, with my newly calm and focused brain just trying to FINISH MY HOMEWORK and make amends with my classmates who are...not responding to any messages, even though I'm writing to them going "okay, I'm working on part A, then I'll do part B and then..."...clearly I'm stressed out and crazed and trying desperately to do the right thing. My professor, who I'm trying to check in with about this just so she knows how things are going (and so she knows I'm really trying, not just some kind of jackass) is not writing me back either. It's an online's not weird for me to think that at some point in 8 hours she might take a look at her messages, especially on a day when there's a major looming deadline.

Let me explain the pumpkins, since at this point, it doesn't effing matter if I get ANYTHING done because I finally heard back from my classmates, just now, who apparently have been ignoring my messages, but communicating all day with each other just doing the whole thing without me, which will actually ensure that I will probably fail the course, which is totally awesome, and makes me wish that I had just not cared for the last three years that I worked my ass off to get a good GPA for the first time in my life. Pumpkins. The fact that a hoard of all of my favorite people are coming to my house to carve, all included, what will end up being about 100 pumpkins, is actually NOT a sign of my obsessive overcommittment persisting as an obstacle to clarity. It's actually a sign of progress. Because you see, months and months ago, before I ever decided that I needed to go to a mental health center to unravel the mysteries of my brain chemistry, I had a weekly community event to plan, and I set the schedule for it then, back before I ever met the adorable Hungarian therapist, or my N.P. and his magic bags of chemical tricks. I set the schedule back in January. And I decided we were going to have a big end of season party (which happens to be this coming weekend) at least 4 months ago?

In light of recent developments over the last 6 months, I began delegating some of my too heavy load. I have delegated lots of work to our junior paralegal at the law office. I have other amazing friends who have assisted me with creating some new systems and getting other things caught up in my personal life. And I found some AMAZING co-producers to either take over or take of half of my most extensive events. I also discovered that through my work in the community I have cultivated an army of some of the nicest, most helpful people you could ever find - and here all these years I thought I was just an army of one! ...and so, for this big finale to all of the work I have done all year, over a month ago I knew I was going to need more help than even my co-producer could give me. It really does take an army to light up an entire town square with pumpkins.

Not to mention the trapeze artists, the hula hoop dancers, the artists, the artisans, the stream of musicians, the tango dancers, the giant (20 ft high) remembrance altar, the acres of paper flowers and skeletons, the costumes and costume contest, the face painting, the prizes, the community art get the idea. It usually only take an army of me to pull this stuff off, but...I'm learning to drive a new brain, so I have to learn to do things in new ways...

The community army descends on my house tonight, cheerfully, and with purpose (and because I plied them with promises of a giant ham, cider, and beer...the boyfriend is cooking) to carve nearly 100 pumpkins, 60 of which surround me as I write. When night falls on our little city, the square will be lit with pumpkins, to the sounds of a troupe of West African style drummers. I deployed this army precisely because I am learning that many hands make light work, that living like an army of one is not sustainable...because I was doing my best to be responsible.

I hate it when people just assume that you are an ass because they don't know what's really going on, and then just act according to their assumptions. Oh yes, of course, they're just covering their own asses and moving on with life...I would assume that, except that we're all in our third year and our program is obsessed with group projects and equal participation. Essentially they have cut me out of the project because they probably think I'm just being flaky...because I didn't want to get into my entire mental health history with, they're like fuckit, she didn't show up last night, why bother communicating with her. And to that I would just like to say, that in the past I have actually had some classmates that in the privacy of my own home I have HATED working with, because I thought they were flaky, lazy, and not pulling their weight. Never, EVER did I cut them out of the communication. How do I know I missed something? Ever leave a conversation to get a drink, come back and people have gone from talking about darts to talking about real estate? Yeah. That's pretty much where we are except I don't have a damn drink (although I'm sure as shit going to have one now).

I am not saying that my adjustment should trump their academic experience. Only that I wish they'd chosen a different path of know, one that actually involved communicating. I feel awful. I feel sad. I feel like I just lost something I worked really hard for and now I just have to accept that I will never have it...because I won't. All this time I've been trying to be a perfect student, even in the face of all of these changes. I know, it's something that doesn't exist. But it existed to ME. And I'm mourning it anyway.

I should just petition to do these credits later...ugh. And here I am, surrounded my pumpkins. At least I'm rich in pumpkins if my GPA is about to take a nosedive.

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