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The incredible shrinking classroom

Fuuuuuuck. The semester has started, and I am for sure not quite keeping my head above water. It’s a combination of my new career ambitions and the fact that the number of projects I’ve got going on has reached some critical point where I can no longer manage them all and some collaborators who are being complete fucktards and the fact that I haven’t taught during the fall semester in TWO YEARS.

What was I doing during those fall semesters? Why, hoarding babies, of course!

The last time I taught during the fall semester I found out (in the first week of classes) that I was pregnant with Bun Bun. Oh, how I remember those days–I kept an air-sickness bag in my backpack in case I needed to discretely duck behind the podium to vomit. (I did not need to.) It was incredible to have such a huge secret joy–a kind of constant contrapuntal thinking. Blah blah blah course content OMG I’M PREGNANT blah blah blah…

One of the courses I teach in the fall is a bigish (150) intro course, and I’ve taught it in the same room for three or four years. In my memory, the room was VAST. It’s got stadium seating, and in my mind, the seats went on foreeeeeever.

When I walked into my classroom for the first time this year, I was surprised at how small it was. COZY, even. It was just like that experience of going back to an elementary school or a library or some place you went as a child, and being shocked at how TINY the desks are, how LOW the water fountain is.

I HAVE GROWN. I don’t know whether it’s tenure or babies or both, but I have grown.


13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Misfit Mrs #

    Faced with the daily heroics of feeding, changing and entertaining wee people, lots of things appear to have consumed some “drink me” potion. Overwhelmed people make lists and people who are abitious start ticking through them. I see you doing right now, in fact.

    I just want to express some unbridled joy for all of this in Glum Bunny land. Having not enough is harder to manage than too much in my experience. You are going to rock deadlines and the fabtards in shape forthwith. I will not believe otherwise.

    September 12, 2013
  2. Are the kids shrinking too?

    If I had thought of it sooner, I would’ve given you this priceless advice on how to treat freshmen. Perhaps you can still find some of it of use.

    The last time I taught was the semester I was pregnant with Gwen. It was a very small course, 5 students, all girls, and when at the end of the semester they asked if I’d be teaching anything in fall, I confessed I’d be on maternity leave, there was a lot of squealing and claims of suspicions. It was very sweet.

    I’m co-teaching a class this semester, on a subject that I KNOW ALMOST NOTHING ABOUT (hides head in sand). Thankfully, our semester here doesn’t start until the middle of October, so I can continue for at least two more weeks with my fingers in my ears going “la la la”.

    September 12, 2013
  3. I don’t know. Everything seems HUGE to me this semester, including and especially the walk from the train station to Old Grad School. So maybe pregnancy shrinks a person, contrary to visual evidence.

    September 12, 2013
  4. 🙂 New perspective!

    September 12, 2013
  5. As usual, your writing is brilliant. My money is on the babies. They change a girl!

    September 12, 2013
  6. Yay for babies and growth and new perspectives!
    Boo for being overwhelmed and unhelpful collaborators.
    I love your description of early pregnancy–both the queasiness part and the having a fabulous secret part.

    September 12, 2013
  7. What’s goin on here, you’re getting all sappy and soft on me. Good thing you still throw around words like fucktard to keep that edge.

    I’m sure you have grown – in case you haven’t noticed, you’ve been doing A LOT of self-work lately. If you have managed to forget this fact go back and read the last few months of your own posts. Bravo, woman. Bravo.

    September 13, 2013
  8. Bunny’s all growns up. I love it!
    It’s amazing how the yearly trek of our blue planet around the sun affords us these reminders, or rather points of comparison. Last year on this date, I was…
    I remember 2 years ago you were speaking at a conference and on the verge of puking because of pregnancy and, I suspect, nerves. And now, you are in the shrinking classroom, with two beautiful buns at home. And life isn’t perfect, but I know it’s good in many ways.
    I raise my glass to thee, amazing Bunny.

    September 13, 2013
  9. Wow. I could sound like a Mom and say I’m so proud of you…which I am of course, but wanted you to know that I’m really happy that you are in this place in life right now with the career bucket in terms of the positive above water stuff. Also the baby stuff. As has been established, babies are hard, but if you can keep two other human beings alive and happy and loved than those freshman in your 150 are nothing but little spots on the lens.

    September 15, 2013
  10. Have college kids gotten smaller too?

    September 16, 2013
  11. Aw, bunny. It makes me so happy to read this. And proud of you, whether that makes sense or not.
    Although I have to agree with bionic that pregnancy makes distances seem to grow. I’m taking a ridiculous number of breaks on what used to be easy trips.

    September 23, 2013
  12. It’s been a while since you posted. Just checking to see if you are okay. 🙂

    October 17, 2013
    • Thanks, Andie! All is well, just having to sacrifice all my Internet Time to WORK. BLAH!

      October 18, 2013

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