I've been a terrible blogger lately, but here's my lame excuse: Teaching my own class for the first time ever. I realize that most people do this while they are writing their dissertations, and frequently wind up teaching multiple courses at the same time, without any assistance. I, on the other hand, have been a spoiled brat of the academy because I got to focus entirely on my research and writing so far, thanks to fellowships.
Now, my fantasy-world is coming to a major halt. By my own request, I'm teaching one, count it, one, new class this semester, with a TA to boot. Spoiled, right, what did I tell you? And YET. The prospect of facing almost 100 undergrads twice a week for over an hour has been causing me massive anxiety. Here's a rundown of my last two weeks: Prep like a maniac, freak out feeling super-anxious for the entire day that I'm supposed to go into the class, and then teach said class, come home, and not be able to sleep(too much going through my head). Oh, one more minor thing. I can't EAT anything before I teach because I'm so anxious that it makes me nauseous. I can't even finish a whole cup of coffee in the morning, and this is VERY unlike me. In sum: no sleep , no food, lots of freaking out, and probably terrible teaching. Although the last lecture wasn't nearly as bad as the first two. Anyway...this is why posting has been so thin lately.
Though I am not thrilled about the sleeplessness and anxiety thing, this whole teaching venture feels good too. I feel like I am actually contributing something to the world for the first time in my whole life. (I've been a student forever, and a postdoc since I stopped being a student). Yes, I do consider my writing to be a contribution too, but the immediate rewards of seeing lightbulbs go off in people's heads is keeping me going through this right now, as challenging as it is for me.