All posts filed under “Life

yellow clock on a knit blanket
comments 5

How are you doing?

Here’s how I’m doing.

6am: Wake up. Scroll through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the news, all on my phone. Still in bed. Doom in the dark.

6:30am: Awake and out of bed. Get 8 year old out of bed. Struggle ensues. Additional snuggles requested by 8 year old. Force him to brush his teeth.

Either shower then make breakfast or take doggo out and then shower. Depends on partner (did he sleep or did the various immunosuppresents he is on keep him awake all night?)

7:15am: Drink coffee. Forget to eat breakfast. Remind kiddo to wear pants when on video.

7:30am: Virtual school begins. Log in to Teams. Sit down next to kiddo and check email while he goes through synchronous social-emotional learning segment.

8:00am: Virtual math on Teams. Try to remember elementary school math explanations. Do that badly. Teacher is trying her best but is also at home with a 1st and 3rd grader. Spend 15 minutes troubleshooting 3 different online platforms with other parents and/or teacher and/or other kids in class.

8:30am: Independent work time. Convince 8 yo that math work is not that bad. You can do it. No need to cry. You like math, remember? Snack for 8 yo.

9:00 am: Virtual Science. Teacher is trying her best but it’s a lot. Am I working? Probably not. Trying to respond to so many emails. LMS for school district is down. Write down alternate instructions to get to kiddo’s work and turn in to teacher. Internet cuts out briefly.

9:30am: Snack for 8 yo. Reply to more emails. Try to plan day. Fight with LMS because it isn’t linking to the right GoogleSlide. Restart. Curse. Restart. Access assignment and call over 8 yo. Do more schoolwork. Remember the toast you started. Take a picture of kiddo’s work and send via the other app. No not that one. The other one.

10:15am: Virtual Reading. Spend 15 minutes following paper folding directions. Teacher is trying her best but kids are confused. Some have parents with them. Some don’t. Realize I double-booked myself and cancel a work meeting. More coffee. More snacks for 8 yo.

10:45am: Do more schoolwork. Convince 8 yo it is not that bad. You can do it. Still don’t finish in time. Does this become homework? Isn’t it all homework?

11:15am: Make kiddo lunch. Watch him eat while skateboarding in his underwear around the house.

11:45am: Setup iPad so kiddo can complete assessment. Find some time to turn off the iPad and read a fucking book. Dog Man Grime & Punishment is a hit! Hooray! Reading is fun!

12:15pm: Tag in partner. Share all of the assignments that need to be done / what’s been done / what tech systems are working / what tech systems are not working. We have at least 5 different tech access points that kiddo uses in a given day. AT LEAST 5.

12:30pm: Work meeting

1:00pm: Work meeting. Video muted so that I can eat some guacamole and chips and call it lunch.

2:00pm: Try to do some work that has been sitting all morning and NEEDS to get done by tomorrow.

3:00pm: Work Meeting

4:00pm: Work Meeting

5:00pm: Try to finish up work project

5:30pm: Make dinner while listening to 8 yo talk about Lord of the Rings as well as find time to vent/commiserate with partner. This is love. Eat.

6:30pm: Walk dog and listen to Drag Race recap podcast.

7:00pm: If energy is still present and hip is not radiating pain, run or do yoga.

8:00pm: Bedtime/storytime. Stay with kiddo until he is ok with me leaving and letting him go to sleep on his own. He has autism and just needs to be comforted in the evenings.

9:00/9:30pm: Rest in front of TV. Fall asleep in front of TV

10:30pm: Go to bed but then can’t sleep so pop some melatonin and stare at a Kindle until asleep.

Yes, my partner and I are in this 50/50. Yes, my son is 8 and there are things he can do on his own and things he can’t do on his own. Yes, my son is 8 and on the spectrum and has some attention issues and has an IEP but is mainstreamed. Yes, his IEP is out the window at this point. Yes sometimes he has Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy in the afternoon, too.

Yes, my partner also works a full time job and is teaching 5 classes with several hundred students in each class because there wasn’t enough money for adjuncts this semester. Yes we are both working from home. No, we don’t have family nearby who are healthy enough to take care of our son. No, we don’t have money to pay a private teacher.

