Final grades are due into the system by noon today, and let me tell you, this week has been rough.
Rougher than I expected. I had a few moments here and there of thinking, "Has grading week always been this hard, and I've just forgotten?", but I know that for me, the answer is no. It didn't used to be this difficult. One of the things that's changed has been Maybelle.
Last week was her spring break, and I foolishly didn't plan well enough in advance for this event. That meant that she was home most of the week, and Biffle and I were trading off time with her. Maybelle is a delightful human being, but she doesn't gel well with my work. I've taken her to campus twice in the past two weeks--probably the most she's been on campus during work hours since she was born--and with effort I've been able to do only the bare minimum I went to campus to do (yesterday that meant picking up two pieces of paperwork).
As a side note here, let me say that I'm doing pretty well at not letting Maybelle trigger too much codependence in me. When friends and colleagues see Maybelle, they're generally enthusiastic, saying hi to her, squatting down, wanting to interact. Very often she won't even look at them, implying by her behavior that her own fingers are far more interesting than this adult. And then there are others who have a particular vibe that draws her, and she'll give them these luscious, gooey hugs. Yesterday she saw a friend who has been part of her life since she was gestating--this person held her when she was just days old--and she became fascinated with the couch cushions. A few minutes later she saw a colleague that she's now met twice, and she both hugged her and tried a little bit to feel her up. I have no control over this. None. The most I can do is encourage Maybelle to say "bye bye," which she generally does with southern enthusiasm ("Bah bah!")
So Maybelle has entered the schedule. And here's one way this complicates things: 30 percent of my work day consists of meetings. Last week I had to reschedule virtually every meeting on my calendar because of the Maybelle-spring-break phenomenon. And then Wednesday of this week, at 11:00, as I was sitting at my computer blazing through some grading and preparing for an afternoon of meetings, I get a call from preschool saying that Maybelle had diarrhea and had to come home.
Children and their preschool illnesses! I had to reschedule meetings I'd already rescheduled. Lord have mercy. 10 percent of my week this week has been rescheduling.
My days start earlier these days, too. Today I got up at 4:45, took a shower and washed my hair (let's not talk about when was the last time I washed my hair), and while I was in the shower I thought of things I wanted to blog about. So here I am, neglecting the 56 emails I should be responding to.
Fortunately Maybelle is just fine and will be going back to school today.
*It actually is a great picture, but I took this picture of the picture at 5:00 am, with my cell phone. It's the best I could do.
**Oh, how I loved the 24-hour post office! So many things--manuscripts, job applications--went in the mail around 2 am. And then I had a sense of closure and could sleep well.