I have 28 days left before my exams are due. The weekend before they're due, I'm giving a conference paper at the last Berry Southern Women Writers conference--not awesome timing, but I've been twice and loved it so much that I couldn't not go to this, what they're claiming will be their last. My paper is on Scarlett O'Hara, which I'm writing about in one of my exam essays, so there will be some nice overlap. I won't have to completely stop exam writing to churn the conference paper out, which is nice.
I have three completed shitty first drafts, which I'm quite happy to have. My southern paper is the best going so far--although I'm having trouble not just writing the whole thing about Ellen Foster, because I love it so much as a novel, and there's so much to say about it. My gender paper I keep bugging my professor about, because I want to make sure that the texts I use fit within the parameters he laid out for the paper. I spent about 12 hours yesterday wrestling with my American paper--the one I feel the least in control about--but after finally letting go and freewriting for a while (you know, what I tell my students to do), I finally stumbled upon something resembling a thesis-like-thing for it (as I reported about another rough draft on fb: It's thesis-y. Demented and sad, but thesis-y). I didn't put the computer away until midnight last night--and then I read some more Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick.
So felt pretty okay about my progress when I went to bed last night. Today, however, the news and fb are all full of hurricane stories, and Isaac looks like it might come close to New Orleans (on the anniversary of Katrina! Joy!). I feel a lot of anxiety about this, as seven years ago was quite a difficult time for me. Even though realistically speaking, in Baton Rouge what we would most likely have to deal with is power outages and refugees, the ramping up anxiety around here is very easy to catch.
I went to jazzercise to try to work out some of the anxiety, and while I did get a good workout, it was the kind of teacher that makes me wish I could wear earplugs so I didn't have to listen to the inane comments they make. I don't give a good goddamn what celebrity is dating whom, and the only other thing she talked about was the hurricane and how long the gas lines were. I went there to not think about anxiety!
Although, I do sometimes daydream about how incredibly bored people would be if I were in charge of the inane chatter. I could talk about Downton Abbey, and Inspector Lewis, and how surprisingly boring Amanda Palmer's collaboration with the Flaming Lips was...omg! What ever is going to happen with Bates and Anna? Will Matthew and Mary actually go through with the wedding?
I've got my lesson plans for the week done, too, though I'm feeling so less than excited about teaching right now. The combination of awesome teaching this summer, my current anxiety levels, and the fact that it's first year comp makes it hard to get that excited. However, I'm kind of okay with not being jazzed about it. Ebb and flow are to be expected, I think.