Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

This Time

Saturday I spent much of the day in bed with a headache.
I thought that this time would be different. I knew that I’d be tired by the end of the week; it was a test week after all. But not as bad as this.
Joyce wasn’t surprised. “You’re always like this, with the late review session and then the test.”
I thought I set it up so that I’d be okay. I got the review sheet and the test written well ahead so that I wouldn’t be scrambling early on in the week. I planned my week to ensure I got plenty of rest. On Monday I stayed late to clear my desk so I wouldn’t have to work at home in the evening or go into the office on Tuesday. I did the same on Wednesday, and stayed home on Thursday. So what went wrong?
I thought back. I did get plenty rest mid-week. Or did I? Wait. Tuesday didn’t work according to plan. I had to interview five prospective graduate students and by the time I was done I was wiped out. But I took a three plus hour nap afterward. And Wednesday is always a rough day and I did end up working at home in the evening to write a make-up exam for those taking the exam late. Or was that on Monday? Did I do anything on Thursday? I only had one interview, and then the review session in the evening. Evening teaching is always draining, and I ended up staying on an additional hour—some students needed extra help, and another needed to talk.
Friday… I knew I’d be grading right after the test, so I made sure to start my day late. Except that I didn’t—I had a meeting that didn’t happen, and an oral exam that ended up being postponed. What else happened? I did have to scramble to finish a make-up test for Monday… And then there was the grading.
I guess this time wasn’t so different than previous test weeks. Though I did my best to pace myself, it didn’t work.
Ever since I returned to work after the surgeries, I’ve had trouble pacing myself. Though I’m much better at slowing down, I still haven’t got it right. I have to figure this out. At the very least I need to get to a point where the bloody brain doesn’t lay me flat on my back when it lashes out at me.
What about the next test? Will I manage to pace myself better? I
It’s coming up in a week. I have barely started working on the test. I haven’t even finished the review sheet. I check next week’s calendar. On Monday I only have office hours and lecture. Oh, and that banquet thingy. And I have that webinar type do at 8:00 pm. At least I’ll be able to take the morning to write, and Tuesday will be my day of rest. Wait, no, I have to go in on Tuesday, for lunch with Peggy. But I’ll come home right after. Though chances are that if I’m on campus, I’ll go to my office and there’ll be stuff to do… What about Wednesday? That’s my long day, and I have to stay later than usual. Crap. Thursday is the evening review session–ugh. And Friday is the test, then grading.
Nope. Next test is not going to be any better. It’s actually going to be worse.