Thursday, January 21, 2010

Anxiety at its peak...

So, the giant World Civ. class that I've been dreading for weeks has come to pass. I'm happy to report that I made it through alive. As I anticipated, the lead-up to the class was unlike any that I've experienced in my career as an academic librarian - I was a *mess* with neuroses. Granted, I always get nervous before I teach, but not like this. For weeks, I've been (a) cranky, (b) twitchy, and (c) super paranoid. Like, really, really bad. Last night I took an over-the-counter sleeping aid because I knew that sleep would elude me otherwise. I'm not normally *quite* this spastic.

This morning, I was jumping out of my office chair at every little sound and just felt sick to my stomach. As the hour approached, I grew more and more restless. I was practically climbing my spring green walls with nervous energy. Finally, it was time to go. I headed off as if I was being marched to the gallows. I peeked into the lecture hall and found that I was the first one to arrive (neurotic freak). I sat down and twitched until the instructor arrived. When he came in I hurried over, and uncomfortably, he didn't recognize me at first. I twitched at him a bit before his eyes alit with recognition. We got the overhead and classroom PC all set up, and I opened the files on my jump drive. I made small talk.

"So. How many students did you say are in this section?"

"Oh, a few have dropped. So, 200. And they *will* all be here. I made sure of that."


Students file in at a rapid clip, and we get underway. As the floor was turned over to me, I felt strangely comfortable. Once I began teaching, I found that actually, it was no different from the 24 student classes I usually teach. The anticipation was much, much worse, but the experience itself really was the same.

It went well. I told a funny story in the beginning, and they smiled. I used an example featuring Roscoe, Shauna'h's puppy, and flashed a photo of him. That elicited smiles too. Then I got into the boring stuff and did my best to just punch home the important things: my email address, the library catalog for books, use subject headings (I get so excited about subject headings, my enthusiasm simply must be catching, :) no Google, databases list for journal articles. Did I mention no Google?

I finished up early, as promised, but just one thing annoyed me. As I was nearing homeplate, it was still 10-15 minutes before their class was scheduled to end; however, once the attendance sheet made it's way around the room, a handful of students in the back slipped out. It was still just 11:35-11:40 in a class that was scheduled til 11:50, and I finished at 11:43. I take my timing very seriously. Well, I take everything very seriously, but you get the point. It's not like I was running over and people had to go.

But really, I couldn't expect more out of a group that size. As Shauna'h told me this morning, they're college students: the pope could be up front salsa dancing and you'd still get some people with bored stares checking their email on their Blackberry.

So, overall, it went very well and I'm so, SO glad that it's over. I have a reference shift and then I'm off to the craft store. Tonight, I'm making a lime shrimp dish and I'm very excited about it. I suspect Hank will "help" me with it, meaning that it'll take me twice as long, but I don't mind that. I love doing things in the kitchen with him, and he loves to work with Mommy in there.

Mike gem of the week: For the past few years, we've lamented the increasingly obvious demise of our old vacuum cleaner. Finally, we purchased a new one with a Target gift card. We did our research (a librarian in the family...) and checked Consumer Reports first. We honed in on an inexpensive Dirt Devil that got excellent reviews in all categories except noise. Ah well. As long as it can suck, I don't care if it's noisy. We found it at Target, and brought one home. We call him Devil.

Well. The thing can suck, it's true. It's dirt compartment is already chuck full. Mike, who truly is even more into cleaning than I am, sets it up for its inaugural run and makes a disturbing discovery: the unit has a vent right in the front. Meaning, that as he goes to suck up crumbs, the crumbs keep blowing away from him. I'm upstairs, and I can hear the vacuum running (and it *is* noisy; sounds like an 18 wheeler is driving through our living room) and Mike swearing. Before I can intervene, Mike has implemented the Man Solution to this problem: he slaps a piece of duct tape over the vent. Voila! Crumbs sucked, problem solved.

And he loves the thing. When I got home from work yesterday, he asked me to examine the carpet.

"Did you see how good the carpet looks?! It has *vacuum tracks* on it! Oh! and I did the stairs today with the attachments; it was awesome!"

It's no wonder where Hank gets his cute gene from.

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