No, we don’t have a learning pod because my partner is a transplant patient and is severely immunosuppressed. Even when some students can go back to school ours will be home.

Yes, we value teachers. My parents are both retired school teachers who worked long days.

No, this isn’t sustainable. Yes, I am tired.

white coffee much on table with the word Begin printed on it.
comment 0

Goals for 2020 that have nothing to do with losing weight that I will discuss today

New year, new you, new me, new ways to stop thinking about how to lose the 20 pounds I’ve accumulated over the past 3 years. Here’s a new approach to the coming year for me, someone who was always raised to be critical of my weight, body, and physical appearance, because somehow my own beauty or lack thereof was a reflection of my family, self-worth, and self-respect. I say, as respectfully as I can:

Fuck That.

Bodies are great and I am thankful for my physically able body that has a few more pounds, a new shape, and the ability to do hot yoga. But my body is probably the least interesting thing about me. So here are my as yet unnumbered 2020 goals that have nothing to do with losing weight that I will discuss today. They will change. Some will be accomplished. Some will be forgotten. Others will be laughed at in December as I wonder why I thought that was important. They’re all a reflection of who am I now and what I think is important.

Goal 1: Be Brave

Introduce yourself to that person you’ve been following on Twitter and reading for years when you meet them at conference. Submit that solo article despite your feelings of imposter syndrome because the worst thing that can happen is that someone will say no and that has already happened on multiple occasions and you’ve lived through it and you are ok. Ask that mom you met at the park for a mom-date coffee. Try riding a damn bike.

Goal 2: Speak Spanish More Often

Yes, you sound like a second grader with a poor command of the language but how are you supposed to get better if you don’t practice? Slang is ok. Spanglish is how you were raised. Don’t be embarrassed that the Spanish you learned growing up might be construed by others as low class. It’s a part of the Tejana you are and always will be. See also, Goal 1.

Goal 3: Be Proud of Yourself

Stop undermining yourself and downplaying your accomplishments. Take time to celebrate and reflect on the work you’ve done.

Goal 4: Be Kind to Yourself

Sometimes things don’t get done, and that’s ok. There’s a lot to deal with in life and it isn’t easy. Don’t berate yourself or beat yourself up. Think about how you support a friend in your situation and support yourself that way.

Goal 5: Leave Work at Work

Your family needs you and you need them. You need time to yourself. You need time to recharge. Save some of (perhaps the best of? most of?) yourself for yourself and your family.

Goal 6: Tuesdays are for Treats

Grab ice cream with your kiddo. Go for a walk. Purchase a delicious coffee drink. Buy a new lipgloss. Meditate for a few minutes. Do something nice.

Goal 7: No More One-Sided Friendships

No one needs them. They are exhausting.

Goal 8: Show More Gratitude and Love

Tell the people you love that you love them. Give thanks. Small compliments and kind words go a long way. Don’t be stingy with them. Be generous and genuine with your praise.

That’s it! That’s the list! What are your goals for 2020?

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash [person pouring coffee into a mug with the word "ugh" written on it]
comments 5

Mid-Semester Slump

It’s that time of the semester again. You’ve taught your Nth English Composition library instruction session/info lit class/freshman seminar. Everyone is sick–including you. That 3rd cup of coffee doesn’t quite pack the same punch. All of the deadlines for all of the writing projects that you were so excited about are all looming in the semi-immediate horizon. You’ve hit the Mid-Semester Slump, and it sucks.

It happens every year, and almost always hits hardest in the fall. Yet every fall I’m surprised when it happens. I can’t quite figure out why my energy is so low and I can’t quite shake what should have been a 3-day cold 2 weeks later. All hopes of a regular exercise schedule feel like a pipe dream, but I was just able to accomplish that a few weeks earlier. What is it about the midterm that makes life and work so difficult and dreary? Is it the repetition? The stress? Something else?

I’m trying to make my way out of the slump with excessive amounts of coffee and croissants, but they just aren’t quite doing the trick. I’m starting to attribute these feelings to the garbage fire that is the news in this country coupled with being a latina in it. That said, my work is still my work and my family still needs my best self. So what are your suggestions for getting through this slog? What’s worked for you in previous semesters? How do you take care of yourself and revitalize your feelings when the semester starts to the feel like a drag?